Any Last Words of Advice...

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writelots
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Any Last Words of Advice...

Post by writelots » Mar 31 2012 6:29 pm

It's now less than a week before I take off for my once-in-a-lifetime adventure. I'll be flying to India, then taking a train to the Himilayan foothills in the state of Sikkim. We're planning on trekking for 11-12 days to a pass called Goeche-la below 28k foot Mount Kangchenjunga. Then we'll check out Darjeeling for a while before heading home. Three weeks in all - much of it getting to and from the trek starting point Yuksom.

Being something of a novice at trekking - and for that matter international travel in general - I figured it could be educational (or at the very least amusing) to see what kinds of advice my fellow hikers and explorers might have for me. Particularly those of you who may have been to this part of the world before. I've never been off the continent (unless you count a week in Hawaii, which I don't).

So? Any last words of advice before I dive off the face of the earth? :scared: :)
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Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.- Barack Obama

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rdavisiii
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Re: Any Last Words of Advice...

Post by rdavisiii » Apr 02 2012 10:11 am

1. Get Cipro(Rx) for down stairs, do not use Imodium. That blocks you up, Cipro will keep things moving which is what you want. Whatever you ingested you want to keep it moving. This is a must in my kit and has saved my arse many times.
2. Get something for upper respiratory (upstairs)(Rx). I cannot recall the last stuff I got but I used it, wind and dust was a MFer on my last trip.
3. Also think about getting Diamox(Rx) if you have not. I have seen that stuff save a trip before, better a little tingling then sick the whole time. On Kili my friends wife was sick on day one at 10K after the extended trip traveling there. Diamox got her on track within a few days and she made the summit.
4. Lots of wet wipes and hand sanitizer. Be prepared for some shady "facilities" in regards to sanitation.
5. Bring some trade bait, you never know what you will come across.
6. Careful with bottled water, make sure it is sealed.
Lower aircraft have the right of way!

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Jim_H
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Re: Any Last Words of Advice...

Post by Jim_H » Apr 02 2012 12:02 pm

Hold on before getting prescriptions for antibiotics like Ciprofloxacin or any other higher line Fluoroquinolones or antibiotic. For one thing, I'd like to know how you will know the difference between what they might be affective against, and what they won't touch, such as a virus, and how to correctly diagnose your condition. I have no idea what they might do for parasitic infections, most likely not a thing. Would you get multiple courses, or just take a few and then stop since the symptoms went away? If you take a strong antibiotic, one side affect that can occur in any region of the world, is severe colitis and diarrhea, resulting from the death of the gut's native flora and over growth of yeasts in the colon. If you took it for something like a viral diarrhea, you now have continued diarrhea and a new problem. Plus, you never needed the medication in the first place. Imodium, or Loperamide, pretty much just treats the symptoms of the diarrhea, while constipation is a side effect, you should still drink plenty of (*clean*) water while taking it, and eat normally (if you have an appetite) including foods high in fiber. Same thing for Upper Respiratory Infections. How will you know you have a viral infection, or a bacterial pneumonia, a bacterial bronchitis, or a Tuberculosis? Cipro is not effective against TB, and TB requires long term treatment, not a 10 day course of meds.


If you are not capable of diagnosing various types of infections you really shouldn't have one specific med to treat all things. That is why providers, hospitals and clinics exist. I'm not accusing anyone here, but if you aren't able to buy local insurance or prepared to pay out of pocket for local health care, don't go. If you are going to a region with low standards of care, or limited care, be aware that the risk to outsiders may be high and any diseases contracted may result in a long period of suffering before you can receive effective treatment, or death. I'm not trying to scare anyone, but simply taking a medication for any reason can be completely infective.

Having a few medications like an anti-diarrheal, an anti-inflammatory like Tylenol or Naproxene, or some Tums for stomach upset, is very different from taking antibiotics to treat (with questionable efficacy) any potential infections.

You can't control others around you, but hand hygiene and doing your best to drink clean water are the best strategies. Sanitizers, soap and water, and chlorine tablets can go a long way.
:o

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Dschur
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Re: Any Last Words of Advice...

Post by Dschur » Apr 02 2012 4:17 pm

nonot wrote:Anything essential bring enough to get you through the entire trip, grocery stores in other parts of the world don't have as good a selection as here in the states.
Watch out with customs bringing something into another country... Australia you can't bring any food items in. There is all kinds of fines and so forth for that there.. You can't even take any of the food you get on the plane thru customs.. food sniffing dogs check out all your luggage.. I have been there 10 times doing my 11 in 3 months... that is one of the other countries I have been to recently.. Only did Europe in 1980 so don't know about them..
Dawn
--On the loose to climb a mountain, on the loose where I am free. On the loose to live my life the way I think my life should be...For we only have a moment and a whole world yet to see...I'll be looking for tomorrow on the loose. ---unknown--

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writelots
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Re: Any Last Words of Advice...

Post by writelots » Apr 03 2012 2:10 pm

Thanks everyone!!!! I appreciate all of the advice, good bad and otherwise. It's all worth mulling over. :y:
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Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.- Barack Obama

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sirena
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Re: Any Last Words of Advice...

Post by sirena » Apr 06 2012 8:11 am

My father is from India and his entire family is still over there. I have been going to India since I was a little kid and it's always been interesting to me to see American views on India. I think this largely has to do with the way it is portrayed in the media. Lots of sensationalized stories about how poor and dirty it is. I'm not saying that there isn't poverty and filth to be seen, but most of the people that have actually traveled to India come away with stories of incredible culture, architecture,wildlife, history, and the colorful people, not "oh, it was dirty."

Part of international travel is putting aside the way that you think things "should" be done according to the culture that you are coming from. Some places it's easier to do, and some locales really require you to work at it. India is one of those places, but the rewards for doing so are immeasurable. It is an amazing and extremely varied place and I know I can't wait to see what tales Wendy comes back with.

And for the record, I have never seen dead bodies on the sidewalk :roll:
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
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Trishness
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Re: Any Last Words of Advice...

Post by Trishness » Apr 06 2012 6:40 pm

Wendy.......Have fun and be safe! Can't wait to hear the stories!

I'll be in Alaska in 2013 also ;) Luckily I have a friend from high school who lives in Fairbanks.

Trish
Trish-Kabob

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds" Ed Abbey

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autumnstars
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Re: Any Last Words of Advice...

Post by autumnstars » Apr 07 2012 11:13 am

As my mother would say:
Have a plan, but don't be rigid in your plan. The best things happen when you go off-script.
Drink plenty of water and eat your vegetables.

You are going to have an incredible, amazing time!!!!
Bring back plenty of pictures and stories.
"Let it ride / Let it roll / Let it go"

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writelots
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Re: Any Last Words of Advice...

Post by writelots » Apr 28 2012 2:39 pm

I'm back - WHAT A RIDE! I'll be posting trip logs et al as soon as I recover from jet lag and get a handle on the +1000 photos... Thanks to all for the well wishes and good advice. I can say in all honesty that the small portion of India that I saw was a beautiful country with some of the most welcoming, sweet natured people I've ever met.
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Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.- Barack Obama

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azbackpackr
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Re: Any Last Words of Advice...

Post by azbackpackr » Apr 28 2012 2:55 pm

Hey, welcome home! Can't wait to see the photos!
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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