Planning a forest trek? Take these precautions for a worry-free experience!

While undertaking a forest visit, one should obtain the permission of the Forest department in advance Representative image/iStock/NirutiStock

Nothing thrills youngsters like a forest expedition. But it’s too risky for their lives itself to enter forests without taking adequate precautions and preparations. One should ensure they adhere to the following directions:

  • While undertaking a forest visit, one should obtain the permission of the Forest department in advance and make a prior enquiry whether there is any travel restriction or ban on visiting the particular forest area. Care should be taken not to venture out of the trekking path decided by the Forest personnel. One should also not violate the night trekking ban in place. 
  • One should have a clear idea of the topography, sharp ascents and descents, steep rock formations, and presence of dangerous wildlife, besides where they are proceeding to and what are all there to experience. It should be ensured that no wildlife attacks were reported in that place of late.
  • It should be made sure that the guide possesses sufficient equipment/weapons to ensure safety from wild animals. The visitors can take insurance, too, if they desire. The Forest department will make the necessary arrangements for this.
  • Alongside food, water, and a camera, tourists should also take a map to know the topography, a mobile phone with a compass and GPS facilities, and a power bank on their trek.
  • Never enter the forest with inflammable materials and never cook food inside the forest. Also, avoid plastic bags and bottles. Never throw plastic waste in the forest.
  • Once inside the forest, one should take care not to make loud noises or disturbance. Switch off the mobile or activate the silent mode. If one makes noise, they might not be able to know the presence of wild animals near. 
  • Dress up in colours that are in sync with nature. Avoid fluorescent colours and those like red, orange, and white that easily attract wild animals. Perfumes should also be avoided.
  • Avoid trekking through regular paths that wild animals use. Care should be taken not to hinder their movements. While taking rest inside the forest, avoid such places.
Desist from doing anything that provokes wild animals. Representative image/Praveen Elayi
  • The forests in Kerala are a scattered lot. The elephant herds and other wildlife often have to cross roads to navigate from one forest to another. Never ignore warning signs at such crossings. Also, desist from doing anything that provokes wild animals. Even the camera flash will make a wild animal violent.
  • Upon encountering a tiger on foot inadvertently, stand upright and spread your arms. According to forest experts, the same is beneficial. There are chances they might take you for something big and might leave the trail. 
  • Nearly 200 people living in villages surrounding the Sundarban forest are killed every year in tiger attacks. They apparently wear human masks behind their head while venturing out. Tigers usually attack from behind. And when tigers stalk from behind, the animals would see the humans staring straight into their eyes and would prompt them to back away.
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