Keeping trekking gear safe and dry in the rains | health and fitness | Hindustan Times
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Keeping trekking gear safe and dry in the rains

There are two ways to keep things inside your backpack dry. One way is to line the empty backpack with a sheet of plastic or a giant plastic bag before putting in your gear.

health and fitness Updated: Jan 04, 2010 19:29 IST
Yana Bey

Can you give me tips on how to protect my trekking gear in the rain? Please answer in detail as I want to know how to keep my clothes, camera, backpack and other expensive equipment safe.
Gitanjali Pawar

There are two ways to keep things inside your backpack dry. One way is to line the empty backpack with a sheet of plastic or a giant plastic bag before putting in your gear. Look for thin, soft plastic otherwise it will eat up valuable space when you fold and bunch it after packing.

The bag should be bigger than the body of the rucksack so that, after you are packed, it can be gathered together and tied, or folded neatly and the edges tucked into one another. Bring the lid of the rucksack over this and buckle up. Now, you can walk in torrential rain but all the items inside the backpack will be dry.

However, you will often be unpacking in a doorway, cave entrance, leaky hut or tent, and dry items

can get splashed or dripped upon after you bring them out. So pack electronic equipment, batteries, matches, lighters, medical items and sanitary napkins in small polythene bags.

The second way is to use a waterproof backpack cover. This does away with the hassle of the plastic lining. The cover slips on over the packed backpack and hugs it completely, drawn tight with a drawstring. The advantage of the cover is that it protects even the backpack’s side pockets. But take care not to let the cover snag on boulders or trees — even a tiny hole will let water through.

Many people prefer to use a poncho raincoat. This has a hood, long sleeves and enough allowance in the body to cover both you and the backpack on your back. Make sure it reaches down to at least mid-calf. For short walks in light rain, a good quality backpack will suffice. Expensive backpacks are made

of material that’s waterproof to an extent, though not fully waterproof because capillary action draws the water to the other side of the fabric.

I want to learn kayak surfing and become an instructor after that. Where in India should I begin? How much time will it take me to become an expert? How much do kayak surfing instructors get paid?
Karan Bedi

Kayak surfing is yet to come to India. However, you may not have to wait for long. When I got my first taste of sea kayaking in 2005, it was in Langkawi, Malaysia as the activity wasn’t available in India. However, kayaking came to Goa soon after and is now available in other places along the coast and at the Andaman islands. However, sea kayaking for tourists is still a tame affair. You sit in open-top kayaks (single or double seater) and paddle about in a lagoon. Outside India, the nearest place where you can learn kayak surfing is Thailand.