Himalayas Remoteness

Major Challenges when Travelling to Secluded Places

Top 5 areas of concern in a secluded area

Experiencing the world can be a powerful tool for personal growth, as seeing in ‘The Value of Travelling: Top 5 reasons to travel. There are many regions of the globe that have plenty of splendid, natural beauty. Such places can provide incredible memories and peaceful encounters. At the same time, some of the best options can often be in secluded areas. When that happens, basic infrastructure can be scarce, which requires more self-preparation.
Secluded places comes with its unique challenges beyond basic infrastructure. Although some remote regions have seen a spike in economic development (E.g. Everest Base Camp), many amenities remain underdeveloped. Always take steps to understand the unique challenges of the region. The more secluded, the harder it can be to get the help needed in case of emergency.
Here are the 5 top basic things you should be aware before traveling to a remote area:
Remote Compost to Modern Toilet

1) Toilets

To the average urbanite, if there is anything scarier than poor internet connection, it is a remote toilet. Squat toilet is quite common in remote areas and on a good day, they may have a rose instead of toilet paper. For those not accustomed to that environment, it is best practice to bring your own toiletries. Many toilets (refer to the left image), will often lack proper waste management systems. Failure to follow sanitation procedures may result in odors, water contamination and more.

2) Food

In many urban cities, customers are often comfortable with food safety. That may not be the case in secluded areas, where improper food sourcing and handling can be very dangerous. Often times, travelers can make better food consumption choices by taking a more proactive approach.
For many travelers, food poisoning has proven to be a costly endeavor. Being incapacitated due to food poisoning in remote places will take time away from one’s vacation and cost extra money. The cost can range from required emergency helicopter, hospitalization, hoteling and even death.
It is worth to note that in some secluded areas, access to hospitals and doctors can be non-existent. Thus, it is crucial to remain as healthy as one can be and avoid certain unnecessary risks.
Food freshness and food preservation are two major components when it comes to edible food. There are a few proactive questions that one should have:
  • What are the government’s advisory for that country/region?
  • Where is the establishment located? If it is in a city, food sourcing may be easier and controlled by regulatory bodies. On another note, a mountain hut in the Himalayas will likely have food that is not as fresh. Always consider how secluded the place is and how easy one should expect for the restaurant to acquire its ingredient.
  • Can the food be homegrown?
  • Is there a healthy amount of movement from other patrons?
  • What kind of food are patrons asking for?
  • Refrain from consuming dairy, meat and other products with short shelf-life.
Life is full of inherited risks, most people should be mindful of taking calculated risks.
Food for secluded areas

3) Hygiene

Secluded regions will often lack proper access to treated water. It also faces challenges in maintaining a sewage treatment system. Hygiene is also influenced by the local’s limited knowledge of hygienic standards. To limit your risk of getting sick, give preference to foods that are cooked (grilled, roasted, fried, etc.). When looking for fruits, always buy the ones with protective skins such as mangos and dragon fruits. Refrain from purchasing pre-cut, since it poses hygiene concerns.
Personal hygiene is also very important. It can be difficult to safely wash your hands in a secluded region, so always bring hand sanitizer or other similar products.

    4) Rooms

    When arriving at a guest house in a secluded region, many are looking to lay down and rest. It is easy to forget that plenty of other guests may have used the room at some time or that nature may have taken its tool. When that happens, it is possible to contract bed bugs or respiratory issues due to mold. Therefore, it is important to bring sleeping linen, helping to create an extra layer of protection. Also, take a broad look at the room for any signs of unusual wear and tear. This may seem overprotective, but as the old saying goes: it is better to be safe than sorry.
    In hard to reach places, infrastructure quality can take a hit sometimes. To limit surprises such as rooms with poor insulation or ventilation, bring proper clothes and amenities. For instance, in the Himalayas, thermals might be a good idea. While in the jungles of Thailand, you are better off by having breathable, mosquito protective clothing. Remember that even in the desert, there can be a large change in temperature at night, so take that into account.

    5) Wi-fi

    Wi-Fi is becoming endemic in most places around the world, that includes the Everest! Although this is becoming a reality in many places, secluded environments may often lack the infrastructure to provide consistent, uninterrupted, quality internet connection.
    In remote places where internet is available, if there is enough users in the area, they may crowd the system. This leads to spotty to non-existed connection. At the same time, many establishments in secluded areas may not admit that their internet service is of low quality. This can leave many guests to become frustrated as expectations do not met reality. So, if good internet connection is a must for work or personal purposes, have a backup plan. Possible solutions to the issue are:
    • Find a SIM card that offers desired service and cover the region you will be travelling to. Make sure to check online if other individuals have experienced with that SIM card and if worked for them.
    • Bring a portable modem or satellite internet with you. Companies such as HughesNet in the US and Xplornet in Canada are becoming a viable option.
    • If none of the above works, aim to use your devices while other guests are away. The connection will most likely be stronger if you do not have to share data with other guests.

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