Planning on doing Nag Tibba trek on your own? Here is a complete guide.
If you are looking to up your game and start trekking independently – Nag Tibba is an awesome trek to test your skills.
The Himalayas are one of the best classrooms for budding mountaineers and explorers. The amount of skills you learn while trekking is unbelievable. You don’t just learn how to survive in the mountains, but you also learn a whole lot about teamwork and the threshold of your inner strength.
And if you’ve gained those special skills and are ready to venture out without the help of an organized trek, let’s get you prepped.
First things first, let me explain why Nag Tibba?
- It’s an easy yet challenging trek: Now what do I mean by that? Although the trek is easy, the trail is not well marked. So, even as an easy trek, it is bound to throw a few challenge your way. You will easily reach the base camp near Nag Mandir but the trail from there is through a dense forest up till the top. You will have to either rely on GPS coordinates to get there or hire at least a local guide to make sure you don’t get lost on the way.
- Mountain Sickness: The entire trail is within the tree line, so the possibility of AMS is extremely low. And the maximum altitude on the trail is just about 3000m at Nag Tibba top, and you don’t even camp there.
- Close proximity to villages: There are villages close by, so in any case of emergency, you can head back the same day.
And, here is everything you need to keep in mind in order to do this trek on your own.
1. Know the trail inside out: Now this is where your experience comes in. You are going to be your own guide for the next few days, on a trail unknown to you. Do your research well. Even if you hire a local guide, try taking the lead and only take the guides help if you feel you are going the wrong way.
A. Pick your route:
There are several routes you can choose from, depending on the time you have at hand and the weather. The two most popular routes are:
- Pantwari to Nag Tibba to Pantwari (2-3 days)
- Pantwari to Nag Tibba to Auntar (3 days)
We took the second route in order to avoid any overlap of itineraries and it was absolutely blissful. The views you get on your way to Auntar are completely different from your first day. Here is the link of the photo journey that should give you an idea of the landscapes and the trail.
You will also need to get permissions from the forest department at Pantwari or Auntar, depending on your starting point. Although, no one really checks your permits, but if the forest officials do catch you without permits, they could fine you. So get them just for safety.
Here are the names of the Forest Officers in both villages:
Rajendar Singh Rawat (Pantwari)
Surender Gaud (Auntar)
B. Water Sources:
Water sources are extremely important on the trek to Nag Tibba, especially because they are so scarce. Everyone must carry at least 2 litters of water before heading out. There are three main water sources from Pantwari to Auntar – Katiyani, Nag Mandir and Gujhit.
Below is a picture of Katiyani water point, right after Goat Village resort, enroute to the base camp from Pantwari.
At Nag Mandir campsite, you have two water sources, one is a well at Nag Mandir, but sometimes the water in it is not very clean. The second is 200 meters inside the forest. Follow the arrow shown in the picture below.
I don’t have the picture of Ghujit water point at this point, which is the only water source in summers from the Nag Mandir campsite to Auntar. But I will try to get a picture of Ghujit soon and update this blogpost.
(Picture to be uploaded soon)
C. Weather Conditions:
Nag Tibba can be done anytime during the year. The weather in the summer months (April – Sept) varies from 8-25 degrees and drops down to -5 to 15 degrees in winters (December to March). Check the weather conditions before leaving and pack accordingly.
D. Camping spots:
Your camping spots need to have a source of water close by for you to be able to cook your meals, freshen up and wash your dishes. Recommended camping spots are Katiyani, Nag Mandir campsite and Ghujit. It is also recommended to camp in meadows rather than the ridgeline or the forests found on the trail, as they are prone to thunderstorms and lightning.
2. What medicines to carry in your first-aid kit?
Make sure your first aid kid is well equipped yet compact. Carry everything in small quantities, enough for yourself and your group for the duration of the trek.
- For cuts and wounds: cotton, antiseptic cream, band aids
- For ailments: Norflox Tz (to relieve an upset stomach), Paracetamol (for headaches/fevers), Combiflam (that works as a pain killer), Chest and cold tablets (for minor flu), Volini pain relief spray, zandu balm and ORS rehydration solution.
- For injuries and sprains: Ankle/knee support, crepe bandage and triangular bandage (that can be used to create a sling in case of an injured arm).
3. Know your rescue options:
The forest around on this trek are quite dense and without GPS coordinates, the probability of getting lost is quite high as there are a lot of routes that lead to different villages.
Inform someone about your excursion at Pantwari or Auntar before leaving. Exchange numbers with one of the locals and also provide them with an emergency contact number just in case they don’t hear from you. You should also know how far is the nearest hospital from your starting and end point. Again, knowledge is key here. Go prepared, but don’t assume the worst.
4. Cellular Connectivity
You get network at various points during the trek, mostly near Nag Mandir, Nag Tibba Top and Ghujit near Auntar. Both Vodafone and BSNL sims catch a good range on this trek.
5. What technical gear to carry in winters and where to get it?
Between Jan-March, you might come across snow in patches or you might end up walking knee-deep in snow, depending on the snow conditions that year.
Check the weather forecast and carry spikes, gaiters and trekking poles, if there is plenty of snow. You can rent everything from Pantwari village or Dehradun.
6. Respect the local traditions and culture:
Nag Tibba holds a significance religious importance for the locals of the neighboring villages. It is considered disrespectful to have any kind of meat (including eggs) on the trail, owing its proximity to Nag Mandir. So, be mindful of that and pack your food items accordingly.
6. Don’t drink alcohol:
Alcohol can be extremely dangerous in the mountains. It dehydrates you and leads to injuries and falls. So, a gentle reminder to avoid alcohol up in the mountains for your own safety.
And that’s pretty much it. If this guide helped you, give us a shout.
From all of us at Bikat Adventures – have a safe and epic journey.
Find out more about Nag Tibba here.