The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to stay indoors for quite a while. In Mumbai, we’re all waiting for a change of scenery and a chance to step out into the outdoors again, but other parts of Maharashtra might be enjoying more lenient rules. Either way, we can expect the rules of adventure travel to change now, so you need to be prepared for the moment when you can head out for monsoon trekking in Maharashtra. The biggest change to prepare for is that there will be less sharing or rental of gear, so you will have to be self-sufficient on your trip.

Monsoon treks in Maharashtra offer a one-of-a-kind experience because of the sheer beauty of the Western Ghats in the rainy weather. From dark skies to bright greenery, there are many reasons to enjoy monsoon treks in Maharashtra. But if you’re planning to do monsoon trekking near Mumbai this year, here is a list of the bare essentials you absolutely MUST HAVE before you set out:

Note: The products are in stock and the prices are exact as of time of writing. The Great Next collects a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page, if you decide to purchase from them.

The most important accessory for you is a good mask. Keep your mask on when people are around and avoid touching your face when you are not wearing it. We will not be recommending a mask here but will leave it to you to buy the best quality mask that is available where you are and that fits your budget.

1. Hand sanitizer and spray

First things first, a bottle of hand sanitizer should be your mandatory equipment whenever you go monsoon trekking in Maharashtra. When you go on a trek, you’ll be taking private/public transport to the start point. You may decide to stretch your legs at rest stops or buy a bottle of water from the snacks store. During all these interactions, you’ll be touching common surfaces which may be contaminated. Sanitize your hands after everything you touch, and make sure you are not touching your face without cleaning your hands first.

A sanitizer gel is enough, but a spray is handy for spraying on door handles and lift buttons before touching them.

We recommend:

This pocket friendly antibacterial germ kill spray for ₹ 149 contains 70% alcohol, and can be used on skin as well as surfaces.

2. Sturdy trekking shoes

It is essential that you own sturdy trekking shoes when you go monsoon trekking in Maharashtra, regardless of the length and difficulty of the trek. The landscape of the Sahyadris is not to be trifled with. Good grip and ample ankle support are of utmost importance. Avoid wearing chappals or slippers.

We recommend:

This made-for-hiking Quechua Forclaz 100 Mid WTP Shoes that is suitable to use in all weather conditions and on any terrain. It is waterproof, provides good ankle support and is priced at ₹ 4,859.

Or this trekking and hiking shoes from Wildraft that gives good traction, grip, stability, protection and comfort. The price ranges from ₹ 3,945 -₹ 3,995, depending on your size.

3. Strong backpack

Carry a durable backpack, even for the shortest treks. Choose a backpack that sits comfortably against your spine and has sturdy shoulder straps. A water-resistant or waterproof backpack will offer more protection from the elements, but for monsoon trekking in Maharashtra, even if you have a weather-proof backpack, it is advisable to pack your belongings in plastic bags.

We recommend:

This 20 litres trekking backpack from Quechua for ₹ 849. It is compact, has multiple pockets for easy storage and has padded shoulder straps and back panel for carrying comfort.

Or this 35 litres hiking backpack from Wildcraft that is lightweight, spacious, water-resistant and offers a snug fit with strong shoulder straps and a wide chest belt. This bag is priced at ₹ 2,839.

4. Rain cover

You should always trek with a rain cover, even if you have a water-resistant or waterproof backpack. Many adventure backpacks come with a raincover, so do check the product details when you are buying. The rain cover adds an extra layer of protection for your valuables.

We recommend:

This Wildcraft backpack rain cover for ₹ 238. It is flexible, covers most backpacks upto 40 litres and effectively protects your bag from the rain.

5. Rain coat

Chances are that when you’re out monsoon trekking in Maharashtra, you’ll be drenched in rain. Arm yourself with a good raincoat or poncho to protect yourself from the rain and to keep yourself warm.

We recommend:

This lightweight Quechua hiking waterproof rain jacket with a hood and 2 pockets. It gives you protection from the rain while also giving you sufficient freedom of movement. The price varies from ₹ 1,219 to ₹ 1,348, depending on your size.

Or this Amazon brand- Solimo long rain coat, priced at ₹ 649 that gives ample coverage and protection from the rain. It has a hood, 2 front pockets and comes with a handy zipper bag for easy storage and conveyance.

6. Water bottles

Before you set out on your trek, you must pack enough water for the duration of the trek, and extra water in case you get lost or delayed, or if you need it for an emergency. A minimum of two litres per person is sufficient for a day trek, unless you are expecting very hot and dry weather, in which case you should carry more. Take small sips as you walk, and avoid gulping water as it may cause stomach cramps.

We recommend:

This 0.75 litre Reebok water bottle, priced at ₹ 699 that is perfect for hiking. It is made of lightweight aluminium, it has a leak-proof screw cap and comes with a carabiner clip for easy portability.

Or this 0.75 litre Quechua Hiking Flask, that is lightweight and made of solid transparent plastic, with a quick screw lid and a groove for easy carrying. It is priced at ₹ 249.

7. First-aid kit

Even if you are travelling with an operator or guide and expect them to carry a medical kit, you should always, always have a basic first aid kit with you.  Keep it easily accessible, protected from the elements and from contamination, and ensure that the medicines have not passed the expiry date. Your first aid kit should be stocked with Dettol/Savlon, antiseptic cream, cotton wool, Band-Aids, a gauze bandage, a spray or gel for muscular pain and basic tablets for headaches, acidity, vomiting, allergies and fever.

We recommend:

This multi-layer first-aid kit pouch for ₹ 249, that is travel friendly and spacious, with many compartments for easy segregation of tablets, ointments, bandages and other things.

8. Insect repellent

During monsoon trekking in Maharashtra, when you go through the densely forested areas of the Sahyadris, mosquitoes are quite rampant. Pack an insect repellent cream or spray and make sure you apply it to all exposed areas of your body before you begin your trek. You will also have to reapply during the trek, especially if you get wet in the rain or if you’re perspiring.

We recommend:

The following effective mosquito repellents. You can take your pick as per your preference.

  1. Goodknight natural mosquito repellant fabric roll on for ₹ 68 (8ml)
  2. Goodknight natural mosquito repellent patches for ₹ 322 (pack of 60)
  3. Dabur Odomos natural mosquito repellent spray for ₹ 72 (100ml)
  4. Dabur Odomos natural mosquito repellent lotion for ₹ 76 (120ml) or
  5. Dabur Odomos natural non-sticky mosquito repellent cream for ₹ 78 (100g)

9. Ziploc bags

Provide an extra layer of protection for the contents of your bag; mainly your phone, wallet and money. Carry extra bags to put in garbage for later disposal and to store wet items of clothing. You can also save a bag to carry some dry fruits to snack on while trekking.

We recommend:

This 30 piece multi-purpose storage bag  for ₹ 225, that has an easy slider and a 500 ml capacity.

10. Sunscreen and/or sun cap

While you hope for the rains during monsoon trekking in Maharashtra it may be sunny too. At such times, you need to be protected against its rays. It is ideal to apply sunscreen before you begin your trek and reapply when necessary. You can also wear a sun cap for added protection. Carrying a pair of sunglasses is also recommended.

We recommend:

This Neutrogena sunblock, priced at ₹ 179 (30ml), with SPF 50+ protection against UVA UVB rays. It is lightweight, waterproof, sweatproof and suitable for all skin types.

And this Wildcraft unisex cap that is foldable, sits comfotably on your head and is easy to adjust. It is priced at ₹ 342.

In these times, your health is our top priority. Our adventure teams will be operating under new restrictions and safety measures, but please be responsible for your own sake. See that you wear a mask as required, carry and use sanitizer and maintain social distancing. Please refrain from crowding or sharing food or beverages. Get in touch with us to know more about the measures that you can expect on your trip.

Note: The products are in stock and the prices are exact as of time of writing. The Great Next collects a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page, if you decide to purchase from them.

Related reading:

The 5 best monsoon treks near Mumbai and Pune for beginners