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Linking Young Minds Together
   Volume 5 | Issue 45| November 27, 2011 |


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When Adventure Calls

Rakibul Hasan

Photos Courtesy: Asif Imran, Nabil Khan, ULAB Adventure Club

Young people are always on the lookout for adventure.

The story of human civilisation is a story of brave adventures. History has it that it is the heroic expeditions of our ancient forefathers towards many inaccessible parts of the world which ushered in the era of human supremacy all over the globe. Had Christopher Columbus not set sail for his maiden voyage, the Americas would remain undiscovered. And what if Musa Ibrahim hadn't dared conquer the Everest? Bangladesh would have to wait for many more years to see its flag on top of the world. Even though, communication today is easier than what it used to be once upon a time, there are always some who live for the fast and the furious, who love adventures and the adrenaline rush in their veins. The young people or the students, so to speak, are always on the lookout for such adventures. And what could be more adventurous than hiking to a strange destination and having thrilling experiences?

Student-explorers frame the exciting
memories in camera during their trip.

Over the last few years, the idea of hiking has gained popularity amongst the students of Bangladesh as young adventure enthusiasts have been setting out on expeditions and have already discovered many challenging hiking trails across the country. These distant destinations can give one a true backpacker's experience. The month of December is an ideal time for the students to go for a travelling escapade. Considering the weather of Bangladesh, it is always convenient to go hiking during winter. In winter the hikers are likely to be relieved from certain problems like extreme heat or torrential rain. Moreover, for most of the students, the winter season is vacation time as the annual examinations at their respective educational institutions take place by December. Besides, many universities also go on their semester breaks around the same time.

However, new hikers often suffer from a number of confusions once they decide to gear up for a hiking tour. For example, the first confusion that student hikers face is where to go for hiking. There are lot of potential hiking destinations in Bangladesh which boast many fascinating things to see and exciting things to do. While the Musa Ibrahim craze is still on, many would be interested to give mountaineering a shot. For the beginners, the relatively small hills of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) would probably be a good start. The student-explorers would be amazed to see the unique lifestyle of the indigenous people living in these hills. If you are a serious one and would like to go for some extreme experience, attempt to conquer the Keokaradong and then the Tajindong, two of the highest mountain peaks in Bangladesh. Once you have reached the top, you are sure to be elated with a heavenly sense of accomplishment.


If one is into wildlife, a visit to the Lawachara National forest in Moulvibazar district would reveal the nearly extinct wildlife of Bangladesh. It is one of the few preserved wildlife sanctuaries in Bangladesh which is home to a diversity of flora and fauna including the rare Hoolock Gibbons. Strolling in the forest you might catch a glimpse of one of the very last breeds of these magnificent animals. If you are on the look out for something more adventurous, visit the mighty Sundarbans, where one can even come face to face with the Royal Bengal tigers. However, the events following the encounter may be slightly uncertain!

The next problem which arises while planning a hiking trip is financing. The travel cost to the hiking spots and the cost of food and accommodation can appear heavy to student hikers who usually plan to finance their journey by accumulating the remainders of their monthly pocket money. To solve these problems, students need to keep the costs to the minimum during their journey. Going hiking in groups can distribute the expenses evenly among group members and therefore reduce individual expenses. Students should also look for cheaper options like travelling on economy classes in trains or on buses. If one plans to hike at the Chittagong Hill Tracts, to live in the 'Adivasi Paras' (indigenous neighbourhoods) would be a good decision as it would cost very little and by living in thatched huts up on the hills one can literally feel like living up on the clouds.


To have the right equipments is very necessary during a hiking trip. Young adventurers need a backpack in which they can carry clothes, food, water and other necessities. In case of hiking in remote areas such as dense forests or high mountains, bringing a sleeping-bag can come handy if one has to spend nights where there is no human habitation. Young adventurers can also bring cameras and notebooks to frame the exciting memories during their trip. Some other essentials include a knife, battery torch or rechargeable lights, match boxes and a compass. The Baitul Mukarram market, in Dhaka is an ideal place to buy these instruments at a reasonable price.

Students should be very careful about their personal safety and physical wellbeing during a hiking trip. It is always wise to keep someone in the team who has some knowledge of the area or hiring a local guide. Rajib Barua, a student and an out-and-out adventurer says, “Hikers should always be prepared for unexpected situations. It always comes helpful to talk with an experienced hiker before going for an adventure. There was this one time when I got Malaria while hiking in Boga Lake, Bandarban. I did not wear a full-sleeved shirt which was necessary to deter fatal mosquito bites. It took me a long time to get fully cured. From then on I never forgot to abide by the rules that experienced hikers or the local people suggested. To repel insects which can cause diseases like malaria or dengue, keeping a tube of mosquito repellents like the 'Odomos' is compulsory.” It is also necessary to keep the welfare of the local environment in mind during a hiking trip. Littering wastes or doing any harm to the plants or the animals can cause serious degradation of the natural habitats.

Inspiration from a Pioneer

Legendary mountaineer Musa Ibrahim suggests adventurous students to know their strengths and weaknesses before going for extreme adventures. “Feel the deep calling inside you to explore new places. During my student life I used to go out on sudden tours with my friends whenever I was bored or felt like doing something new. Practice makes a man perfect. So start with small steps. Hiking in rough terrains may involve intense physical activity. This is why hikers essentially need to work on their physical strength. Student-hikers should do some sort of exercise regularly to stay fit. Besides physical fitness, students should also build up their mind psychologically to step out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves in extreme situations. During one of my initial trips to Keokaradong from Ruma Bazar, Bandarban, I had trouble to climb the high hills as I had very little knowledge about mountaineering. People made fun of me as they said my climbing actually resembled the movements of a monkey! But I never lost hope and kept on working on my skills which eventually took me to the highest peak of the world. Right now, I am training a group of Dhaka University students and we aspire to attempt the Everest by the year 2014,” says Musa Ibrahim, the first ever Bangladeshi to conquer the Mount Everest.

So here you have it all, the suitable places to go for a hiking experience, necessary instructions and guidance for a beginner backpacker and inspiration from an adventure guru. Come this winter vacation; give your mundane life a break by embarking on an adventurous journey and you will be energised to return to the regular campus life after living a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


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