Pravin- from Silicon Valley to the Nubra Valley

ShikhaHiking and Treks

“If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.”
The quote by
Raymond Inmon was taken way too seriously by our trekker of the week- Pravin Dhake.
From a full-time automobile engineer to creating an activewear that breathes, Pravin’s life took a 360-degree turn. And all of this is courtesy what? “TRAVELLING”.

Pravin took a sabbatical back in 2013. While he was traveling, doing a lot of hiking, trail running and cycling, he realized he wasn’t happy with all the synthetic clothes that he had to wear all this while, for the lack of something better to wear. This made him think, “There should be a scope of introducing a new fabric which is more comfortable and could be worn for longer durations.” And we couldn’t have thanked him enough!!
Pravin came across an article which talked about using bamboo technology as a fabric for hospital bed sheets, because of its antibacterial qualities. And, ta-da, that gave birth to Athlos. A brand that produces activewear for the fitness-conscious people without compromising on style and of course the comfort.
Read on to know more about Pravin’s fun trekking stories and his to-do checklist for treks.

Your love for traveling gave birth to Athlos, right?
Ya. More like the idea came when I was an unemployed traveler.

Have you always been a traveler?
It’s been over 10 years now.
After I got my first job, post my Masters, I started traveling. I used to take one or two trips a year. I generally traveled solo, so was backpacking my way all around. In 2013, I took a good 7-month break. After that, I started enjoying it, so I traveled to different places as and when time would allow.
A superstition that you have around trekking?
Nothing in particular.
I just ensure that I have good comfortable shoes. I splurge on good comfortable hiking shoes and use the same for 4-5 years and then go back and buy the same one again. I have found the perfect shoe for me, so I plan on sticking to that forever. I know it works for me, I don’t even try other stuff.

Any bad memory or an experience you had on a trek?
I have gotten lost. Quite a few times. I got lost pretty bad in Iceland and had to walk in the dark, in the snowstorm.

Was it the horror movie kind of lost?
No, nothing so dramatic. I got caught in a snowstorm after climbing a small height and on the way back I couldn’t figure out the trail as everything was covered in snow. I somehow managed to reach the base of the mountain but it was on the other side, from where I was staying.
So, I had to go the entire periphery of the mountain. Cross a few river streams and all of this was happening in the dark.

The best memory of a trek?
Well, I came out alive, so yeah.
Jokes apart. The best memory is the views of Annapurna, from the base camp. The sunrise is surreal.
But wait, I will take this one back.
The best memory is the views of the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan. There is a hike in this region called Gorno Badakhshan, which is an autonomous region between Tajikistan and Afghanistan, and at one point you can see a full range of mountains.
The ones in front are in Afghanistan and at the back are in Pakistan, and behind you is the whole Tajikistan.
A trek you will suggest for a new trekker?
Any trek in Sahyadri is a good starting fun trek. Also, the Aru Valley hiking to Liddiard, in Kashmir. It’s not so intense and good for starters.

If it wasn’t for traveling, or trekking, which would be your next favorite sport?
I like going to the gym, and lifting, but that isn’t a sport. So, a sport would be cricket. It’s a cliched answer. But I do like it.

What do you have in plan for your next trek?
I have a plan to cycle in Ladakh, next month. I am going to take a couple of weeks off and cycle to Nubra Valley.

Any dream trek?
I would like to get into actual mountain climbing someday. I would like to climb the Everest, Kanchenjunga or the Annapurna.

If you could pack just one food item, what would that be?
Hmm, let me think.
Dry fruits. They pack a lot of calories and are easier to consume and can be packed in small packets.

Would you rather…..

Sea or the mountains
I do like the mountains more. Plus I don’t know how to swim so that cuts out the option.  

Travel alone or with a group
I prefer to trek and camp alone.

Trekking or camping
I like trekking. I have done remote backcountry camping in Alaska, where I was alone for days. So I like doing that once in a while.

So all the trekkers, hikers, climber, and travelers out there- it is time for you to head out and discover your own destiny. You never know what idea might come and change your life forever.


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