Guidance for Outdoor people, especially hikers
Who is it meant for?
- Beginners: You want to start on a journey that will keep you hiking in the mountains
- Experienced outdoorpersons: You have a lot of questions about the how and why of many things outdoors – gear, mountain travel & camping technique, managing in cold conditions, acclimatisation, skill development, teamwork in the mountains, etc.
- Expert outdoorpersons: You have considerable experience under your belt, exploring ways of working in the outdoors
- Outdoor Leaders: You lead groups on outdoor trips or work as an instructor on outdoor camps, and would like to improve your leadership skills
- Special occasion travelers: You want to gift yourself a long-duration / high-altitude trip like Everest base camp trek or a 20-day trek in Ladakh or climb to Mt. Kilimanjaro or the Appalachian Trail
How will it help you?
My guidance will enhance your judgment and enable you to be confident when taking decisions on aspects like gear purchase & use, choice of routes, mountain travel technique including travel at high altitude, mountain teamwork & leadership, information on skills training.
How do I provide it?
- One session or a series of sessions to cover a progression of topics
- Either in-person or online meetings
- Workshops in the field when possible
You could be an individual, a couple or a group.
A note on content of my sessions:
- Will give clarity about concepts that lie behind suggestions and tips for being safe and happy in the outdoors
- Will help improve your judgment and make you confident while taking decisions prior to and during your trips
Each session, conducted with the aid of a presentation to keep it uncluttered, will have mix of some or all of: basics that cover the why and how of things, concrete tips & tools with linkages to effects, and illustrations in the form of case studies & stories from my personal experience.
“‘Surviving Stormy Conditions’ was a session where I talked about an intense, life-and-death experience on the world’s third highest mountain and how I used that experience to my benefit on another mountaineering expedition. The session concludes with a few thoughts on leadership especially in the context of the threat of Corona virus that had confronted us newly at that time.” Please check the video here
“I successfully summited Mount Kilimanjaro on Jan 1, 2019. I would have not been able to summit it without Shantanu’s guidance. I am a novice hiker and Shantanu guided me from the beginning to the end… Being located in USA, I was not sure if online and phone conversations would actually help me with the training, … My journey to Mount Kilimanjaro started in March 2018 with my first conversation with Shantanu. Whether it was for shopping hiking boots or just discussing the local hikes I was doing, he was there when I needed him, advising me every step of the way. What helped me most was Shantanu’s approach and how he explained every minute detail I needed to concentrate on… Our method of communication was prescheduled video/phone calls… I always had the impression that he gave me the time needed, while being patient in answering my unending questions and preparing me for the hike. As I got close to D- day, he shared safety tips and high altitude acclimatization needs related to overcoming altitude sickness, food I should eat, and how each day should be spent on the mountain depending on the route taken for that day… I believe because of his shared knowledge I had minimal altitude sickness, even at the summit at 19000+ feet; considering I had never before gone past 6000 feet. I definitely think that having had Shantanu’s encouragement and support throughout the process made my climb that much less stressful and pleasurable.”
– Gauri Chandwalkar, resident, Charlotte, U.S.A.
“Back from God’s own place, Ladakh. Did the demanding Markha Valley trek from Chilling to Shyam. It lasted for 5 days and we all completed it successfully. Overall covered about 80-85 kms in that time. I dedicate this trek to Shantanu Pandit..!”
– Amit Khanolkar, Architect, Mumbai, India
“Dear Shantanu, My feelings come directly from heart. My perception towards trekking completely changed (for good) after meeting you in January 2006.“
– Rajendrakumar Mahajan, member, Organising Committee, Chakram Hikers, Mumbai
“My son, Jay, is planning to attempt Mt. Everest and pursues his career in mountaineering and adventure… Last year due to the pandemic the expedition got postponed and so did his plans. Apart from the disappointment, he was super confused about his future endeavours… and someone suggested Shantanu’s name…. I connected with him and what a great experience we had…. He was patient and precise in his guidance… Rather than advising what to do… he literally evaluated Jay’s plans with all the possible ‘pros and cons’ of each plan of action, so it was easier for Jay to take a certain decision… I am sure he will play a pivotal role in Jay’s future plans and endeavours… “
– Jyoti Kolhatkar, resident, Mumbai, India
My relevant background
- Co-founded and managed an adventure travel company for eight years Countryside Adventure Holidays, organising and leading treks and trips in the Himalayas
- Instructor and program supervisor at National Outdoor Leadership School, U.S.A., from 2000 to 2013 (worked more than twenty 1-month courses in India and the U.S.A.)
- Instructor, wilderness first aid & outdoor leadership, Aerie Backcountry Medicine, U.S.A. since 2015. (Aerie has associated with Hanifl Centre for Outdoor Education of Woodstock School, India)
- Instructor on school and college outdoor camps at Hanifl Centre for Outdoor Education of Woodstock School, India since 2013
- Designed and conducted multiple workshops for more than 400 outdoor professionals and enthusiasts on basic and advance outdoor skills for over two decades
- Guided more than 30 individuals & groups who wanted to climb big mountains, undertake long hikes or courses or were looking at options to make outdoors a part of their career and lifestyle