Markhor is not only a wilderness based leadership program but a life experience .Ask any alumni and they will tell you that explaining the entire experience is not possible in words but there are some steps you can take to enhance that experience.
1. Crack open that shell!
Shy? Not so social? Well Markhor is the right time to get over your social awkwardness .Just walk up to anybody and everybody and start talking .Every person at Markhor undergoes rigorous questions and has a life story to tell .It is hard to imagine but every candidate there is a wonderful human who has not had an easy life and yet the people you will meet at Markhor will be the most inspiring and sincere individuals you will ever come across .
2. Energy food
Ever heard the idiom ‘sharing is caring’?Markhor proves that exactly right .During the tough hike up to Mukshpuri you will make amazing friends and sharing food will create an unbreakable bond between your tribe and other people .The favourite member of my tribe had brought succulent apples from Quetta for the entire group and man did we feel like family!
3. Start walking!
Pre-Markhor training is a very essential part .You don’t want to have cramps and be tired all the time .After all it is the wild and in the wild it is the survival of the fittest .So at least a month before get your trainers out and bhag Markhor bhag!
Get hold of a camera that is not fixed into your phone .Remember a very important component of being a Markhor is that you are cut off from your family and friends but you make a new family with your tribe .Just make sure to take as many photos as you can .You will miss them all dearly after this .Happy clicking!
5. No extra baggage
I remember taking a book with me to read .You know-scenic mountains and books sound so amazing .Well Markhor is no luxury trip and you will not have a second free so take only the essentials .Travel light!
6. Instructions are made to be followed
Read the instructions carefully .Read them again and make a check list .Make sure you have everything .Some things that may seem insignificant come in handy and there is no tuc shop on top of Mukshpuri to help you out .So if the list says 3 pair of socks,better pack 3 pairs of socks .
Prone to car sickness? Pack some anti-emetics .Don’t forget over the counter pain killers and some good amount of metronidazole to keep that tummy from destroying your experience .Along with that pack some bandages and balms for emergencies .If you have any medical condition,make sure you talk to your physician.Many people hike safely despite serious medical conditions .
8. Preparation is the key!
Read all the tasks specifies and read up on any material that is required .Prepare for any project they ask you to .Again Markhor is not a luxury trip and this is exactly what makes this a life changing experience .
9. Finally Do as thy Shepherd tells you!
A shepherd’s job is exactly what the name suggests- to shepherd you,the Markhors, and so listen to his/her every word .There might be moments when you want wrap your shepherd in a cloth and leave them hanging from a tree branch ( sorry Farrae!) but by the end of these four glorious days they will be like a wonderful friend so make the most of it and err…suppress the desire to cocoon them on a branch tree .
10. And the sunrise!
Sunrise on top of Mukshpuri is breathtakingly majestic .There will be no other moment like this .So DONOT miss it!
Written by: Mahra Butt