Are you about to join the nomads of Iran? Have you decided what to pack in your backpacks? Follow this advice if you’re about to go to the Nomads. Knowing more about the list of things you need to have makes it much easier to enjoy the experience.
We asked those who have experienced Kooch Tours (Transhumance with the nomads) as well. Following, you can read the tips in three main categories:
- Some general points which need to be taken into consideration regarding the nomads.
- Things you need to do before your trip
- Things you need to have with you while on the tour
In remote areas which receive few visitors, the actions of a few can be highly influential. So, there are some points which need to be taken into consideration when we want to join the Nomads if we wish to kindle a light in preserving their authentic culture as it is the main goal of those who join IRANomad Tours.
- During the days that we are with Nomads, we live in their way. Respecting their customs, culture, traditions, practices, and trying to conform to their local conditions are of great importance.
- ‘Flexibility’ is a keyword when we are living with Nomads.
- They need to know how we appreciate their lifestyle.
- Nomads would open up to us much more if we get involved in their daily routines.
- We do our best to have the least effect on them.
- We should try to be like them as much as possible (considering all aspects)
- Wearing modest and simple clothing is recommended. No vanity items while with nomads. Since they have the simplest life ever, better to have our simple, modest things especially clothes. We do not want to make them feel wistful.
- It’s nice to give something back to nomads as a memento.
- It is highly recommended not to take pictures of the nomads, especially nomad women. Like anybody else, they find it intrusive when the visitors snap a picture of them or their children without saying or doing anything. If you want to take a picture, wait for them to warm up to you, and then ask for their permission.
- No unnecessary stuff should be taken. No hefty backpack should slow us down because we have to follow the nomads’ herd. We REALLY NEED TO TRAVEL VERY LIGHTLY. Sometimes, it happens that the nomads don’t have an extra donkey to give us, or it may happen that the donkeys roam around & get lost and we end up carrying our own stuff. No extra clothes (Take half the amount of clothes you think you’ll need. For 5-day-migration 2 is enough. Take only the essentials. Have a warm jacket, rain jacket, good socks & comfortable shoes), no books (we have no time for reading), no extra shoes (they are heavy to be carried), etc. Reading this article can also be helpful.
Things you need to have:
- Good trekking shoes (well-fitting) & socks (we have some rivers to pass on our way)
- Practical and multi-functional clothing items
- Trekking Poles
- Headlight (It may sound unnecessary but you need it when you want to answer the call of nature in the middle of the night)
- Extra Battery and power bank for your phone
- Flip-flops (After some hours hiking, when we pitch our camp, it feels great to take off our trekking shoes. Also you can quickly go inside the tents and come back outside. We can’t stress this enough)
- Waterproof medical bands/plasters & personal medicine
- Water bottles & water purifier pills (Spring water is not always at hand)
- Sun screen, a field hat, or a cap & wet wipes. (Read the article to know what to do when nature calls)
- A small plastic bag for your used toilet paper and wet wipes (even if it says its biodegradable, it’s not a good idea to leave them under rocks in nature)
- Sleeping bag & foam mat (to put under the sleeping bag. The ground can be wet at night)
- Personal cup, spoon & plate
- Main backpack (50 liters -) & auxiliary (foldable) small backpack
- Healthy, energetic snacks that make you happy (Nuts, dried fruit, Peanuts, dates, etc.) You can even put the dried fruits in hot water and drink it to battle constipation
- Shampoo (If you feel you need to wash your hair in long Koochs)
Things you need to do before joining Nomads:
- Take a Walk every day: 10-15 days before your trip to Nomads, start doing exercise, especially jogging, running, and other aerobic exercises. Start with 10000 steps a day, then challenge yourself to hit 15000 to 25000. Depending on your Migration Level, you need to get ready for 7-15 mi (15000 – 36000 steps) daily. Trying hilly landscapes is also recommended. It can engage some of our biggest muscles.
- Take ample protein with carbohydrates before coming (your body definitely needs the strength during the migration days)
- Read a bit about Bakhtiari nomads. Know what to expect. Here you can read more about Bakhtiari people.
- Be ready to sing some of your own local songs (on some nights, when we sit by the fire, and the nomads sing nomadic songs, you may wish you had also something to sing for them )
People of Influence:
If you are coming as a person of influence, please take the following points into consideration:
- We highly appreciate your professional & moral integrity. If you have joined the nomads’ transhumance, it’s because to make this less known community & their heritage known to the world and share the experiences you have learned from these people and their lifestyle with others. So, please note that your focus MUST be on the nomadic people & their stories.
- Please DO NOT FILM the nomads all the time. We don’t want to make them feel like a human zoo, so filming must be kept at a reasonable amount. Before filming them, you should explain your reasons to them. For example, you want to film this because you have never seen how nomads make flatbread from scratch and you want to be able to share it with your family and friends.
- Please DO NOT Use their pictures without their permission. Even though some of their values might seem excessive to you, for example, the way they don’t like to have photos taken of their daughters, it’s not up to you to change that in one night. These indigenous cultures are very old and intricate, and we should have the humility to know that we don’t always know the best answer to everything. If their culture is supposed to change, it has to happen gradually and by their own people’s choosing.
- please check the ‘Bring3Travel4free’ option, where the cost of your tour will be free if you could bring 3 other people and you will have a small group tour.