How do we scout around for new hiking tracks ?

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Laos, a paradise for hiking ? It is totally true. The country has plenty of mountain trails and forest tracks. We had the opportunity to evoke its many strengths in this article. But having these paths available is not enough, we have to discover them, to locate them, to explore them. And then share with you unforgettable off-the-beaten-tracks adventures

But how do we design new treks ? To check the condition of our existing tours? Well, the whole team puts its walking shoes and goes exploring the unknown tracks. In the following article, we explain you how we prepare and organize these explorations. So, hang in there, we talk about real adventures !

Why do we regularly go on hiking survey ?

Let's start from the beginning, what are the goals of these expeditions? The first one is to discover new routes. At ORLA Tours, we love to offer new tours, where no one has ever been. It is therefore essential for us to be constantly on site to find unique trails. Our leitmotif is to go off the beaten tracks, far from tourist spots. Nothing better than looking for our own itineraries, and creating them from scratch with care and sweat :)

Second objective : to ensure that our existing programs are always extraordinary. Laos is in a massive economic boom, the villages move (many ethnic groups are semi-sedentary) ... thus certain trails get paved and other ones just disappear. That's why the Off Road team regularly goes hiking on the paths that we already offer. This ensures that we keep our promise of an outstanding trekking.

How do we get prepared for a trekking survey in Laos ?

Doing a survey is not just about going on an adventure hoping to find new tracks.

If we walk randomly, we would lose a lot of time.

In addition, the result would not be guaranteed.

So how do we get prepared ?

How do we know where to go? Simply by listening to the gossip. Throughout the year, our guides and local partners provide us with information such as "one of our hunters cleared a trail from that village to that one". We save all these details and put them together to create a route to explore.

It’s then possible to leave with an idea of ​​the kilometers to be traveled, places to sleep and thus the approximate duration of the expedition. You’re wondering why village leaders call us ? It's quite simple. During all our tours, a part of the cost of the trip is donated to local communities. The more relevant their information is, the more likely it is that our new trek will pass into their area, and so they receive a contribution.

Who’s in the exploration team ?

Who goes on an adventure during these surveys? The key element of these expeditions is Phasouk, co-founder of ORLA Tours. He is the one who receives phone calls throughout the year, he knows every village chief, he is the link between Off Road and the local communities. He is therefore the essential character for a smooth organization.

Then, we are obviously accompanied by guides. So how many guides? At least two. The first is a local one, sent by the village chief who contacted us to explore the tracks in question. He knows the route, the possible connections with other sites and all the anecdotes around. The second guide is one of ours, specialist in hiking. His goal when scouting around: remember the path. It's him who will accompany you during your tour, so it's better to remember the way :)

But the team is complete only with your direct interlocutors. The people with whom you will be in contact during the organization of your stay. They make sure to offer a program tailored to your desires, your physical condition and your expectations. It is therefore essential that they know the level of difficulty of each trail. Our team of adventure experts, are involved in all the explorations since their arrival at ORLA. They can thus advise you in the best way possible while creating your tour.

As you can see, scouting around is essential to offer you unique hikes. This guarantees you an off-the-beaten track experience close to local communities. So, what are you waiting for to contact us ? Vasanath, Charly & Phasouk our experts trek, will create for you a tailor-made program. Adapted to your physical condition, your expectations, and your desires, be ready for an extraordinary adventure !

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