Camping gear, trekking shoes and backpacks are not common sights in the heart of a crowded, metropolitan city. But such accessories merged seamlessly with a group of mountaineering enthusiasts, who got together to celebrate the second anniversary of the Chennai Trekking Club (CTC) here on Saturday.

‘Trek polamaa!' featured a variety of workshops and demonstrations ranging from the use of GPS navigation equipment to survival and first aid tools.

“I have been trekking since I was 20,” said 53-year-old Nagendra Rao. “Mountains are there, so I climb them and I'll keep doing it as long as I can. There's no end to it.”

He added that trekking was an easy way to make new friends as a whole bunch of nature lovers with a similar bent of mind remained cut-off from the rest of the world during treks.

CTC is a volunteer driven organisation and its objective is to provide a break for its members from their daily routine, every weekend and explore the wilderness. That would include trekking through tropical jungles, conquering hills, breathing fresh mountain air and navigating through mountainous terrain with map and compass.

“Exposing people to unspoilt natural locations is the easiest way to spread environmental awareness,” said Peter Van Geit, founder, CTC. “In a sense, each trek is an environmental drive.”

The ‘Trek polamaa!' event also featured a photo exhibition displaying rare photographs taken during the treks. It was inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment D. Napoleon and Mayor M.Subramanian.