Few things bring me as much joy as being in the outdoors and I encourage everyone I meet to get out on a trek at least once in their lives. It’s not as difficult or complicated as a first-timer might imagine. In fact, trekking is an easy activity that the whole family can enjoy. Here is a trekking guide with 10 expert tips.
It is, after all, a walk in the hills. And there are many kinds of walks: easy, enjoyable walks; demanding hikes; nature walks to observe flora or fauna; walks to reach a peak or fort; walks for a photo-op, a fishing trip, or camping experience. Everyone can choose a walk that suits them best. Your reason for going determines your destination, and how you prepare yourself to reach it.
1. Do exercise you enjoy
The more you enjoy something, the more motivated you will be to do it! If you really love swimming, rock climbing, zumba or yoga for example, then add it to your exercise plan. If you’re having fun, you won’t even notice your training!
2. Choose The Correct Footwear For Your Trek
Good quality and appropriate footwear for your trek and your walking training is essential. A supportive hiking shoe with ankle protection is important but beware of ankle cuffs that are too high as they can irritate the achilles tendon at the base of your calf. Look for an ankle cuff that is scooped away at the back. Make sure that your trekking boots are thoroughly broken in and your feet have bedded in — the time for blisters is now, not during your trek. When purchasing your boots, try to shop in the afternoon when your feet have expanded slightly so that you get the correct size.
3. Build Your Walking Training
Walking training will be the foundation of your training program and it is important to build steadily towards the sorts of distances that you will be doing on your trek. Initially, intersperse training days with rest days but as your fitness improves, look to include some ‘back-to-back’ training days, which will more closely replicate your actual trek.
4. Practice Using Your Backpack
It’s likely that you’ll be carrying items such as food, drink, spare clothing and possibly more, so your choice of backpack is important. Look for models with adjustable chest and waist straps so that you can position it correctly on your back and also with external compression straps so that the load doesn’t shift. More specialist types have removable bladders for liquid consumption on the go, but remember that water and washing facilities may be limited, so sterilisation may be difficult. Practice using your backpack (loaded) as part of your training so that you are used to the weight and position.
5. Use Walking Poles
Walking poles make a big difference to your trek. Lightweight and telescopic, they ease the load on knees and thighs on descents and give you ‘two extra legs’ on steep climbs. They can also be used to help clear vegetation and have numerous uses in a campsite. Definitely one to try.
6. Hydrate Yourself Frequently When Walking
Whether you are in a hot climate or not, your fluid requirements will increase significantly when trekking. Losses on the breath and from sweating will serve to reduce your blood volume, resulting in your heart having to work much harder. By the time you feel thirsty you will already be dehydrated so try and drink small, frequent quantities of water throughout the day. Carry out the urine test to monitor your hydration: a pale straw color indicates that you are well hydrated, anything darker means that you need to drink more.
7. Fuel your body well
Your energy requirements will increase while trekking so it’s important to fuel your body well. Try to eat small, frequent meals whist trek training to maintain your energy levels. If you are going for a long training walk, it’s essential to eat a well rounded healthy breakfast and to drink plenty of water. The guides will provide you with trail mix or other snacks, so you won’t need to worry about bringing these on your trip.
8. Consistency and persistence is key
Aim to keep up a consistent amount of exercise each week, especially during the weeks leading up to your trek. It’s a good idea to schedule exercise sessions at the same time every week and to fit them into your daily schedule. If you struggle to find the time to exercise, try incorporating it into your everyday routine – like walking to work or running in your lunch break.
9. Understand your trip grade
It’s important to understand your trip grading, which is listed in your trip notes, so that you know what type of trekking you’ll face on your trip. The majority of our charity challenges are rated from introductory (grade 3) to moderate (grade 5), with some challenging treks (grade 6). Understanding your trip itinerary will help shape your training sessions and give you guidelines on how much training you should do each week leading up to your trip.
10. Mix up the terrain and weather condition
It’s important you read through your trips notes to get an idea of the type of terrain you’ll be walking on during your trek. Try to do some walking that mimics the conditions you will experience on your trek as closely as you can. Also don’t forget that hills are your friend! The more you practice on hills, the more prepared you’ll be for your trek, especially if you’re trekking in the mountains. The same goes for stairs. Find some stairs at your local park and do a couple of sets each week.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Carry While Trekking
Q. Which are the best beginner & family treks in India?
A. Some of the best treks in India for beginners and families are Chopta Chandrashila, Auli Gorson Bugyai, Valley of flowers trek and Kuari pass trek.
Q. Which are the most difficult treks in India?
A. The most difficult treks in India to experience are Bali Pass, Kedartal, Pangarchulla, Buran Ghati, Rupin Pass and Roopkund.
Q. Which are some of the best winter treks in India?
A. Some of the best winter treks to experience in India are Auli Gorson Bugyal, Pangarchulla, Chopta Chandrashila and Dodital.
Q. Which are the best high altitude lake treks in India?
A. Some of the popular treks in India which are known for their high altitude are Roopkund lake, Green lake, Tso Moriri and Kedar Tal.
Q. Which are the most difficult treks in India?
A. Some of the most difficult treks to experience in India are Bali Pass, Kedartal, Buran Ghati, Roopkund and Rupin Pass.
Q. What to carry for winter trek?
A. Some of the things that you must carry when trekking in the winter season are: 1. Waterproof boots 2. Muffler 3. Woollen cap 4. Gloves (one extra pair) 5. Ear muffs
Q. Which is the best trek for beginners ?
A. If you are a beginner in treks, then Kuari Pass trek would be the right step to start with. On the route, you will find numerous beautiful forests which are really old with blooming rhododendron and oak trees. There is an interlude of meadows which gives the forest entry so beautiful every time.