Much to some people’s fancy, trekking is fun, it’s great exercise and it makes the perfect holiday – much better than sitting around doing nothing every day.
Before you head out into the world and set about your trekking fantasy, here are a few things you need to bare in mind first:
Be Fit And Healthy First
It’s pretty obvious, but if you’re walking all day and night, you have to be fit and healthy enough to manage the stress it can take on your body. Now, I’m not just talking about being fit enough to run up and down the stairs a couple of times without nearly passing out, but being able to walk for 30 miles and not want to collapse at the end.
You’ll enjoy the trip so much more if you’re not gasping for breath every 30 seconds. Find a fitness partner, or if you’re going on a trekking holiday with someone, set up a fitness regime with them and get fit together. You can speed up the process by hitting the gym and running more. This will get your heart pumping and get the blood circulating around your body.
Do this regularly – 3 or 4 times a week for at least 3 months leading up to the trip, so that you’re in optimum shape. Don’t push yourself too far though or you’ll be burnt out before you’ve even hit the road.
It’s important that you’re eating enough fruit and vegetables so you can be the healthiest version of you possible. We’re all guilty of picking up a chocolate bar than an apple (it’s easier and a LOT tastier), but this will impact your fitness levels when you start trekking. When you’re on the holiday remember to keep up your new healthy eating, because if you’re eating sugary snacks you’ll face low blood sugar levels and find that half way through the walk you’ve suddenly lost lots of energy.
Eat things like bananas, peanuts and high-protein food to stabalise your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling energised throughout the whole trip. Sweets and sugary snacks (fizzy drinks, chocolates and fatty foods) will make you feel run down and you won’t be able to perform as well as you want.
Have A Strong Support Network
Only do this adventure with people you’re comfortable around and have fun with. Not only for enjoyment reasons, but if you’re not feeling well, it’s important that you feel confident enough with someone to tell them, so you’re not trying to hide the fact that you are really poorly.
With that being said, make sure a few of you (if not all) know first aid. In the unlikely event that something terrible happens, you’ll be in the middle of nowhere pretty much and calling for help won’t be as easy as dialing 999 when you’re at home. Having at least one or two people in the group who are medically updated can save someone’s life.
Be Prepared For The Weather
…But not too prepared. You don’t want to be wearing a thick coat, gloves and big scarf all day because you need to allow your body to breathe the sweat out. Research what the weather is expected to be like and prepare your clothing and shoes for all weather types. It is rains, you don’t want to be carrying around a big umbrella, because that will restrict your view, but a coat with a hood (or waterproof coat) will suffice.
Wear comfy socks and shoes. It’s worth forking out the extra money to be comfortable whilst walking. Get proper walking shoes, because the minute you get blisters, the fun stops. If you are buying new shoes to walk in, wear them regularly before, so you can get used to them and wear them in a little. The last thing you want is to realise that they’re too tight once you’re away from home.
Take Enough Supplies Of Everything
Unfortunately there won’t be easy access to toilets, so yes… that means going behind a tree sometimes. And if you’re keeping yourself hydrated (by drinking plenty of water!) you need to be prepared with toilet rolls.
Don’t take so much that you weigh your bag down, because when you’re out and about you don’t need the extra weight on your back pulling you down. Keep the inessentials back at the holiday home, and only take food, drink and a first aid kit with you. Your health comes first so you should always be stocked up on medical equipment.
Be prepared for pricey cafes, so take plenty of cash with you in the event that you want to stop off and get some food and a drink from somewhere.