“What one leads on-sight, in good, strong style, safely, is what one’s ability is – Pat Ament
Trekking is becoming an increasingly popular activity among youngsters. Are you considering going on a trek but are not sure whether you are prepared for it mentally and physically? Here is what you need to know before you choose to trek.
Treks can vary enormously in terms of distance, altitude, conditions and difficulty of trails. There are a few steps you could take beforehand to make sure you are ready for the upcoming adventure.
Treks can be divided into classes which range to easy, moderate and difficult. Each one of them requires a specific level of skill set and if you are not prepared for the challenges your first trek might be daunting.
Here are our preparatory tips for your upcoming trek:
This tip seems like an obvious one, but it is quite surprising that many people don’t do it. The best way to prepare for trekking is to start training yourself to walk regularly for long distances.
Before going on a trek make sure you are physically fit — walking regularly adjusts your body for strenuous activities so that you don’t feel any physical strain on a trek. It builds your stamina for a long trek.
Use Stairs More Often
Regular climbing of stairs strengthens the same muscles as lunges do. It is a vigorous exercise and burns more calories than jogging1.
In addition to training leg muscles, it also increases the level of cardiovascular output. While climbing stairs you work against the force of gravity which helps to build strength and power. The combination of strength and cardiovascular energy is needed especially when you are targeting a longer trek.
Make Sure You are Walking Properly
Though you walk every day, like have been doing it for so many years, chances are you could be doing it wrong. Monitor the way you walk. While walking, make sure that you hit the ground first with your heal then roll onto your toe. This will prevent any kind of injury during the trek and you will save a lot of energy. Walk with your head up, eyes forward and back straight.
Train Yourself with a Backpack
Picking a right backpack is an important part of planning a trek. The size, material, space and weight everything must be considered when buying a backpack. Water resistant backpacks keep the contents dry — they must have lockable zippers and shoulder padding to make them easy to carry.
At times, instead of a rucksack, you may even carry a small backpack packed with essentials like camera, food, sunscreen and water bottle.
Before going on a trek make sure that you become used to carrying a filled bag. Training with a backpack will eventually make your body accustomed to carrying it, you won’t feel it like a load.
Invest in a Good Pair of Shoes
The most crucial part of the trek is walking for a very long time. It won’t be too long before rashes slow you down if you don’t invest in a good pair of shoes. Purchase water-resistant boots — make sure they are comfortable.
Train with your shoes on so that you get comfortable with them. Buy good pairs of hiking socks which will soak moisture and will keep your feet warm and dry. There are different trekking socks used in Winter and in Summer, so buy socks keeping the season in mind.
Start with Aerobic Training
If you are going for a difficult trek you will need to work on your aerobic fitness. As you gain higher altitude the air density will decrease. To cope up with it work on your breathing capabilities beforehand. It will help you breathe properly and you won’t feel any kind of strain on your lungs or on your mind at higher altitudes.
And finally, ‘Go ahead and do it’. Prepare yourself and finally, trust your abilities. If trekking is one of your dreams, go and make the most out of it.