Trekking is a long journey taken on foot in areas which aren’t marked and there is no transport available. It shares a lot of similarities with mountaineering, however, trekking is usually lasting for more days, located in remote areas, accompanied by challenging environments in mountainous regions.
In most of the mountainous regions in the northern hemisphere, the best time of the year for doing different activities is approaching. It’s the time when the conditions are the friendliest; it isn’t too hot, nor too cold, in addition to better weather stability and an overall state of the environment.
However, trekking still demands plenty of preparations as well as experience. In this article, we will present the ways on how to prepare for the trip and continue with the staple equipment and your backpack content.
Am I physically prepared?
If you are interested in starting with trekking some considerations need to be taken into account before setting your foot on your first trail. In order to visit the “real” mountains, your physical condition must be perfect. Some compare trekking to “mountain” marathons as a similar workload is required in order to successfully tackle the challenge.
First and foremost it’s important to start gradually. Firstly, analyze your current physical preparation by going on a nearby hill to see how your body reacts to physical activity. If you recognize the typical signs of bad condition it is better to start working out and start measuring the progress. Getting to know your body and its limits will be very important once planning the real route of the trekking journey.
Setting realistic goals and avoiding an overestimation of your abilities, could play an important role when it comes to the safety and security of your journey. Also strengthening your muscles isn’t a bad thing to do because carrying your own backpack for a couple of hours per day isn’t an easy task. Visiting fitness or working-out wouldn’t go amiss once in the mountains.
I am physically prepared what’s next?
When your progress is showing you clear signs of good preparation, it is recommended to start planning the journey. Firstly, it is recommended to select the trekking route which is relatively near to your home. It is more of a practice for the bigger journey to become familiar with the environment and yourself.
Regardless of where you are planning it, some common properties for each journey have to be considered. Alps, American Cordilleras, Himalayas, or any other mountain ranges are all representatives of mountainous regions where the conditions are extremely tricky and require a great deal of cautiousness (see dangers of thunderstorms, other mountain dangers).
In addition, especially at high altitudes (found mostly in the Himalayas and South American Cordilleras), the amount of oxygen in the air is 40% lower at height of 4000 meters, where most of the spots for trekking are located. Therefore, it is advised to do acclimatization tests in order to prepare for such an environment.