Trekking and hiking are very popular activities throughout the world and very good forms of exercise. They do, however, come with some danger, depending on the experience of the hiker and their destination, route and season.
Experienced hikers know what to do, or more importantly, what not to do and what to avoid. Beginners will most likely rush into a situation which can end in an injury or in the worst case scenario, death. In order to avoid said problems, here are some things to have in mind if you’re a beginner.
Prior Workout – Choose Your Trip Accordingly
If you’re completely inexperienced and have no prior workout, while your life is mostly sedentary, going on a trek might not be the best idea. Imagine getting tendon inflammation on your first trek. That will surely discourage you from any activities.
Going to the gym and working on your leg and hips muscles is essential prior to any trek, especially if you have been sedentary for a long time.
If you had any prior workout, then look at the route and destination and ask experienced trekkers what level of difficulty you should expect.
Choose the Right Footwear – It is Essential
Without the right footwear, your adventure and friendly walk in nature can turn into a hellish experience. You do not want to get calluses all over your feet or murder your toes when going downhill. Choose the shoe or boot which fit your foot. Do not go for expensive over comfort. The footwear must be suited to your foot, otherwise, you will pay the price, both in the store and outside.
Plan Ahead – Bring the Necessary Equipment
When going on a long or even a short trek, have some backup ready. Always bring water and some food and a pair of socks. Depending on where you are headed, extra t-shirts are also handy. If you are a beginner, walking poles can help immensely, but try not to rely on them continuously. Have a whistle ready and update your GPS and maps applications. You might even want to see whether there’s a GPS route for your track, and if not, you can record it yourself. Memorize the local mountain emergency rescue phone numbers, just in case.
Go on Treks with Experienced People
If you plan on going alone, you might want to inform people of where you are going and maybe even your exact route. GPS tracking tools can help you with this. If you don’t, you might end up like James Franco’s character Aron Ralston in 127 Days.
Always make sure to go with someone if you want to stay safe. If you’re going alone, make sure to let at least two different people know where you are headed.
If You Cannot Stay Dry, Stay Warm
Rain can ruin many trekking trips. If you are not prepared for it accordingly, you are, without a doubt, going to be soaked. Try to avoid this if you can. Look for places where you can stay dry. If you are unable to stay dry, keep moving, find a place where it is dry and keep yourself warm.
Always plan ahead when going on trekking trips, even smaller ones. In order to stay safe, prepare your body physically, prepare your gear and notify people of your route. You can be adventurous and stay relatively safe.