Tips To Help Beginners Prepare for a Long Hiking Trip
There is nothing more exciting than planning for a trip. Travel is something that some people have to do to feel whole and happy in their lives, and if you can combine your travel plans with an adventure, you get the best of both worlds: fitness and fun all wrapped up together. Hiking, walking and vacations that involve sports and trekking are, however, a test of endurance. You have to be able to go the distance and if you don’t prepare properly, you’re not going to have the best time of it.
There’s preparation in what you pack to go, but there’s also preparation in your fitness levels. You don’t want to go on one of these trips only to be unable to complete the hike. You also want to feel somewhat comfortable while you walk for miles, and so it makes sense that you would want your fitness levels to be at their maximum possible. Planning for your adventure vacation takes some time, so make sure that you’re booking it in advance so that you can start as soon as possible. Below, you’ll find eight tips for getting yourself ready for a hiking adventure, and how you can ensure you have the best time.
Plan a Hiking Trip That Matches Your Style and Ability
No two hiking vacations are created equal. You may just want to do a day of walking while you’re on your vacation doing other things, or you may want to camp in the Rockies and actually go for a full week of hiking and walking from one side of them to the other. Either way, you have to choose what type of trip you want before you can get prepared for it; it’ll determine what you do with your training. You have to define for yourself what you want out of your trip before you go ahead and book it.
Assess Your Physical Fitness for Hiking
You need to work out how fit you are before you can book your trip. What terrains do you walk on during the day and how long for? This question alone can tell you whether you’ll be able to stomach the harsh terrains of the mountains and hills that you want to hike up. It’s not going to be easy, so you need to be honest with yourself.
Train For The Trip and Get Your Body Conditioned for Hiking
You could go up the Rockies and walk for hours without training, but you’re going to regret it if you do. It’s important that in the six months leading up to your trip, you spend time in the gym or on a treadmill at home training your body. Getting the right promo codes can help you to get some money off of your own gym equipment, which will help! You should also choose a hiking backpack and get it packed while you train. Learning to train with the weight of your belongings can prepare you for the slog of hiking while you’re away.
Stick To Your Plan and Don't Push Your Body Too Far
You’re hoping to hike for seven days, which means that you need to practice the mileage before you go. Build your miles into your day and make sure you’re doing more than just a treadmill walk. While you can change the incline, you can’t change the terrain and the terrain is one of the most important parts of hiking. This is the bit that will impact your hike and your climbs. While you’re practicing, add the bag to your back and the boots to your feet with thick socks. Breaking in those boots before you start walking up a mountain or across a forest is going to help you to do it without damaging your feet. You’ll also be able to work out whether you are comfortable in those boots, giving yourself time to change them if not.
Get Properly Fitted For Hiking Boots
While it’s a good idea to wear your hiking shoes before you go hiking, you should make sure that those boots have been fitted properly by a professional. All you’re going to end up doing is causing pain if you just head to the local shoe store. Think outside the box with your training shoes and save up for them; there is a chance you’ll spend way more than you expected when you’re getting custom fitted shoes. Hiking socks are an absolute must, and you need to bring more than just one pair. Not only will they keep your feet supported, you will have spares should you get your feet wet. High-tech materials for hiking socks are much better than cotton, here, because they’ll keep you drier.
Choose The Right Hiking Clothes
When you go hiking, you’re only bringing one backpack with you. This means that you need to fit everything into it without too much bother. Your clothes should match the clothing list given to you by your tour operator. You want to bring lightweight items that can fold small, including a waterproof coat and trousers if you can fit them in. Covering your clothes with lightweight waterproofs will ensure your clothing lasts longer in the rain and wind while keeping you insulated and warm.
Pick The Right Hiking Backpack
Your hiking bag choice is going to depend on your trip type. If you’re looking at a few days in the mountains, you need a proper bag that covers your back and fits enough toiletries, food and clothes for those days. If you’re just heading out for the day, you need to consider a regular backpack, as you won’t have to worry about carrying clothing changes and provisions.
Plan For Emergencies and Unexpected Events During Your Hike
First aid kits, emergency cash purse, a torch - all of these things are those that can be packed in the bottom of your bag and taken with you, and you need these. You need to bring a compass, sunscreen, energy drinks and bug repellent as well as you will need all of these while you hike.
A hiking trip just isn’t complete without a camera, too, so bring a Polaroid one - just in case your phone battery runs out. You need to prepare in advance for this trip, so be smart with your prep and you’ll have a great time!
- Written by James Hills
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