When you’re walking or running on a treadmill, there’s nothing that waits for you at the end of the 5 mile mark. You step off it and that is the end of it. But when you are treading on a wild trail, you know that something really beautiful is waiting for you at the end of the journey.
If you’re ready to try your hand and feet at trekking following are certain things that you should keep in mind:
Before we sign up for a trail, it is natural for us to look up images of it on the internet. Now trekking can be quite a demanding exercise. Need a simple tip to take your mind away from the lactic acid built up in your muscles? Imagine the landscape that you will witness at the end of the trek.
The thought of it being right in front of your eyes and not on some digital screen should motivate you to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Imagining the destination makes us push ourselves and lifts off the tiredness that we experience along the way replacing it with a childlike excitement.
Select your Route Wisely
Do you have it in you to do what it takes to reach the end of the trail? This is a question that you must ask yourself before committing your feet to a trek. Just like any other physical activity, you should thoroughly evaluate your own limits before you go on a trekking expedition.
Wrong decisions in the gym can lead to muscle tear at the most but they can hardly ever be fatal. But there are trails out there in which life can be lost in the blink of an eye. The difficulty of a trail depends on what obstacles you may encounter on your way.
There are treks in which you may have to walk along narrow ridges where there is a steep valley on one side and nothing to hold grip of on the other. Some trails have water streams that you need to cross with the help of ropes, while some require you to climb up rock patches or come rappelling down.
Becoming Fit for a Trek
There are three factors that you must take into consideration before signing up for a trek and these include the length of the trek, the type of terrain and the elevation gain. It is advisable to begin with treks that give you enough time to get into the groove and build your strength slowly.
If you’re having fun and do not have to struggle much along the way then it is a sign that you have chosen the right trek. But if you’re regretting it like it’s the biggest mistake of your life, you need to make better choices.
A good way to build your resistance is to do a lot of cardio, whether it is running, biking or swimming. You can even load a bag pack on your shoulders and attempt to climb inclines and steep descents. Once you feel you’re confident enough to walk for long hours you should attempt a small trek with a group.
Invest in Good Equipment
Fitness is one requirement of trekking. The other important requirement is selecting the right equipment. There are several things that you must have with you when you are embarking on a trail.
On the top of this list is footwear and you must select one which is perfectly suitable for the terrain. If the terrain experiences a lot of rainfall you must have shoes that give you the right kind of grip. It is possible that such terrain may have rocks laden with moss making them very slippery.
If you are serious about trekking good footwear is a must have accessory. The footwear should fit you comfortably and shouldn’t make you feel uneasy even if you have worn it for a long time.
Footwear which is poor in quality can cause blisters or hurt your feet. Shoes that are especially made for trekking purposes can endure many terrains. The ones that go up to your ankles are the right choice as they offer maximum support.
Besides footwear the other important accessory is your back pack. It must be light in weight and should be able to store everything without it bulging too much on any side as it can affect your balance. The bag should have straps in the right places so that it gives you proper support and doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable.
Most trekkers that camp overnight, especially those who do it on their stag do night, tend to make a common mistake. They carry too much weight with them. They carry things which they might enjoy upon reaching the summit but give little thought to how the added weight will make them feel along the duration of the trek. It may not be worth the effort.
Also, you shouldn’t carry all the weight by yourself but distribute it equally amongst your friends. You should also give some thought to how you will distribute weight around in the bag so that it doesn’t hurt your back.
No matter what you discover at the end of your journey, whether it is a waterfall hiding like a rare gem in a treasure of green, the summit of a mountain or a hill from where city lights look like fireflies glued to the ground, trekking is an activity which teaches us to love the journey as much as the destination.