Trekking For Beginners - All You Need To Know6 minute
Trekking is the new craze among millennials. If you have ever been on a walk in the morning, you see how refreshing it is for the rest of the day. Now imagine you are walking in the exotic Himalayan mountain or mystic rain forests of Kerala, or the sensual beauty of the seven sisters in the northeast. Now you can feel how much energy boost you will get and an excellent chance to connect with nature as well as you.
So trekking is basically to go on an adventurous journey typically on foot. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Sometimes it is essential to get away from our hectic life, to discover a new dimension of nature. It works like magic for most of us, and it recharges and prepares you to come back to your busy lifestyle again and fight it with a whole new level of energy.
So, if you have you been planning to go on an adventure to hike to trek, Then you have come to the right place, and I am here to guide you through it and prepare you mentally for this incredible journey which you will encounter.
But first, let’s discuss the basics of trekking. You should at least know what you are getting into. So that you can choose what to try for a beginner, let me tell you what are the types of trekking so you can evaluate how much preparation you will need.
Types of trekking
Trekking is a very generic word for the type of trekking. There are three types of a trek, i.e. easy, moderate and hard one.
Easy trek- Generally an easy trek involves about a couple of days and with easy terrain. It mostly includes a stretch of 5 to 6 kilometers a day. A good example will be Ooty Katagiri, which can stretch over a weekend.
Moderate Trek- This type of trek needs a certain level of stamina as it includes some days walking in more tough terrain. You might get steep ascend as well as descend. It brings more challenges for the trekker. An excellent example for such trek is the Hampta Pass trek in the Pir Panjal range.
Hard Trek- Such treks mostly stretch for a week, and it is the most difficult one as this type of trek requires physical stamina as well as mental stamina. It involves deep valleys and high altitude (15000 feet and above). The trek to Everest Base Camp which reaches up to a height of more than 17, 500 feet is one such trek.
Preparing yourself for trekking
There most important thing which you need to prepare before going on a trek is building stamina. To prepare yourself for trekking, start walking one month before going on a trek. It will strengthen your leg muscles so you will not get cramps often. If you are a smoker, then it is time to quit smoking right away as it will be a huge help. Because when you go on a high altitude, then your lungs need to be at its prime to inhale proper oxygen. Because if you do not do so, then you will suffer from loss of breath and it will be difficult to keep up with the group, and you will become a burden on the group. I am telling this to you from my own experience, so time to say bye-bye to smoking.
These are a few things you can include in your daily life to prepare yourself.
- Walk 4 to 5 kilometers a day. And some cardio as well.
- If you go to the gym, then include some shoulder and back exercises to make them strong as you will be carrying a backpack.
- You can try skipping to train your leg as it helped me personally.
- Try breathing exercise- inhale and exhale. Minimum 10 minutes a day, it will prepare your lungs.
Things to carry while going on a trek
This is a tricky part because most people get confused about what should they carry on a trek because it is not like a typical vacation which you plan. Because you might have to carry some of the things while you are trekking(depending on your trek). So don’t worry, I am here to help you with the list of things you should carry with you.
- Good rucksack with back support.
- Tent and sleeping bags (depending on the temperature range of the place).
- Layered clothes as in the mountains temperature flux are unpredictable. So pack light as well as a heavy jacket and a raincoat. Because in mountains rainfall is a usual occurrence.
- Shoes- Invest in good trekking shoes because it will protect your foot in the harsh terrain. You wouldn’t want to have cuts or rashes on foot as it will be difficult for you to walk.
- Full track pants to protect from unnecessary scratches and insect bites.
- Water bottles- 2 liters bottle will be fine as you will need to keep hydrating yourself.
- Flashlight with extra pair of batteries.
- Camera or cell phone to capture your beautiful moments.
- You can carry a Swiss knife as it will be helpful in tricky situations.
- Sun-glass and sunscreen and a hat.
- Sanitizer, tissue paper and wet wipes ( or you will have to use tree leaves which I will strongly advise not to use from my personal experience.)especially because you need to save drinking water because you will not get a toilet up there.
- Medicines- if you have any essential medication, carry it with you. You can also keep paracetamol and cetirizine for cold or flu.
- First aid kit- If you are with a group, then they will have a first aid kit, or you can also carry some bandage and cotton. Also, bring moov or volini spray in case you will hurt yourself accidentally.
- Food- chocolate and energy bars you can carry for quick energy. You can also carry dry fruits, glucon-d and biscuits.
Some basic hacks to keep in mind
While you are on the trail, these hacks can help you manage yourself well as it has helped me so far-
- Always pack light- Always pack light as you will be carrying these things with you so organise yourself well and take only essential things. Just pack a couple of pairs of clothes and quick to dry clothes will be better.
- Distribute the loads among your fellow trekkers.
- Carry a length of sturdy rope and swiss knife as it will help you in a tricky situation.
- Carry a stick as it will help you walking and will keep you balanced.
- Always drink water in small quantities always try to keep your mouth wet. Or you might start developing shortness of breath and chest pain.
- You can also pack some packed games or a football or volleyball to enjoy your camping site.
- Do not litter- always carry plastic or carry bag with you and keep your garbage in it because the ecosystem up there is very delicate, and it is our responsibility to keep it clean. Because we will be responsible if the next generation will not be able to see the beauty we are experiencing.
- And some extra cash as it will help you in need.
- Always ask questions to your local guide feel. Proceed ahead only if you are satisfied and clear. It will help you understand the demography and culture in that area. Always keep an open mind, never judge.
- Always avoid any clashes with the locals as you will have a disadvantage in their area. My experience says people are friendly but keep in mind if something happens.
So keep these things in mind, and I believe that you will come back with a rich and loads of lifetime of memories. As a beginner, choose an easy trek to start. Ask many questions to your guide. My last advice will that do not think of it as a race grasp the nature and enjoy it. Sometimes just sit and stare at those valleys. Take it slow and steady, and nature will embrace you with open arms and will take you in a trance. Happy trekking.