10 Tips for an Enjoyable Trekking Experience

One of the most enjoyed leisure and adventure activities across the world, trekking is much more than just walking around in the wilderness. It is about giving yourself up to nature. There are very few experiences that can beat walking amidst the serenity of the Himalayan foothills or testing yourself on the Appalachian trail. Trekking changes the way we look at life. If you plan on going on your first trek, then the following 10 tips will help you in preparing for a safe and successful trekking experience.

  

#1: Navigation

You might have the latest smart phone with a slick compass and a map that talks to you. Please, DO NOT rely on it. The battery will die, the screen will break, and there will almost always be no reception. Skip the technology this time. Go old school. Buy a standard compass, a detailed map and be an awesome navigator.
 

Image Source - http://www.flickr.com/photos/sue90ca/4806504208/sizes/l/

#2: Planning

Planning is an important aspect of trekking. For beginners and the experienced alike. Advance planning and preparation will help you in enjoying the trek. Check the weather forecast and the topography details for the region. Beginners should try going for day-long treks in groups to gain experience before embarking on solo, multi-day treks.
 
Image Source -http://www.flickr.com/photos/lartemisia/6426420537/sizes/l/

#3: Safety

All of us love that feeling of adventure; that high of walking in the middle of nowhere beneath the stars. Well...until you are stranded in a creek with your arm stuck beneath a boulder (read - James Franco, 127 Hours). Safety is paramount. Take proper safety precautions before and during the trek. Carry basic medication and a small first-aid kit. Inform someone where you are going. Wear bright, easily visible clothing and obey the safety regulations in the region.
 

 Image Source - http://enchantedmountains.com/files/trails/pat-mcgee-trail/IMG_0398_Be_Safe_Sign.JPG

 

#4: Gear

Carrying the right gear can make an immense difference to your trekking experience. Invest in good quality, lightweight gear. Carrying too much weight around will tire you and slow you down. A good pocket knife, light and compact tent, flashlight  and sturdy shoes are essentials for trekking.

 
 Image Source - http://www.flickr.com/photos/34249366@N03/7618411546/sizes/m/

#5: Food & Water

Keep your food supplies restricted to high-energy bars and dry, canned food that can be prepared with water. Ration carefully and pack at-least 20% extra than what you think you might consume.
 Carry a substantial amount of water. Buy a sturdy water-bottle or a camelback (if you are going for longer treks). Also, carry some sort of water purification mechanism like chlorine tablets and UV Pen.
 

Image Source - http://www.chrisandchrisbreakfree.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/PuertoNatales-TrekkingFood.jpg

 

#6: Wild Animals

While trekking in the wild you will encounter animals and reptiles. You will feel like whipping out your phone and Instagramming a couple of pictures. DON’T. Respect the wildlings and their space. For your safety and theirs. You might be top of the food chain, but this is their territory and in all probability they don’t fancy you that much.
 
 Image Source -  http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Bear-Warning-Sign.jpg 

#7: Clean Up

Do not leave any trash along the trail or at the camping ground. Dispose everything off at the designated dumping site. It is your responsibility to keep the trail clean for the benefit of the locals and fellow hikers.
 
Image Source - http://www.reputationmatters.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/20120915-Camilla-Beach-clean-up-smaller1.jpg 

#8: Silence

Although it is fun to interact with your partners while trekking, sometimes silence is your perfect companion. Stop talking and just take in the surroundings. Find a nice spot and stop for a bit. Do nothing. Just be and let everything around you seep in. Personally, for me the trail is one of the best places to retrospect. Try it out. You will get hooked.
 
Image Source - http://sonalbatavia.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/trekking-in-my-twenties.jpg 

#9: Motivation

There will be times when it will seem a little too hard. You might feel like turning around and heading all the way back. At these times, just try to remember the reasons that brought you here. The road challenges all of us and that is why we keep on coming back. Remember the dread of confined spaces and then look around you. Where would you rather be?
 
Image Source - http://rockmyrun.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/depositphotos_2329232_original.jpg

#10: Do It!

Enough pointers. The plans have been made. You are ready. Now, choose a trail, pack those bags and hit the road. Have fun!

  
Image Source - http://www.rmiguides.com/international/_images/machu_itinerary/mp-itin-5-lg.jpg

Author: 'Mayank Srivastava'

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