Trekking through the mountains is one of the most scenic and desirable escapes. No matter your state of fitness, there are several chalked out trails spread throughout the country for everyone to enjoy.
Scenic nature walks through the valley of flowers, walking tours amidst verdant tea plantations; hiking over a high altitude pass, trekking over boulders and frozen lakes, to extended backpacking from the city streets, to snow laden base camps – there is always something new to explore.
However given the diversity in terrain and landscapes, thinking ahead is essential.
From packing the right apparel, carrying enough water and food, to wearing terrain friendly shoes, and strapping on your smart wearables, there is a lot to prepare for.
Regardless of the destination you are visiting, here is a low down of the first set of challenges and questions any trekker has to address before setting out.
Multi-terrain trekking boots
Your footwear can impact your trek unlike anything else. Your regular semi-formal or sports shoes aren’t going to cut it in the wild.
Investing in a sturdy, rugged and long lasting piece of footwear is non-negotiable.
Pay attention to the weather; freak thunderstorms and casual drizzles are a common occurrence in the mountains. Don’t pack exclusively for dry, rocky terrain, expect regularly scheduled weather anomalies.
Once you get a pair, make sure to wear it a few times, before you zip them out for the actual trek. You do not want any blisters or shoe bites dampening your efforts and aspirations.
Strong legs, stronger core
No pair of trekking shoes will carry you across the terrain without strong legs to see them through.
At home routines can incorporate lunges, squats, calf and toe raises to strengthen your legs and glutes.
Working on your core before you set out will ensure that neither your feet, nor your rucksack will ever get too heavy.
Planks, crunches and bridges are among the best exercises to work on to build a strong core.
Wearables to the rescue
Wearable technology has become an integral part for such outdoor affairs. It has woven itself into the cultural fabric of travel and adventure.
Not only can the right smart watch assist you in tracking your progress during the actual trek, it is of foremost importance during the training period.
From keeping count on the number of calories you burn, to assessing your sleep pattern and offering dynamic heart rate monitoring, there is a lot to make use of.
Get yourself the best smart watch with a step and fitness tracker, giving you daily reports on your performance and recovery.
Make sure to choose a watch with a high IPX rating, so that all forms of moisture do not affect performance.
A pair of legs – how about 4?
Regardless of your age, carrying a walking stick to a mountain trek will make your life easier.
If you plan on going on treks that last for more than a few days, or you have to man oeuvre through treacherous steep and inclined terrain - consider getting not just one, but a pair of walking sticks.
Functioning as a pair of extra legs through a steep climb, your hamstrings will not tire easy. 2 walking sticks can further ease up pressure on your thighs and knees during descent.
They can also assist in clearing any small vegetation that may have over gown on the trekking trail.
Incorporate these walking sticks into your existing workout regime, to get familiar with their weight and design.
Backpack load management
Yes the right backpack is essential, but of even more importance is for you to practice walking with the heavy load.
Pack your trek friendly attire, extra shoes, safety kit, books, travel smart watch, medical supplies, water bottle, sunscreen, etc. – to assess the true weight that you will have to sling along.
Hit your local park, the apartment stairs or any other open field, and spend some time walking with the added weight. This will aid in strengthening both your back and legs, prepping them for the ardors grind.
Stocking up on stamina
Your cardiovascular health determines your stamina levels.
Long walks in extreme, treacherous conditions are a recipe for disaster, unless you have sound cardiovascular health.
By getting your heart rate up, via brisk walking, running, jogging or swimming you can improve your cardiovascular function, elevating your overall fitness and stamina. Incorporating short bursts of aerobics in regular intervals is also a great way to get your heart pumping.
Additionally, fitness trackers can aid you in monitoring your daily progress, giving you detailed reports on your overall workout performance.