As we search for new ways to travel and explore, we step outside the airport to explore things like “trekking”. Trekking is a popular form of adventure travel that involves hiking over long distances. Well-known examples include The Inca Trail, Everest Base Camp, Mt Kilimanjaro trek and The Appalachian Trail.
Going on a trek commonly involves a lot of preparation. On top of doing training, it’s often important to have the right kit. If you’ve got a trek planned or are thinking of planning a long hiking vacation, these are some of the key items that you’ll need.
The right hiking backpack
Having the right backpack is key. If you’re travelling over multiple days and camping along the way, you’ll need something large and heavy duty. The ideal backpack should be light while still having a large capacity. It should also be waterproof to keep your belongings dry in case of rain.
Not Your Street Clothes!
Clothing needs to be light and breathable. Depending on where you’re hiking, the right type of clothing can differ. In cold and wet climates, you’ll want a fleece shirt, hiking pants, a hat, gloves and possibly some waterproof layers that you can add on top. If you’re hiking in the heat, you may only need shorts and a t-shirt, as well as shades and a hat to protect from the sun. Socks made of a material such as merino wool could be useful for soaking up sweat and preventing blisters.
Boots, cuz your Chucks won’t cut-it!
A pair of purpose-built hiking boots are a must – such boots will help to support your ankles and give you grip. It’s worth investing in a decent pair if you’re going on a long trek. Hiking sandals do exist for trekking in hot climates.
You’ll want to eat
Make sure that you’ve packed enough food. On top of general food to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it can be worth packing lots of energy-boosting snacks. Dried fruits, nuts and granola bars are all healthy energy-boosters to rely on.
It’s also important that you stay hydrated on your trek. Bring at least a few bottles of water with you. It’s worth looking into the best hydration packs – these will allow you to drink as you walk without having to take your bottle out of your bag. On many well-trodden trails, there are likely to be places where you can get water on the way – take advantage of this so that you’re not having to carry huge amounts of water (which is likely to be very heavy).
If you’re going on a trek with a guide, navigation may not be too essential. However, if you’re making your own journey, you’ll need tools to help you navigate. Don’t rely on GPS – you may not be able to get internet signal on many remote trails, so physical maps and compasses are always useful.
A first-aid kit
If you or someone you’re hiking with gets injured, you’ll need to have medical supplies handy. Make sure to pack a basic first aid kit containing plasters, bandages, gauze pads, antiseptic ointment and painkillers. You may be able to buy small packs with all these items already in.
If you’re looking into trekking for the first time, these are good items to start with. Just be sure to consult with friends or family that might have familiarity of the trails you hope to explore. Someone who’s got a handle on your personal preferences could help customize your experience even better. If you’ve got some experience, let us know in the comments what tips you have for a first-time trekker!
Building on the opportunities he’s had traveling with and contributing to the blogs of travelling foodie Mark Weins (Migrationology, Eating Thai Food), Joel Bruner is charting his own YouTube course. […]