Weekend is approaching and you are not sure what to do with your time? Growing tired of constantly seeing the same old sights from your city and just taking a walk in the neighborhood park? Well why not explore further?
I for once have never been the “sea” kind of person and found the greatest silence and serenity that relaxes me in the mountains. However, before getting on your first trek, there are some basic “must know” facts. Let’s cover these in today’s article so you are prepared for the adventure!
- Prepare your body
The first thing you need to pay attention to before jumping into any adventurous hikes is the state of your body. I usually prefer to hit the gym and take long walks with a backpack in order to get my body familiar with what is about to come.
Even if you don’t plan some huge hike, it’s essential not to be taken by surprise by the weight of a backpack or by having to walk miles in order to reach a destination.
- Know your shoes
It is said that the boots you use while hiking are the most important element. Arguably even more important than your backpack. Don’t ever start a trail without having worn out a bit your boots before or you are in for some huge blisters and a very quick return.
- Walking poles
I had no idea what walking poles were before getting a knee injury that required me to use them. And guess what, they are not only recommended for people with weak knees but they are also a good support for any type of walk.
Usually all the weight is taken by your legs, knees especially. When using a walking pole you transmit some of that weight to your arms. Plus it’s a far better exercise than merely to hold your arms next to your body.
- Water and more water
One of the biggest mistakes that I’ve made during mountaineering was to not take enough water. We’ve checked the trail beforehand and made a mark for all of the springs that we had to encounter so we took enough water to resist until that point.
Well surprise, surprise, the spring was no longer existent so instead of having to go one hour without water we had half of a day. And staying hydrated is essential while making such huge physical efforts.
- Food is also essential
Make sure you take a big meal before hiking and that you have supplies for the road. Muesli works wonders, along with various fruits and protein bars. You need to keep your carbs and salt in check.
- Never ignore the weather
It’s extremely hard to predict the weather on a mountain. However, it’s best to be prepared for any sort of “just in case”. Never forget a raincoat, sun cream and sunglasses. One minute it might be pouring cats and dogs and next the sun will burn your skin without you even feeling it. However, try to keep your backpack as light as possible. Don’t take unnecessary stuff that will only harden your ascension.
- Respect nature
One of the saddest things I usually come across while hiking is mess. Like, a lot of mess. I never understood people who are capable of carrying with them so much food on their ascension and then being incapable of carrying back the empty bags afterwards. So respect nature, think of the way you’d like to find the trail next time around and think of your fellow mountaineers.
All in all, don’t neglect your physical shape, in case you have any special conditions, knee or heart conditions you need to keep an eye on. Invest in boots and a great backpack and you are ready to hit the road.
Oh and did I mention the most important part? Enjoy the silence and relax!