Things to Consider About Hiking / Trekking Travel
In the mountains the weather can change from sun to clouds, wind, rain, or snow in a matter of minutes. Even during the summer in many places the weather can be absolutely unpredictable. You need to prepare for any possible weather condition on a given trail, including proper clothing and equipment.
Tragedy has struck hiking and trekking trails far too often, usually due to the carelessness of the hiker. Being lost or injured in the middle of the wild has proven tragic time and time again. These seemingly simple accidents lead often result disastrously. Occasionally the weather plays a part as well. Blizzard-like conditions that appear out of nowhere catch people unprepared. There are several very easy things you can do to help save yourself in an emergency situation. Walkie-talkies and cellular and even satellite phones are a big help if you are lost or injured. You can call the police, a park ranger, or someone else to let them know where you are at or might be. Flares and smoke signals that can be seen for miles around when lit can also help alert help.
Hiking, just like walking or jogging, to get into shape is quite common. You can burn a tremendous amount of calories and add significant muscle mass by simply hiking into the mountains for a day. The steeper hills you walk, the more exercise and the bigger the burn in your calves.
The best hikers are in incredible shape, although mild trails can be walked by almost anyone. If you are not properly prepared to hike in extreme locations, you will quickly confront the effects of sore muscles, blisters, nausea, dizziness, or altitude sickness. Some may get to a point on the trail where they become too tired to go on or go back. It’s a dangerous game.
When hiking in a strange country eating strange foods and the chance to drink unfiltered water is quite common, as are certain ailments. Medicines to counter these travel illnesses are recommended such as antibiotics and diarrhea medicine. If hiking in tropical areas protection/vaccinations for malaria or yellow fever may be necessary. If biking in high altitudes some medicine may be available. Always consult with your doctor before entering a strange country.
Food and Water
Conserving and refilling your energy is one of the most important aspects of hiking and trekking. Having enough food and water to finish your trek, as heavy as it can be, is of the utmost importance. Some may know to live off the land, but most do not and there isn’t going to be a snack stand or McDonald’s in the desolate reaches of a national park. Food high in carbohydrates is recommended. Pre-packaged meals that weigh only a few ounces each before water is added can be a lifesaver. Energy bars are good too. You rarely can carry enough water for a long trek, so be sure to bring a filter or iodine tablets to purify water from rivers, streams, and melted snow.