Preparing for Your Multi-Sport Trip
You don’t need to be a super athlete to enjoy a multi sports trip, but you will benefit if you have prior conditioning and experience. Practice for whitewater rafting or rock climbing might not be possible, but you can prepare for activities like biking and hiking. You should engage in some aerobic activity at least three times a week. Increase the distance and difficulty of this activity so you can comfortably walk or bike the distance that is typical of a day on your trip. You should also be comfortable doing back-to-back days of exercise as most tours run for consecutive days.
On tour you could be on your bike every day. If you aren’t prepared it will be more than your bottom that is sore. You should ride at least several hours per week during the month preceding the tour.
During the month preceding the tour you should hike, jog or run at least several hours per week. Walk/run in the shoes and socks you plan to take on the trip to prevent blisters and sore feet.
If all the activities on your tour aren’t available for practice the best fallbacks for preparation are biking and walking. Check your trip itinerary to see what is required each day and fill in the time duration with a range of activities.
High Elevation Preparation
Some tours will take place at high elevations. Most people acclimatize easily but being fit and well hydrated before you start does help. Most tour operators give you an easy first day to help you acclimatize and guides are well trained to recognize and manage altitude problems such as headache, loss of appetite and sleeplessness.
Tour operators will provide you with a detailed list of gear and clothing to take. It goes without saying that luggage space and weight should be limited. Take one larger pack to store in the back up vehicle and a smaller daypack to take with you each day.
Check your trip itinerary for the weather you might expect. Remember that high elevations can be cold regardless of the time of year. Actually weather predictions are unreliable so you should bring gear for wet and cold weather under all circumstances. Layering always works well and a warm hat is important year-round. Similarly desert conditions might not be as hot and dry as you think and can be wet, windy and cool.
Check your itinerary for the kinds of clothing you will need. Generally fast-drying, durable and comfortable clothing is best. Take rain gear, warm jackets, hats for sun protection and cold weather, long and short pants, long and short sleeve shirts, additional clothing for non-sports activities and an extra pair of shoes if your hiking/riding shoes get wet. If there are opportunities for swimming don’t forget your swimsuit.
You should always pack your own first aid kit with basics like bandages, aspirin and personal medicine. Make sure you have insect repellant and light pain relievers that can help with headaches from high altitude.
If the tour operators do not provide this you will need a sleeping bag, small pillow, ground pad, tent and fly and possibly cooking equipment, food and cutlery.
Tour operators may rent you equipment if you don’t have it yourself. If you need additional items go to a bicycle shop or sporting goods store. For biking you will need a bike helmet, gloves, padded bike pants, water bottle and short and long sleeved bike jerseys or jackets. For hiking consider trekking poles, hiking shoes, extra socks and a camelback or water bottle.