Hiking trips, walking tours or even extended treks can all make for some very enjoyable vacations. It also gives you the chance to fully immerse yourself in a different culture or location.  From planning your trip to awaiting the physical challenge, there are a few things that you can do to make sure that you are prepared for what lies ahead.

Define your Style

Does hiking in the Rockies sound exciting? Do you want to camp out under the stars, or would you rather book a luxurious lodge? Either way, it’s super important that you do everything you can to think about the type of experience you want so you can plan accordingly. Some people prefer to walk from one town to the next, but others prefer to stay in one town the whole time. Planning out things like this is also important, so you can explore the right forms of transportation without having to worry about a thing.

Choose your Trip

Now that you have dialled in on the type of hike you want to go on, you then need to find your trip. A lot of companies offer hiking trips to all kinds of destinations. If you want to help yourself here, then you need to try and think about the type of trip you are interested in. If you were to go on a European hiking trip then you may want to have a good level of fitness when you go, because most of the time there is no escape route if you begin to tire. It’s also important that you acknowledge the expectations you have before you set out on your trip. If you want to go hiking then it may be cold, so make sure that you take plenty of gear with you. It’s also helpful to take some sunglasses with you, in case the sun gets in your eyes when you are making your way up rocky terrain. This place has plenty of options available if you want to try and find something suitable.

Castle Mountain canadian rockies

Castle Mountain, Canadian Rockies. Photo: Geoff Pinkney

Assess your Fitness Level

You might well be able to walk a good mile or two on a pavement with some degree of comfort, but can you walk 5 miles or more on varied terrain without having to collapse for the afternoon? When you have chosen the trip you want to go on, make sure that you ask the tour company what level of fitness they want you to have so that you can join the tour. When you have done this, you can then create a plan to make sure that you are able to get physically fit in time. When assessing your fitness level, you have to be completely honest with yourself. You may think that you are in very good shape but at the end of the day, you know your limits as well as your strengths so keep that in mind.

Train

For most trips, it’s good for you to train a month or two before you are due to leave. Spending time at the gym and training your core muscles will help you out a lot. You can also use a treadmill if you want to try and boost your cardio. Supplement this training with hikes at the weekend and you will soon find that it is easier than ever for you to have the best time on your trip. If you are hiking up Everest or even to the Inca Trail, then you may want to try and start prepping months in advance if you can. The more you can develop a fitness plan, the better as this will help you to enjoy the whole experience much more.

Get Used to Gear

It’s vital that you get used to wearing a loaded backpack when you are out walking. At the end of the day, the size and the weight of your backpack will depend on the type of trip you plan on taking. Ask your tour operator to see if they can give you some input. If you carry a backpack then this can make all the difference in how fast you move and even how you feel when you are hiking too.

Well-Fitting Boots

Bring hiking boots with you if you can. Make sure that they fit you properly and that they are broken in as well. It can be tempting to save your hiking boots until the holiday because you may want to keep them nice and tidy, but at the end of the day, you need to try and make sure that you have broken them in and that they do not rub. If you don’t then you may find that you end up with a worse experience overall. Some good hiking socks will help you to keep your feet cosy too. If you want to help yourself, then make sure that you look out for socks which are made from merino wool. They can control moisture and they also allow your feet to breathe as well so you won’t have to worry about anything there.

What Clothing to Pack?

Your tour operator will give you a list of clothing that you will need to take with you for the trek. The list is probably going to include some waterproof items as this will protect you from the elements and it will also help you to stay nice and comfortable on the trail. Your tour operator will probably tell you the clothing that you need to bring, and they will also tell you how to stay protected from the elements. Convertible pants that come with a zip-off bottom is a high priority as they can stop you from having to take extra clothing. It also means that you can stay nice and cool when the sun comes out during your hike.

If you want some more help then make sure that you look up the temperature conditions for your hike, so you can see how hot or cold it is going to be at the top of the mountain, or hike.

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