Hiking has become a very popular activity among people. They decide to go for a walk without thinking about the difficulties they may face on a walk. Generally, new hikers find it difficult to complete the trails. Some even return with injuries and bad memories. This happens due to lack of fitness and physical capacity.
With all the experience I have accumulated while trekking, here are some useful tips for hikers.
The first rule of thumb is to walk at your own pace. This will give you plenty of time to adapt to the changing weather conditions as you climb the mountains and will also maintain good endurance to the finish. Going at your own pace will keep you away from unnecessary straining, general slowdown, illness, and of course, accidents. So don’t rush.
Always keep drinking water or energy drink consistently throughout the hike. It is important to drink water or energy drink constantly and regularly when hiking in the mountains to avoid dehydration. Take a few sips of water or energy drink after every fifteen to twenty minutes, even if you are not thirsty. Drinking a lot of water at a time can also be harmful, as it can create stomach pain and also make you uncomfortable. Eating fruit or light snacks on the go will also keep you energetic and fresh. Whatever the season, monsoon, summer or winter, adequate food and water intake along the way can help you complete your hike successfully.
The third but very important aspect is to keep your body warm. Don’t rest too long on your way. You won’t be able to keep up with your pace and stamina if you get too much rest. To complete a hike with ease, you must keep walking steadily and slowly. Resting for 5-10 minutes and then walking on your ground again is perfectly fine. But you can’t stop from time to time. This is important because when you are on a high altitude hike, weather conditions change rapidly, which can get you bogged down. If you rest too much, your body will get cold. Your body will have to go the extra mile to warm up over and over again, which will exhaust you. The next rule is primarily for those who want to complete the walk by pushing themselves too hard. When you are in the mountains you also have to enjoy the scenic beauty that surrounds you. The mountains are beautiful and so are the surroundings. So when your body starts to get dehydrated and you feel too exhausted, don’t keep going. This shows that you are in no condition to move on. You can rest that day and then start over the next day. You cannot risk your health just to show that you can complete the hike in a certain amount of time. You can face acute mountain sickness if you walk beyond your physical ability.
When you walk, you obviously carry your own things in your backpack. Everyone has to carry their own luggage when climbing the mountains. But if you are not in shape to carry weight, you should practice it before the hike begins. It takes two three months of practice to be physically fit to carry luggage on your own. In case of high altitude walks, this practice is essential.
The next important thing is to pack to the destination. Whenever you are on the road, you should carry all your essentials with you. Things like food, snacks, water bottles, energy drinks if needed, medicine, an extra pair of clothes (depending on the number of days), shoes, socks, hat, sunglasses, sandals, flashlight, mat or bag for sleep, poles, camera, binoculars and much more as instructed by your mentor.
Once you’ve decided on a hike, start doing it. Practicing means that you should start walking daily for at least 3 to 4 kilometers. You can also go to the gym to strengthen the muscles in your body, especially your legs. Otherwise, yoga is also a good option for flexibility and strength. Walking is a very important part of practice. Along with that, you can go for the gym or yoga depending on your choice. Practice walking in the clothes, shoes, and socks that you will be wearing on the day of the walk. Also try to walk with the backpack in which you are going to carry all the trekking equipment. This would help you on the day of the walk to carry the load without any difficulty.