Before you embark on a trek, there are a few things you must consider carefully. This is especially true for the occasional or first-time trekkers.
To begin with, assess your level of fitness. You need to be in good physical shape to embark on the more challenging treks. For gentler treks, a regular level of fitness is good enough.
Once you have assessed your physical fitness, you must decide how long you want to trek each day. You can trek for about 3 hours a day on a gentle terrain, opt for a more strenuous trek which covers about 5 to 6 hours of trekking in mountainous terrain or, if you are a regular trekker, there are treks that involve 6 to 8 hours of steep mountain climbs every day. Decide on a pace that suits you and one that also allows you to appreciate the surroundings.
There are short treks ranging from a few days to a few weeks to even a few even months. Accommodation on your route can be in mountain lodges, huts or in tents. Some of the trekking routes are more like walking tours and can be undertaken on your own with overnight stops in villages. Others require a little more planning and signing up with a tour operator may be a good idea. The operators ensure that you have everything you need — from the right shoes and clothing, to food, water, accommodation and even porters for those who cannot carry heavy loads. Trekking gear can be rented and it’s not necessary to invest in new stuff for a one-off trek. The tour operators’ familiarity with the terrain is often a big advantage. So make sure that you sign up with a reputed operator.
Weather is a huge factor when trekking at high altitudes. So it is important that you go in the right season when the weather is pleasant and there’s less chance of rain or snow. There’s very little cover in the mountains when it comes pouring down so be prepared with the appropriate clothing. It can also be warmer in the plains and can get progressively cooler as you climb higher which means you should be well equipped.
Acclimatisation is also something to consider. Many people suffer from altitude sickness in which case it’s best to climb up slowly and allow an extra day or two for acclimatization. Many a trek has been ruined by altitude sickness.
Once you have evaluated your fitness, the weather and the trek’s terrain and duration, it’s time to decide on the route you want to take. From the mighty Himalayas to the Andes, almost every country has trekking routes with various levels of difficulty. So you have plenty of routes to choose from for your holiday travel.
To read more about the world’s best trekking destinations and other holiday travel ideas, visit Trekking Holiday Destinations