Trekking or hiking isn't as easy as it sounds. It might sound like fun and adventure but if proper precautions are not taken it could prove to be dangerous. No, we aren't trying to scare you, we just want you to be well-prepared before you head out for hiking or trekking. So, with the help of Mr. Aditya Gupta an entrepreneur and an expert trekker who has scaled Mount Everest at the age of 50, we've compiled a list of tips that you must keep in mind while planning a trek or hike because ultimately, we all want to enjoy a hassle-free adventure, right?
1. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times.
You are bound to feel thirsty and drained out if you are going on a trek so carrying a water bottle with you is a must. Trekking or hiking can really dehydrate your body, without you even realizing it because of the cool temperatures but, you must sip water from your bottle frequently to stay energized. Consider buying a sturdy bottle that doesn't leak or break by falls.
You tend to lose energy much faster when you are hiking or trekking so you must carry energizing food items with you. Munching at frequent intervals will keep your energy level optimum. You can carry chocolates, energy bars, energy drinks, dry fruits and other food items that are hassle-free to eat and carry. You should carry munchies because they take less space and they are easy to carry.
3. Travel light and be organized.
A backpack can help you in keeping your things well organized. You should opt for rucksacks that are comfortable on your shoulders and balances the load evenly. Backpacks are important because they provide easy access to items you'll need on your hike or trek. Please avoid buying cheap backpacks because you might end up bruising and burdening your shoulders. A good backpack must be able to protect your items from at least light rain and snow.
Having a good pair of trekking shoes is a must so, you should invest your money in lightweight, comfortable, sturdy, warm and waterproof pair of hiking shoes that can provide good ankle protection and a firm grip on slippery surfaces. Please don't ignore the waterproof factor at any cost.
The swiss army knife is a multi-purpose tool-set that has proven to be handy in more situation than one can imagine. This tool-set is quite helpful and a good quality swiss knife can last you a lifetime.
A flashlight or a torch light can prove to be a lifesaver in case it gets late or dark while coming back from the day's hike. You can opt for a rechargeable flashlight that doesn't require batteries. Oh, you can also carry a power bank to charge your phone on the go.
You should opt for comfortable, breathable, cargo styled and quick dry trousers or trek pants. If you are planning a snow trek, consider buying trek pants that offer built-in gaiters to get required snow protection. Cargo styled trek pants with lots of pockets will also be helpful for keeping small items handy while you hike.
Mr. Gupta says, "clothing should be kept very limited but in layers so you can modify as needed."
You must protect yourself from the direct exposure of skin to the sun or you might end up with really bad sunburns. Wear a hat or cap as frequently as you can to get some shade and protection. Also, carry a jacket with you just in case the weather becomes unpredictable.
9. Keep a sunscreen and a lip balm in your back pack.
As mentioned earlier, in order to protect yourself from the direct and harmful UV rays of the sun you must apply sunscreen and use a lip balm to keep your skin and lips hydrated and well-moisturized. You should opt for sunscreen and lip balms that come with SPF 70 or more because the intensity of the sun rays are far more impacting than normal cities.
Make sure you carry a hard copy of the map of your trekking trail. You could use your cellphone's GPS too but, that won't be helpful in spots where there is no connectivity. Your mobile phone could also run out of battery so, in order to avoid these problems you should carry a hard copy of the trail route. Do your research well before you head out.
11. Keep a medical kit handy.
You must carry a basic medical kit with you at all times. You can carry creams for burns, bruises, antiseptic lotions, bandages, dettol and basic tablets for fever, upset stomach and allergies.
According to Mr. Gupta, "If you are going more than 14,000-15,000 feet high be sure about taking precautions needed for acclimatization and medicines like diamox may be kept handy."
Carrying a hiking pole with you is helpful especially, when you are trekking in snow or going on long treks. It provides stability, comfort and support to your knees and legs on all types of terrains. Opt for trekking poles that are lightweight, adjustable, foldable and have some shock absorbent capabilities.