How to prepare for a trekking adventure

How to prepare for a trekking adventure

When people think about trekking they start thinking about distant lands. Trekking is one of the most popular activities in the adventure tourism industry that is constantly expanding as the number of retired people with disposable incomes increases. Now there are more adventures available than ever!

Everest Base Camp comes to mind as one of the walks most hikers aspire to. The idea of seeing Mount Everest in person up close is almost too much to exist. Why is “trekking” different from “hiking”? The word trekking implies a greater distance with more logistics in a place that is far from your homeland. Treks are usually several days long, usually 7 to 10 days long. Due to the distance, it may be necessary to use pack animals such as lamas or mules to transport supplies.

In some countries such as Nepal and Africa, the use of carriers is acceptable. The trekking business involving trekking companies with guides and porters and other support staff, such as bus drivers and quarter-mile teachers, becomes an important part of some foreign economies. I was surprised that even in the Alps the tradition of the mountain guide is very much alive. The guide company may have vans to provide guests with transportation to the trailheads and support the walk as it moves through the mountains. The van with its driver will meet with the trekking group as it reaches the milestone of the day, usually on a trail that is close to a mountain cabin or lodge where the group can spend the night. The next morning, the process goes the other way around with the guide having breakfast with his clients. The van is used to transport guests to the entrance of the trail for the next few days of hiking to the next milestone where the process is repeated.

In more remote parts of the world, such as Nepal. The guide is in charge of a group of assistant guides and porters who carry the “luggage” of the clients on the walk. The luggage is really what the client would carry if they were walking homes, such as a sleeping bag, extra clothes, toiletries and miscellaneous items that anyone would carry during a long walk of several days in the United States. In the case of Nepal, we are naturally concerned about altitude and how it may affect customers living at sea level.

The guide is well versed in the different medical problems that can occur with altitude. Light head, nausea, weakness, and headache. Sometimes the only remedy is to descend to a lower altitude or stay at the same altitude until the person feels better. This can happen after a good night’s sleep. Sometimes, medications such as aspirin or, in more severe cases, a stronger medication may be used to reduce symptoms. In extreme cases, the person who is really sick with high-altitude illness should be escorted to a lower altitude with a carrier who can take him or her to pack to join the main group after symptoms have been controlled.

But the logistics and effects of altitude are just some of the problems that occur in trekking in distant lands! What if we go to the hiking area? There are airplane attacks and airports are closed. On a recent trip to Argentina, the airport was closed due to riots for three days. We were going to take a bus to the entrance of the trekking trail to meet our guides, but even the buses were full. We found a bus, but it was so full that we had to sit on the hole in the back wheel. The trip would be 36 hours straight, too much for my body, I assure you! So we went back to our hotel and waited one more day. The demonstrations ended with government intervention and we flew to our runway and met with our guides. After a 4-hour walk in the rain at 10,000 feet. We met our trekking companions at the base camp.

The rain continued for days and days. But we were prepared with Gortex rain gear and it was worth every penny. So, the political instability and the weather almost derailed the whole trip. We also always have a traveler’s insurance. This was really useful when we came across a similar situation in Thailand when government demonstrators closed the international airport. We were trapped in Bankcock for seven days, but at least we felt comfortable and finally got the benefits of our travel insurance that we always paid for but never used until then.

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