There are few things more beautiful and deliver numerous benefits than walking in nature. But multi-day treks are an entirely different beast. They require mental and physical fitness, the capacity for endurance and fundamental survival skills.
Before you head out on a multi-day trek, make sure you are prepared in advance. Be prepared to battle through physical pain, experience discomfort and have the mental strength to keep going.
Hiking requires great psychophysical preparation – if we are talking about demanding peaks and endurance treks and if you go on a hiking weekend tour completely unprepared you will experience unpleasant consequences the same evening.
We’ve already written about some training exercise you can perform to mentally prepare yourself for multi-day treks. In this blog, we’re going to run through some practical solutions you need to know before you start your trip.
Large altitude differences mean changes in altitude, as well as terrain temperatures and acclimatization. At higher altitudes, we carry a heavier load, or if we carry the same load, we carry it more slowly, which means that we load the spine, knees, joints, and complete muscles for longer.
If you plan a long hike, get quality gear that is not heavy. The most important thing is that your equipment is functional, comfortable, light, and durable.
Imagine carrying a tent, a bag, a sleeping pad, extra water, extra food, an ice ax, crampons, a helmet…You will have a few extra pounds that can make you quite tired. Unfortunately, fatigue is often accompanied by injuries, and we certainly want to avoid that.
Know Your Route
Before going to the mountains and hiking, get acquainted with the destination you have chosen. Stay up to date with rules and regulations. Explore community forums and discussion rooms for useful information about your chosen area.
Pay attention to the following things: the weather forecast, the length of the trail and the time it takes to walk, how far it is possible to approach by car, whether and where it is possible to buy water and food, as well as whether the mountain facilities are open.
Do not go alone in the mountains, on unknown and unmarked trails, in the rain, fog, or at night.
Build Up Your Strength
Hiking preparations differ from other sports preparations for several reasons. The load is carried on the back, which is not the case in other sports, and the load is constant along the entire course – so strength is needed.
When climbing, it often happens that you encounter an obstacle for which you need dynamic strength, which is built by exercise and which allows you to jump, and catch the obstacle at high speed with maximum balance. Be ready for different possible scenarios.
For regular exercisers and hikers, a couple of months is enough to balance the right condition and prepare for more demanding climbs and endurance treks, while for those who spend time with TV, it is certainly much more.
Strengthen your core and legs in the gym and prepare for longer treks. Practice carrying your own weight by climbing a step up – a step down on a park bench a certain number of times (or use a step climber at the gym). You can also exercise with a loaded backpack.
When we prepare well physically, we endure efforts easier and we have better coordination of movements – especially when returning from the top of the mountain when we are already significantly exhausted and there is a danger of falling concentration and coordination of movements.
Take Good Care Of Your Feet
Having the right shoes can enable you to conquer any slope or slippery surface but there is no single rule for choosing shoes. Take the time to choose the model and size, as footwear is very important for the safety and enjoyment of nature.
Shoes must protect us from injuries, give a feeling of support to the legs and body, cushion the blows and make every ascent or walk better, simpler, and easier.
With good quality footwear, it is also important to choose quality socks. They keep the foot dry, prevent blisters, additionally coat the shoe, and regulate the temperature.
GPS And A Printed Map
When you use an app, make sure you download the maps for offline use. This ensures that you have the map even when you don’t have a cell phone connection.
The applications have offline functions and can function in some cases without an internet connection, applications are useful when GPS is running in the background. This dramatically reduces battery life. Make sure you take portable batteries with you on the go and recharge your devices whenever you can.
A copy of a trail map is something you should always carry with you.
Plan Your Hydratation
Since you need water while hiking, you need to carry it or find it in nature. If you find it, you will need to purify it and then wear it again. Carrying water is part of hiking.
Water weighs 1kg per liter which is pretty hard. Although it is difficult, we desperately need it for life and we must be able to carry it as much as we need, but not much more than that.
An important part of hiking is knowing the locations of the springs. If we know that the spring is 5-7 km away from us, we will carry 2 liters instead of 4, since that is enough for us to reach the spring. This saves us from wasting energy on an extra 2kg of weight.
If you aren’t sure that the water source is potable, use a water filtration straw or purification tablets. It is also very important to be able to easily access drinking water and refill it easily. It’s not good if you have to stop and take off your backpack every time you want to drink water.
Proper First Aid Kit
The first aid kit should include a first bandage, a pair of calico bandages of different widths, gauze compresses, adhesive bandage material, triangular scarf, patch pack, coil patch, isothermal cover (aerofoil), safety pins, scissors, safety pins, pair PVC bags, and unavoidable PVC gloves. You should also think about bringing the medications you take regularly.
If you are planning a multi-day hike this year, don’t forget to download the sweatcoin app and earn financial rewards for your efforts.