Trekking is a popular way of travelling. Actually, trekking itself is a sort of journey and travel. It means to overcome a long journey by foot – walking for many days in a row. The reasons for such a long walking journey are many, but one of the most common is to enjoy nature. The purpose of trekking can therefore simply be to take pleasure in untouched nature.
There is no rocket science to trekking. If you have never done it before, start with a small journey – a two day trek or so. There is no need to head of to Annapurna Curcuit or the Baltoro & K2 trek.
Remember that even though gear is important, do not go bananas. You need high quality gear, but you do not need it all. A pair of good hiking boots, some quality light clothes for hot and cold days, a good backpack and that’s it. If you only want to do a short multi day trekking while travelling, read about the route. Most likely, sneakers or jogging shoes, t-shirt and shorts + a warm sweater is plenty.
Yet, when you are ready for longer and more challenging treks, do not go completely unprepared. Read about the trail, prepare for the weather and climate. Know the gear you bring. Bring a first aid kit. Broken shoes that fits your feet, comfortable clothes you can be active in, a backpack your back knows. Keep the weight at max 12 kg. You will have to carry this for many days, up steep rocky trails and down slippery grass. Your body also need to know this. Remember to stay fit in order to prevent damages in joints and muscles.
For the adventurous traveller, trekking is a perfect combination with wildlife camping. There are thousands of places to visit with your tent and camping gear. Be sure you know how to pack, carry and use all the equipment. Do not bring anything unnecessary. You are responsible for yourself and your trekking partners.
Some of the popular treks in the world are the Inca Trail (Peru), Indian Himalayas (India), Overland Track (Australia), Patagonia (Chile), The Narrows (USA), The Haute Route (France/Switzerland) and Jotunheimen (Norway). All offering different types of untouched nature.
For the more unknown treks where there might be less trekkers and more solitude in nature, try the following. Sarek National Park (Sweden), Simien Mountains National Park (Ethiopia), Cordillera Apolobamba (Bolivia) or Cape Wrath Trail (Scotland). This is a few examples, there are thousands of trekking trails all over the world. Go explore and find your favorite trail!
As for finishing this article, please read about altitude sickness. It might save your or your trekking partners life one day.
Some places you have to know about altitude sickness. Altitude sickness affect anyone, there is no difference between male or female. It also does not matter the level of physical fitness. Altitude sickness is the result of shortage of oxygen. Most humans can ascent to about 2,400 metres (8,000 ft) without having problem with altitude sickness.
The treatment for ANY KIND of symptoms are simple: descent. Here comes a list of symptoms you have to be aware of when trekking in high altitude.
Be aware that the symptoms are not very extreme and can seem unimportant. A common mistake in trekking is that people do not pay attention to these symptoms and keep on ascending. But the time from symptoms to serious danger is not long. It can be a matter of a day or two. Respect your limits and do not push your trekking partners. Take breaks. Go down if you do not get better. Try again. The severe symptoms (fatal!) are as follows:
The severe symptoms are to be treated immediately. Contact emergency and get the person down. The progress is rapid and fast and very fatal. People die of altitude sickness. Take the symptoms seriously.
As long as you take the symptoms of altitude sickness seriously, there are almost no reason not to do it. Thousands of travellers seeks for memories in untouched wild nature with amazing sceneris. Start easy and take a two-day trek. If you are eager for more, figure out what you want to see. Snow? Desert? Mountains? Lakes? and get ready for your next trekking adventure!