Archive for the ‘Hiking Backpacking’ category

Travel the World on a Backpack

September 8th, 2012

Those who’ve tried it will tell you it’s probably the best thing they’ve ever done. If your purpose for traveling is adventure and excitement – then backpacking is the best way to achieve this. Backpacking however is not meant for everyone – it requires the ability to leap out of one’s comfort zone. In fact you need to abandon the idea of comfort altogether, leave expectations behind and bring curiosity along. If you’re willing to do the above, then backpacking is the cheapest way to travel the world. There are certain things though, that you must know as a backpacker. Here’s your travel checklist:

1) You carry your own backpack, always. When applied broadly, this means that as a backpacker you’re on your own, even if you travel in a group. You need to be able to take care of yourself, no matter what. As such resourcefulness is important. Evaluate all decisions in this light. Plan your trip keeping in mind what you can handle and what you can’t. You’re not out there to prove anything. The idea is to have fun, but not pay a heavy price.

2) Backpacking is no joke. It requires thorough and advance planning. Since you will be on your own and out of your home for a decent period of time, planning will ensure that you do not run into problems that end up ruining the trip or those that were completely avoidable. Planning is also important to ensure that you manage your time and your money efficiently while you’re traveling. Plan your date of departure, route, tickets, the places you will see, where you would like to stop, where you would like to stay in advance. Whether you stick to this or not is of course entirely optional. The purpose of the plan is to give you some idea as to what you’re doing. It’s pretty hard to change a plan you never had.

3) Carry information, by the truckload. This is the single most important item on the list. Knowledge of the place you’re visiting is of utmost importance, not just to make your trip safer and easier but to turn it into a learning experience. The more you know of a place theoretically, the more the actual experience will mean to you. Also, in case of an emergency, information about the place you’re in will be your saving grace. Knowing a place beforehand will also ensure you don’t miss out on anything.

4) Prepare the backpack well: The backpack is what will stay with you throughout, so you want to ensure it has what you need to survive. The emphasis is on ‘survive’ so you need to carry accordingly. A backpack is ergonomically built – which means when used correctly it causes no or minimal discomfort. » Read more: Travel the World on a Backpack

Staying Healthy on Your Trekking Holiday

September 8th, 2012

It may sound obvious, but a trekking holiday in distant lands is not made any easier by a lack of personal fitness. Not only will it make the days physically exhausting (Kilimanjaro involves climbing 1,219m/4,000ft, and the Inca Trail’s final days include an ascent of 1,097m/3,600ft) but exhaustion is a risk factor towards altitude sickness. Reduced oxygen levels the higher you go also may make those with fitness problems struggle – at the summit of Kilimanjaro there’s half of the oxygen available at sea level, so make sure you’re in peak shape to enjoy your triumphant moment without feeling ill.

You can help by training for around three months before you set off. You should be able to comfortably walk up and down 1000m/3,281ft with no difficulties to be truly ready for your big challenge (unless you’re going for an easier introductory trekking holiday, in which case you may be more relaxed in your training).

Look after each other

Assuming you’re not going alone (in which case a whole set of safety precautions come into play), be sure that you’re all looking out for each other. One of the main ways of staying safe is to recognise the signs of illness or fatigue early on.

Fluids

It’s common advice, but essential – stay hydrated! At lower levels, the heat and sweating will mean you lose a lot of liquid, while in the colder altitudes exercise will also result in dehydration. Drinking water, soups and beverages frequently will keep energy levels high and help maintain healthiness on your trekking holiday.

Sun Protection

Even when you’re at higher altitudes, it is important to be protected from the sun’s rays. The sun can be intense, and the thin air makes sun cream, a hat, covered skin and lip protection all important to staying hydrated and healthy.

Traveller’s Tummy

Stomach upsets and diarrhea can be a problem in developing countries, » Read more: Staying Healthy on Your Trekking Holiday