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