Whether you’re hiking for the first time or just gearing up for your next trekking adventure, preparation is of the utmost importance. There’s a lot that can go wrong during a long hike, but with the right equipment, training, and preparation, most of those risk factors can reduce or even eliminate. If you’re looking to set out on a long-distance trek, be sure to keep reading to learn everything you need to know!
Long-distance trek usually require you to pack some sort of food, water, bedding, and other essentials to sustain yourself. However, you can’t just toss a bunch of those essentials in a backpack and call it a day. Remember that you’ll have to carry everything you pack. So each and every ounce of weight counts. Be sure to invest in an ultra-light backpack and sleeping pad, and consider purchasing freeze-dried meals to take with you. While these ultra-light alternatives may not provide the same level of luxury as their full-weight counterparts, they’ll create much less strain during long hiking days, so they’re a worthwhile investment.
Watch the Weather
When deciding on a day and time to set out on your hike, be sure to keep the weather in mind. Weather conditions can greatly impact the quality, safety, and enjoyability of your hiking experience. So knowing what to expect ahead of time will do wonders. For example, if you’re expecting rain or snow, you can dress with waterproof and cold resistant clothing to keep yourself insulated. Of course, if these weather conditions are heavier than you think you can handle. It’s always better to play it safe and just set out at a later date. By doing this, you’ll greatly reduce the likelihood of injuries and other accidents.
Train Ahead of Time
Set a date for your hike well ahead of time, and start training as soon as you can. Many people don’t think of hiking as an extremely intense physical activity, but it definitely can be. There’s a difference between walking down a city block and trekking through the mountains with a heavy pack strapped to your back. So an average level of physical fitness isn’t going to cut it. To prepare, we recommend going on shorter hikes around local nature reserves. To simulate a day pack, just fill a backpack with water jugs or bags of dried rice, and walk for as long as you can manage. Over time, you’ll get more used to the exertion, and by the time your hike rolls around, it’ll be a breeze, allowing you to relax and enjoy the sights as you walk.
Find a Group
While doing a long-distance trekking adventure solo is possible, it’s not the best idea. You’re going to be far away from any form of civilization for a fairly long time. So if something bad were to happen and you were incapacitated, you wouldn’t be able to call for help. We recommend going in a group of at least three. If an injury occurs, try to keep the group together while treatment is provided. If first aid isn’t going to cut it, though, send one person to go find help, and have another person stay with the injured hiker and continue to monitor their condition.
Learn First Aid
In the event that you or a member of your group is injured, you need to know how to provide first aid. While it won’t solve the issue entirely, first aid treatment can be used to stop a wound from bleeding, sterilize the injured area, and dress the wound to prevent infection. Before you set out on a hiking trip, learn the ins and outs of first aid treatment, purchase first aid necessities like gauze, bandages, and disinfectant, and learn the next steps after providing first aid. This will allow you to stay calm and provide quick treatment in case of an unexpected emergency.
Invest in a Satellite Phone
Of course, if the worst does happen and a member of your group is injured, it’s best not to split up at all. If you’re using a more conventional cell phone, this simply isn’t possible, as you won’t be able to get a signal out in the wilderness. However, that’s not the case with satellite phones. Satellite coverage allows you to find a signal from just about anywhere, so even in the most distant of areas, you’ll still be able to call for help if needed.
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