24 Important Tips for Beginners While Trekking and Hiking

1. Research, Plan and Prepare – You should research and plan the mountain that you are going to and read peoples reviews who have already been there. It’ll reduce the chances of miss happenings and will help you in knowing the difficulty of the trek, preparing your schedule, budget, travel and hotel bookings etc. Start preparing your body with 30 minutes workout 15 days before going otherwise; you are going to stay far behind from your friends.

2. Share itinerary with everyone – Make sure everyone in your group knows the route or where you intended to go, how long the distance is etc. So that if for some reason you get separated, you and your friend know where to go.

3. Mind over matter – Hiking is as much of a mental sport as it is a physical one. You have to go into every hike with a good mindset and a positive attitude.
I think it is a great way to get past things that you are frustrated about, and it’s not good to have any negativity in your mind because then it’s too easy to quit. You are stronger than you think when you have a good mindset. You got your leg muscles, but then you also got your brain muscles.

4. Cotton kills – When you sweat, the water and moisture are not going to go away quickly, and if for some reason the wind picks up or the temperature drops, you are going to be stuck in a cold, wet t-shirt. So buy some synthetic t-shirts or wear your most comfortable clothes.

5. Proper footwear – Make sure your shoe has a good grip. It should be soft and flexible. And if it comes with ankle support and water-resistant, it will do more good to you.

6. Hydrate your body – 2-3 days before going for the trek start drinking 1-2 litre and carry electrolyte powder or ORS with you so that during your trek you don’t dehydrate yourself.

7. Keep something to eat – You are going to burn a lot of calories, so besides your meals like breakfast, lunch and dinner keep some snacks handy like chocolates, protein bars to gain those calories back.

8. Check for natural water sources –  Always check for natural water sources because the Himalayan water is rich with minerals and other nutrients.

9. Pack for cold and hot weather – Every time I’ve reached to an exposed part of the trail it’s either under direct sunlight or with no trees around to block the wind, So it is either so much colder than I thought or so much warmer than I thought.

10. Headlamp – Most of the time, you will be climbing or descending in the dark and its not good to light the trail with your phone’s flashlight because while trekking your hands should be free. And of course, you will need it at the campsite during the night.

11. Poles – They help transfer the weight with each step, and they allow us to go faster and smoother. And it is seen that people who use trekking poles. It has been said by a lot of experts that trekking poles absorb 30% of our body’s weight.

12. Insoles – Get some nice insoles, insoles will do wonders in providing you with a more comfortable walking experience.

13. Soak your feet – Anytime you get to a creek or a river, take your shoes off and soak your feet in cold running water, it’ll help maintain your foot health, and you’ll feel good.
14. Condiments – Bring the leftover Taco bell sauce, Mayonnaise, Ketchup pouches of 1-2 gms with you. They help a lot because the food you will get during your trek will not be spicy or sometimes even salt will not be there.

15. Multivitamins – It will provide you with the nutrients and vitamins you need during your trek because you will be eating garbage and will not be getting enough energy and nutrients from your meals.

16. Get rid of the stuff you don’t need and get the lightest weight materials, i.e. jackets, t-shirts etc. And pack your things in a way that the weight of your rucksack is equally distributed to the different body parts.

17. Bring earplugs, especially when you are staying at the hostel or with a bunch of other people because people make weird noises when they sleep. It has happened to me a lot of times, and because of it, I lost my sleep, and it affected my day after it.

18. Bring friends – I found that while trekking, it is always better to have someone have your back. You can split items with each other like weight, hotel charge etc. Also making friends on the trail is a good experience.
19. Know your pace – If you are a beginner its always good to know your pace because for further coming treks you will know your time of doing a trek and you can prepare your itinerary accordingly.

20. Warm-up – Before starting your day during a trek, don’t forget to warm-up your body and try to stretch your body a little. It’ll reduce your chances of getting an injury.

21. Take care of your skin because you will be going to be exposed to the different kind of elements all-day.

22. Climate – Before going on a trip, start checking the climate of the place where you are going so that you will know how many layers of clothes you will need for your trip.

23. Medicines – Always take essential medication and first aid kit with you. You will need them most of the time. Also, Diamox and Dex if by any means you got hit by altitude sickness, these medicines will buy you time to descend before anything worse happens.

24. Practice #LeaveNoTrace – Always take care of your trashes. Don’t leave them at the campsite or anywhere, and bring them along with you and throw it at the proper garbage can. And keep these three things in mind:
  • Kill nothing but time
  • Take nothing but pictures
  • Leave nothing but footprints
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