Trekking tips for beginners — A 101 guide

I always wait for the weekends to get my weekly dose of adventure — be it rappelling down waterfalls or just a pleasant trek in the woods. There are many things to keep in mind when venturing out to forest trails or going out for camping, a lot of which I learnt the hard way. But for all you first timers here are a few tips to keep in mind, a guide to look through when you decide to get away from all the chaos and cacophony of city life to an enlivening trek in the great outdoors!

Where to go?

It is prudent to first look up on the web for information around places you want to go or to discover new places. Although it is ‘cool’ to say ‘Let’s just go for it’, it helps to research on the place and get general info on the route (getting lost there then is fun too!) Find a place suitable to your group’s fitness levels and experience. Choose popular already-gone-on treks initially so you get comfortable. Then you can be more adventurous in your escapades and chart out new trails!

And being physically fit for your trek is always good. That way you can enjoy the climb and not get bogged down by sheer fatigue of walking. Easier said than done, it requires practice and getting used to carrying a backpack on ascent and descent. A good way to start off is jogging short distances and increasing the tempo steadily to build stamina. A good trekker going on major ascents needs not only strong legs but good core strength with back, ab and joint muscles trained. Maybe run errands to your local stores with a backpack on? Or hit that gym you’ve always been paying for but avoiding? There are no short-cuts to this and a little jogging never killed anybody.

When you’re in the mountains, every day is Friday!

What to wear?

Here’s a rule of thumb — When starting off on your flirting affair with trekking, wear too much rather than too little. It’s always better being too warm and be able to take off a layer than being too cold and not having anything to wear on top. I had a shivering experience once when climbing a hillock in my initial days. We had planned to camp atop the hill but had to turn back midway. I wasn’t prepared and the cold winds which started suddenly froze my bones. So always carry a change of clothes which can help in the rain and as an extra layer on top, an extra pair of socks and a windcheater/poncho to shield in case of rains. Here is a Do’s and Don’ts guide:

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