Essential Tips and Guide to Preparing for and choosing your Mountain Trek
Anyone who has experienced a trek will remember the absolute thrill they felt having completed it, a wonderful feeling of triumph and true accomplishment. There is nothing quite it: preparing for the trail, embarking upon the journey, overcoming the unexpected along the way and finally walking over the “finish line” feeling like a super hero.
But what happens next? Luckily, there is always another fantastic route to follow, hill to hike, mountain path to meander your way through – but for serious walkers, how do you know when you are ready for the “next step” (pardon the pun).
When choosing a mountain trek, besides the total number of miles hiked each day, you also need to consider the elevation gain. You are likely to be in good physical condition if you’re doing upwards of 20 miles a day. However, if that’s with 1000 metres or more (~3280 feet+) of elevation gain, you’ll require a higher level of fitness than you may expect.
When walking at higher altitude, the air is thinner and has less oxygen, which obviously impacts walking. Dependant on where you live you may not be able to practice walking at a higher altitude, but everyone can take on board the following tips:
- Aerobic Training: Aerobic activities will improve your VO2 max – the maximum volume of oxygen that your body can use.
- Drink Water: At altitude you should be drinking water more frequently than you would normally, no matter what activity you are undertaking.
- Breathe: Breathlessness comes quicker at a higher altitude, practice yogic breathing - breathing in a rhythm, taking deep, abdominal breaths.
The best way to see what’s within your limits is to experiment on day trips. Do this before you book your trek. You want something that’s challenging, yet something that you can complete. Although it may be hard to increase the altitude of your training treks (especially if you are training in Great Britain), one thing you can do increase the distance and time you walk as you train.
We recommend WalkingWorlds App, which gives you the ability to view local maps, zoom in tightly to see all the detail if you need to and you can also save as many walks as you like which are stored on your device. Whether you use an app or not, keep a record of the length of each walk, the time it took you and the elevation gain. Over time, you will see what you are capable of in a day.
All good trekking companies provide guidelines on their treks. We grade ours from 1-10 and have detailed information on our website as well as wealth of information that we would gladly discuss in conversation with you – as every person is different. We have successfully guided Mums with babies (yes it’s true!) and people of all ages, experiences and disabilities. This is because we are not afraid to say “no” this walk isn’t right for you and instead work with you to provide a mountain trek that is the perfect option for you.
We have a wide range of treks, to suit all abilities and to ensure that you experience the walking holiday that you have been dreaming of. We also split some of the treks into sections so that you can find a holiday that is the right length for you. And if you don't find exactly what you want, we can create it or you can choose to guide yourself, safe in the knowledge that we have provided you with everything you need. It is our job after all, to ensure that you both start and leave our mountains on top of the world!