So you want to start trekking? It is an excellent decision! Trekking allows you to experience breathtaking views and improve your health at the same time. Moreover, it gives you a unique opportunity to explore the world, learn about new cultures, and meet new people. For example, there are many excellent places to visit in India that feature some of the most popular treks in the world.
However, before you set out on some long adventure like the Annapurna Sanctuary trek, you need to learn the basics. This way, you will ensure your safety during travels and have an easier time reaching the end of your first trek.
In this article, you will find some helpful tips that will make your first trekking steps a little easier. Here is what you need to know as a trekking beginner.
You should consider your altitude when planning your first trek. If you are coming from a low-lying area, it is a good idea to spend the first couple of days at the destination adjusting to the altitude. Moreover, if you are planning to trek in the Himalayas, you might want to consider spending some time acclimatizing, even if you come from a higher altitude.
The most popular trekking area in Nepal, the Everest Base Camp trek, starts at an altitude of 3,440m and ends at 4,100m. While this amount of climbing is not extreme, it is still worth considering the altitude and being prepared properly.
The rule of thumb is to spend 1 day for every 300 meters you climb. If you are planning to trek for more than one day, you should spend 2-3 days for every 300 meters you climb. In other words, if you are going to climb more than 1,000 meters in a day, you should spend more time acclimatizing.
For example, if you are planning to trek in the Everest Base Camp or Kalapathar region, you should spend a few days acclimatizing in Lukla or Phaplu before starting the trek. This way, you will be able to enjoy your trip without having problems with altitude sickness.
Carry Extra Food
If you are on your first trek, you will probably want to experience as much as possible and not worry too much about carrying extra food. However, it is not safe to skip meals during your first trek. Every year, many trekkers get lost on trails because they did not carry enough food. For example, if you plan to go trekking in the Everest region and spend 5 nights there, make sure that you carry at least 15-20kg of extra food per person. This way, if something goes wrong, you will have enough supplies to survive until help arrives.
Plan Your Route
It is always a good idea to plan your route before departure. This way, you will avoid getting lost and enjoy your trip more. Make sure that you study the map carefully and learn where exactly you will be sleeping on each night of your journey. Also, take into account the altitude changes between your resting points so that you can adjust accordingly.
In addition, it is always a good idea to take an online guide or a local friend along with you for the first few days of your trip. This way, they will help you find your route and tell you what is ahead of you. If something goes wrong or you get lost, this person will be able to guide you back on track immediately.
Get a Guidebook
A small guidebook can really help when it comes to your first trek. It will give you detailed information about all sights along the way. Moreover, it will tell you how long it takes to get from one point to another and how difficult it is to reach them. This way, you will be able to choose the best route and have the best possible experience during your travels.
Take Along Some Money
Trekking requires money too! You need to pay for guides who know the area well and can show you all the highlights. In addition, they might be able to point out some interesting places that are off the main trail but still worth visiting. If this is your first trekking trip, you might want to ask for a local guide who can show you around and explain all cultural differences as well.
In addition to guides, cash is handy when it comes to buying drinks at refreshment stops or tipping porters who help carry your luggage. For example, 500 rupees (around $4) per person per day is usually enough for tipping porters. It is also worth giving a little extra if they do some additional hiking for you or carry your bag up a steep hill or mountain pass.
However, if you are not planning to tip anyone, then bring a little extra money just in case – such extra expenses never hurt! For example, if you are planning to trek in the Everest region on the Everest Base Camp trek or Annapurna Sanctuary trek, then it is fairly common to pay for tipping porters along the way. In this case, make sure that you have enough cash with you when leaving Kathmandu and Lukla airport!
Your equipment is very important when it comes to your first trek too! The last thing you want is poor equipment showing up on your adventure photos or worse – falling apart while walking and causing an injury! Make sure that your backpack has enough capacity for all of your equipment: clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc., but not too much weight.
Bags with large capacity are often heavier than necessary because they are designed for long journeys instead of short trips. In addition, they have multiple compartments that are not necessary for short treks.