Tips for First Time Trekkers

Your first overseas trek can be a daunting prospect whether it is in the Andes, Nepal, Africa or even Europe. Long flights, altitude, steep hills, a foreign language, different food and a bunch of people you have never met. And then before all of that there is a whole list of things you have to buy, fitness training you have to do and much more. This is the first part in our series to help you enjoy your first time trekking holiday and to make sure your first time is not your last time.

Rule 1: Outdoor Markets  are full of “Sales Assistants”
A nice friendly name that.,but who are they “assisting”? How about if we called them salesmen? Their job is to sell you as much as they can, that little karabiner, the tiny towel for wiping the sweat from your brow, the little key-ring thermometer….All those” cheap” little accessories soon add up  in price, in weight and in space in your rucksack.You do not need them. Go in with a list of what you need and stick to it.

Rule2: Do not believe everything you read on a trek agency packing list
Its a difficult one this, you have booked with experts, and this is what they have told you to bring. I suggest you compare their list with lists of a few other operators, widely available by searching the internet. While some trek operators have cut their list down to the essentials, others include many superfluous items.
  • Spare laces- how many times have your ever broken a shoe lace? Can you not just tie it back together should it break?
  • Water filter/purification tablets- are these necessary or are you provided with a constant supply of purified water by the trek cooks?
  •  Spare shoes for the evening- I never take them, if your shoes are comfortable enough in the first place then why bother.
  • Repair tape- I cannot honestly remember the last time someone had to repair a rucksack on  a trek. If there is problem with your tent, the trekking agency themselves will mend it.
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers- please if your list tells you to bring these then do so, there are certain things that are not optional.
Rule 3: The fewer luggages you have the simpler your life on trek will be
The more you have the longer everything takes, longer to unpack, longer to find what you are looking for and longer to re-pack. Remember you will often being packing and unpacking in the dark in a tent. Why ruin your holiday by stressing yourself every morning as you try desperately to cram everything in to you bag, just take less in the first place.

Rule 4: Someone has to carry your bag each day
“But it is going on a mule “you say. But someone still has to carry it from the house to the car, from the car to the airport, from the check in to the baggage carousel, from one plane to the connecting plane, from the carousel to the bus, from the bus to the hotel lobby, from the lobby up the stairs and so on. And that mule that carries it each trek day, it is sure not him that puts it up on his own back, their is some poor horseman who has to lift it on and lift if off at the end of the day. All agencies will give you a weight limit, please stick within it.

Rule 5: The less you take the more space you have for souvenirs on the way back

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