Hiking, Walking and Trekking Preparation

HIking, walking, trekkingHiking, walking and trekking vacations are a lot of fun, if you enjoy moving step by step through colorful locales on the way to interesting destinations. Does hiking in the Adirondacks or the Rockies sound like fun? Do you want to camp out at night, bunk in a rustic hut or overnight in a luxurious lodge? Would you rather walk from one European town to the next, stopping at small cafes where you can chat with locals while eating lunch? Does trekking on rough trails in third-world countries push your "gotta do it" button? Once you've defined your wish list it's time to find a trip.

Now that you've dialed in on the type of hiking, trekking or walking trip that most appeals to you it’s time to find a trip. Many companies, including these offer walking and hiking trips. Talk to each company that has a trip of interest and ask what kind of shape you must be in to enjoy the experience.(On some European walking trips, cars will pick you if you decide not to walk all the way to the next town.) You may walk a mile or two on pavement comfortably, but can you walk four or five miles a day – or more– on varied terrain without collapsing on the couch for the rest of the afternoon? Once you've chosen a trip, ask the tour company what level of physical fitness you should be at to take the trip. Then, create a plan to ensure you are ready physically.


Camping Gear

campingIf you spend enough time camping, sooner or later you are going to encounter rain. Don't let it dampen your spirits. Have you ever been caught in your tent during a rain, and you had to make a run for the truck to get something, and you didn't have any rain gear handy? It may have been summer, and it may have been warm outside, but you still brought all those damp clothes back into the tent where it will eventually evaporate, condense on the walls, run down to the floor, and gather in little puddles here and there. Not a comfortable situation, is it? Rain gear would have helped avoid this.

What kind of rain gear are we talking about? Not much, really. For the case of running to the truck in the rain, I find that one of those big golf umbrellas work great and you can leave it outside the tent when you return. For running around the campsite doing chores, a cheap poncho works just fine. If you're into fishing, a little rain won't stop you, and you might prefer a rain suit consisting of a jacket, pants, and possibly a rain hat, which is less constricting than a hooded jacket. If you're backpacking in rain country, you'll likely have an arsenal of rain gear, which might include a rain jacket, rain pants, a rain hat, gaiters, and a backpack cover.


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