Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer Time Adventures: Trekking Safety Tips

It's summertime! The best time for extreme outdoor sports- such as trekking or extreme hiking. Many adventure-seeking tourists have been attracted to the heights and thrills of the Himalayas, but its good to be informed and aware regarding safety and expenses before making the trip. 

Before you begin your adventure, it is important to be fit. You don't need to be a marathon runner, but having experience with walking helps to keep up and build endurance.  It is also important to understand that some days you will be walking more than others. Certain days you may walk as little as 2.5 hours, it all depends of the limitations of altitude and stopping time is determined by the safe limit for sleeping. 

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Bring your own toilet paper! It is crucial to drink frequently to minimized the effects of altitude, so you'll constantly have to use the bathroom. Make sure to tell your guide if you feel even slightly unwell, they will be able to provide you with a pill for every side effect and know if emergency interference is necessary if you are showing signs of potentially fatal altitude sickness

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Use trekking poles, even if you usually walk without them. Going down can be very tough on the legs and knees, the poles really help to take some of the pressure off. Make sure to bring a thick sleeping bag and a heavy jacket, preferably a down jacket. You will be very grateful for those items during the cold nights. Don't be put off by the high number of trekkers during the warmer months, for example in March/April and October/November. Although it will be busy, it won't be overcrowded. 

Another tip- save buying gear for Katmandu's Thamel District. There are dozens of shops located in this area where you can buy authentic branded gear that costs about half of what it would in countries such as Japan or the United States

As thrilling and adventurous as hiking in the Himalayas can be, make sure you are safe, smart, and well prepared before making the journey! 

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