OUTDOOR HOLIDAYS: 10 TIPS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GET WALKING
If you’ve decided to go on a trekking holiday this year, perhaps along the Camino de Santiago or one of the many other trails through the natural landscape of Italy and Europe, here are a few tips to be fit and well-prepared when you set off!
On zingarate.com you can find a guide to all you need to know before you get walking.
Effective preparatory training for hiking needs to begin some time before your date of departure. Go for long walks of about ten kilometres, at a brisk pace, at least a couple of times a week. This will give your joints and muscles a work-out. When the trip is imminent you can add the weight of the rucksack, lengthening your stride.
2. YOUR RUCKSACK
Packing your rucksack properly is fundamental to the success of the walk. It must hold only essential items and weigh no more than 10% of your body weight. A good rucksack has a rigid reinforcement along the part that rests on the back, a breathable mesh to reduce perspiration, ergonomic shoulder straps, hip supports to distribute the weight and roomy external pockets.
3. THE RIGHT SHOES
Your shoes are your indispensable best friend as you walk. The first absolute rule is that they should be well worn in and not new off the shelf. Classic hiking boots aren’t necessarily ideal unless your chosen route is in the high mountains. Low and lightweight trekking or trail-running shoes are preferable, the latter being even lighter but with less support for the ankle.
4. READ BEFORE YOU LEAVE
An incredible variety of literature is available on the subject of trekking. There are books about walks and guides to specific routes containing all the information you need about the places you will visit.
5. LOOK FORWARD TO MEETING PEOPLE
As you walk you’ll meet other people who have made the same choice. And very probably you’ll have lots of things in common. You’ll certainly be able to talk about the routes you’ve already covered and the places, joys and exertions of the walk. Sharing your experiences will make your trek more interesting.
6. STUDY THE ROUTE
Before you leave it’s essential to study the route and its stages in depth: noting down hostels, camp sites and hotels and making sure that these are open during the period of your holiday. Carefully study transport options to the start location of the walk and the right time to start walking in the morning.
7. CHECK THE WEATHER FORECAST
When you’re trekking you walk every day, waking up at dawn and covering at least one stage per day. Before setting out it’s worth checking the weather forecast to make sure you have the right equipment for all possible conditions.
8. DON’T OVERDO IT
Even you feel you’re still going strong at the end of a stage don’t press on. If you do you’ll risk overdoing it and running out of strength in the days that follow. So take advantage of shorter stages to rest and recharge your strength for the ones ahead.
9. IN COMPANY, BUT NOT TOO MUCH
When you’re moving at your own pace it’s much easier to enter into perfect harmony with your body and mind. Walking with fellow travellers means you have to make a compromise with other people’s pace. So be sure to choose the right walking companions. At all events find the courage to part company with them for a while if circumstances dictate, and don’t force your body against its will.
10. WALK ALONE
Even if solitary travel isn’t your thing, consider walking – or doing a few stages of the walk – alone. Walks aren’t like other journeys. The time you spend walking can be precious time spent with yourself.