Going on treks while backpacking is a great way to not just do something fun, but also to get a lot of physical exercise. It allows for guilt free evenings of indulgence and also leads to some spectacular views of the countryside– something we all enjoy.
However, a lot of newbies tend to go a little underprepared for such a trip and end up not enjoying it to the fullest. This was actually the case when I had the great idea to do a 2-day trek in a single day in the mountaineous Shan state in Myanmar. So, here are some things that you need to remember to bring before heading out into the wilderness.
Shoes: because nobody likes blisters
Investing in a good pair of walking shoes or runners is extremely important and can make a big difference to the amount of enjoyment of a trek. Ask anyone who has tried to walk up muddy hill side or mountain scree with a pair of Converse – they just don’t cut it.
A good pair of walking shoes will have a decent sole, be lightweight and also offer plenty of breathability – to keep feet from sweating and being uncomfortable. Invest in them and you will get hundreds if not thousands of miles from them.
Walking Poles: don’t slip and slide
You may have some sort of ill-founded preconception that walking poles are for older walkers, however simply put they aren’t. Good walking poles allow you to have a more enjoyable walk, will help you up the side of a hill or rough terrain and are just one of those necessities for anyone hoping to have an enjoyable time. Look for strong walking poles made from good materials such as carbon fibre or similar. They should also give a decent amount of give and bend and be easily washable. Invest in them and you will have them for a lifetime.
Sun Glasses: protection for your eyes
The glare of the sun when walking can be quite a distraction, so try and ensure that you don’t have to endure it by investing in a good pair of polarised sport’s sun glasses. These will prevent significant issues when it comes to dealing with the sun and also make for a more enjoyable trek across the landscape.
Hydration: keep it flowing
Water and staying hydrated is very important for anyone going on a walk. A camel pack is a good way to stay hydrated as it allows you to stay hands free when walking and is easily accessible. This is especially useful if climbing up a hill or a mountain as you will need to keep your hands free. Many of these systems are also well insulated to keep beverages cool and enjoyable when trekking.
Waterproofs: ready to face the monsoon
Having experienced the weather in exotic places, it can be hard to predict what’s going to happen. So, investing in good water gear that’s breathable is a big help and can make life a whole lot more enjoyable. Look for Gore-Tex clothing as this tends to offer superior breathability, as well as plenty of protection.
These are just some of the essentials that you need for a good walking holiday – invest wisely and you won’t have to do so again. If you got in the mood for an adventure, check out these 4 South East Asian Treks You’d Be Mad To Miss.
And to be prepared for your next adventure, find out about the must-have gear for long backpacking trips.