You may have heard about hiking and mountaineering, but what about trekking?

Trekking is similar to that of hiking but a trek usually lasts for multiple days at a time. It is actually defined as a long, arduous journey by foot.

It is a combination of hiking and walking through undeveloped areas (such as mountains, forests, etc.) and the beautiful thing about it is that if you have a will to adventure, you can trek.

There is definitely some knowledge you should acquire before you get into your adventure so stick around and let us tell you everything you need to know about trekking!

You need to assess your skill and plan accordingly.

Have you ever gone trekking before? What about a long hike during the day? It is important to assess your skill and physical fitness before you plan your journey.

You don’t want to start a multi-day trek if you have never walked more than a couple miles or camped before.

This is not to discourage you, it is to prepare you. Always choose caution over risk when heading out into nature, it could potentially save your life.

If you are starting from scratch with very little to no experience, look to the pros for some expert advice. There are different levels of trekking including:

Easy

Find an easy trek in your area. This is for trekkers with little to no experience. In an easier trek, you won’t have to navigate difficult climbs and avoid higher altitudes.

It is also a good idea to prepare by taking day hikes to get your body acclimated to larger and longer walks.

REI is a trusted source for beginners to reference when learning to backpack, hike, and eventually trek.

Moderate

Moderate treks are more demanding and require more energy and skill. In general, they can up to 10 days (so you will need to know how to camp, carry extra supplies, or have housing accommodations). You can expect higher altitudes and obviously, longer distance.

Strenuous

Trekkers without previous mountain experience should not attempt a strenuous (or medium-hard) trek.

You won’t need to use ropes, however, steep climbing is almost always required and high altitudes will be reached.

Difficult

Difficult or hard treks are only recommended for those who have lots of trekking experience.

These treks can take up to 40 days and require a great deal of wilderness knowledge and stamina.

What knowledge do you need to acquire before trekking?

There are some skills you will want to have under your belt before you leave for your trip. Those are as follows:

  • map reading
  • camp skills
  • first aid
  • knowledge of the area you will be trekking
  • what the predicted weather is
  • potential dangers (animals, obstacles) you may face while in the wilderness

If you are serious about trekking it is recommended that you take at least a basic mountaineering and first aid course.

You always want to be prepared to handle an emergency situation especially when out in nature, far away from a hospital, and with minimal people.

For hiking and potential areas to trek nearest to you, look to the American Hiking Society and check out their trail finder.

This can be especially of use for the beginner who doesn’t know where to start or wishes to begin with day hikes.

What kind of gear do you need for trekking?

Your gear list will vary greatly based on three things: the climate of trekking location, length of the trek, and difficulty level of the trek.

For the sake of this post, we are going to assume that you are at more of a beginners level. At this level, your gear should include the following:

  • suitable footwear
  • maps/GPS/compass
  • water and water purifier
  • food
  • extra clothing suitable for the environment you will be trekking in
  • safety items and first aid kit
  • knife or chosen multi-purpose tool
  • sunscreen/glasses
  • backpack
  • camping gear (including sleeping bag, tent, fire starter, pot ect)

It can be of great use to print out a check-list so you can see exactly what you have and what you need to purchase (or borrow from others).

Always know your limitations and trek safely.

Before we get into some of the best trekking locations in the world, we need to talk about safety. Nature is unpredictable.

It is important that you research as much as you can about the area you will be trekking before you leave.

Look at the most recent weather patterns, the wildlife, high-risk areas, degree of difficulty, the nearest hospital, all of it! Knowledge of your surroundings can save your or someone else’s life.

Know your limitations! If you are feeling like you need to stop, you probably should. You can always come back and trek again after gaining more experience and there is no failure in knowing when to call it quits.

If you don’t want to end your trek but need a rest, set up your campsite earlier on in the day and take a long rest.

The great thing about trekking is that it is spread across multiple days- you have the freedom (and owe it to your body) to rest when necessary.

If you are a beginner, look for hiking organizations in your area and bring others along!

Where are the best locations for trekking?

For some visual inspiration look to this video that highlights 10 of the most beautiful places to trek in the world.

Other popular places to trek (friendly to all difficulty levels) include the following:

  • Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek, Nepal. 4-5 Days
  • The Camino de Santiago, Spain. 6 weeks – 5 days
  • Kuari Pass, India. 5-10 days
  • Cinque Terre, Italy. 2-6 days
  • Mt. Kinabalu, Sabah (Malaysian Borneo). 2 days

It is important to remember that it is not necessary to travel the world to trek. You will be surprised at some of the beautiful treks you can plan in your surrounding areas that won’t require expensive plane tickets and equipment.

Do your research, start hiking to condition your body, learn some first aid and camping skill, and enjoy your trek!

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