How to Pack for the Peaks
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Planning your first mountain climbing/hiking excursion is fun and exciting. There are a few things, however, you should know before you go. Read on for expert advice from Lotys Shop on how to gear up for your ascent.
One of your first priorities is to ensure that you are in physical shape for your trip, whether it’s a weekend hike or a month-long expedition. According to the American Alpine Institute, you should start gradually and don’t push yourself once your muscles begin to ache. It is never too soon to begin training for such a physical feat but you should give yourself at least four months to get your body used to hiking and climbing conditions. Exercise outdoors as much as possible and include cardiovascular training.
Great outdoor activities to help condition yourself physically include uphill hiking, stair running, mountain biking, rock climbing, and skiing. In the gym, focus on free weights and exercises that help strengthen your core along with your extremities.
Also prepare for security for your valuables while you’re outdoors and focused on your exercise. This is especially true if you’re traveling abroad, such as for backpacking or a cycling tour. If you’re exploring exciting places like Kathmandu, Puerto Vallarta or Pico Duarte, things can be tricky if you hit a snag. To ensure you can hit the trails and roadways with peace of mind, you might want to set up an account with an inexpensive money transfer service before you leave home. Remitly is a great option; for instance, you can send Nepalese Rupees for as little as $3.99 for transfers in a matter of minutes.
There are a few things you simply can’t travel without: boots, permits, maps and guidebooks, food, backpack, and sleeping accommodations. Pick a tent that is lightweight and easy to assemble and make sure to pack all of your anchors and weather cover. You will need water bottles, a sleeping bag, headlamp, eating utensils, and travel toiletries for the trip. The National Park Service offers an in-depth planning guide as well as summer and winter gear checklists here, and you can start picking out items you’d like to pack by visiting Lotys Shop.
Leaving your home alone
Prepping for a vacation to the mountains likely means leaving your home completely unattended, at least for a short time. And, unlike city or beach vacations, cellular service in the wilderness is spotty at best. Protect your home while you’re away by leaving a key with a friend or family member. You should also make sure all your windows and doors are locked, including in the garage.
Plan for lawn service and have your mail delivery suspended. so that your home and mailbox don’t look as though they’ve been neglected, which makes them an easy target. Invest a few dollars in a timer to turn your home’s interior and exterior lights on at different times. Never leave spare keys unattended and inform your alarm company of your absence.
Tying up loose ends at work
Chances are you need a significant break from work. People in manager positions experience extreme to moderate stress, and after a tough year and a half, many employees are burnt out and exhausted. There’s no greater relief for that stress than some uninterrupted time in clean mountain air and sunshine. So, be sure you finish up any lingering projects before you head out.
You should also designate a point of contact while you’re out. This should be someone who can fully handle any questions or issues that come up when you’re on your trip. Taking these steps to make sure your job is covered will allow you to fully immerse yourself in your journey.
Plan ahead…but don’t…
You’ll want to be prepared for any unexpected issues that arise. However, keep in mind that the mountains are an ever-changing habitat and won’t follow your schedule.
No matter how far in advance you plan. Keep your eyes and ears open for potential issues that might affect your outing. Forest fires, weather, landslides, newly-restricted areas, cancellation by other members of your party. And wildlife behavior may change the safety or availability of your preferred excursion. Try to be flexible but do not, under any circumstance, move forward with your trip if you are not 100% comfortable with any last-minute alterations.
While extended mountain hiking trips may not be appropriate for children, shorter – even overnight – trips are an excellent way to introduce the youngest members of your pack to the joys of the great outdoors. If you’re traveling with kids, make sure to keep it easy and family-friendly.
Stick to well-known trails and give yourself plenty of time to explore. Regardless of the weather, insist on layered clothing; pack portable ponchos in case of rain. Hiking requires tons of energy so plan to stop at least every hour to give your child time to hydrate and refuel. Bring plenty of snacks including beef jerky, peanuts, and fruit. Make it as fun as possible by giving your children a camera and journal to chronicle their adventure. The Wilderness Society recommends monthly outings to get the kids off the couch and into the wild.
Regardless of where and when you’re traveling, safety is your number one priority. Always travel with at least one other adult and leave a map of your planned trail and destination with a trusted friend or family member so that you can be more easily located in case of an emergency.
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