Trekking is considered to be a popular and fascinating type of hiking. Such a journey along a pre-planned route allows you to improve your physical shape and get vivid impressions. This tourist destination has no age restrictions, promotes personal growth and overall development.
What is trekking meaning?
The word trekking comes from “trek” meaning to go on a long arduous trip or journey typically on foot. Thus it is typically defined as walking into a wilderness without any transportation method. Trekking (in English “Trekking”) in translation means “cross-country crossing”. This is a type of pedestrian (pedestrian) sports tourism, the main purpose of which is to overcome the designated route through slightly rugged terrain.
Cross-country hiking requires physical endurance. Traveling in various climatic and landscape conditions is available to all outdoor enthusiasts.
What to include Trekking?
- elements of mountaineering;
- forest trips;
- River rafting;
- overcoming water barriers;
- overnight stays in the wild.
Trekking is a direction of active tourism, which is close to the concept of a hike , but has a more highly specialized meaning. The participants of the trip overcome the kilometers of a pre-designed route at a pace convenient for them.
In such a journey there is no competitive moment, a lot of attention is paid to safety and comfort. The main difference between trekking and the usual hike is the presence of a porter – a trained and trained guide.
In the Himalayas and Tibet, this function is taken on by Sherpas, representatives of the indigenous people living in Nepal, Bhutan, and adjacent regions of India and China. They know all the mountain trails, are well adapted to such dangerous conditions and are able to successfully guide tourist groups through the most difficult routes.
Trekking combines sport with tourism. In the classical sense, such an extreme journey involves walking tens of kilometers away from the benefits of civilization, cities and roads.
What are hiking and trekking? What is the difference between them?
Hiking, in comparison to trekking , is akin to a shorter excursion on trails specially laid out for hikers or at least maintained by the regular passage of hikers. Walking and navigation are thus facilitated. A hike can be spread over one or more days, but often resembles a series of round trips around a base camp.
Trekking, on the other hand, is akin to crossing wild or difficult-to-access areas. This can be done in bad weather or in a challenging natural environment (altitude or unevenness). A trek is longer than a hike and involves bivouacking at night, walking during the day and not stopping until you reach your destination.
What are Pros and Cons of Trekking?
Such an active holiday has its own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. Tourist groups are formed from travelers of different ages, health conditions, and levels of physical fitness. The complexity and length of the route are planned taking into account this circumstance.
Benefits of cross-country hiking:
- Loyal value. Unlike traditional travel, trekking does not require financial costs for hotel accommodation, bus or car transfers.
- Uniqueness. Each route is developed individually for the interests of the members of the tourist group. It almost never repeats itself. There are standard routes that are especially popular. But usually tourists are offered a choice based on their physical capabilities, interests, and personal preferences.
- cognitiveness. Trekking allows you to immerse yourself in the authentic environment of a certain region, get acquainted with the daily life of the indigenous people of the Himalayas, the African jungle or the pampas of South America.
- freedom of choice. Hiking does not provide a clear schedule. The tour is planned without restrictions on the time of departure or departure. The main requirement for the compiled route is the preferences and wishes of the group members.
- Simplicity. Hiking is distinguished by unobtrusiveness, mass character and general accessibility. There is no limit on the number of group members. You can change your itinerary at any time.
Among the shortcomings of trekking, they note the lack of the usual civilizational comfort , a certain danger of movement in the mountains or on other rough terrain. You have to sleep in tents. There is no mobile connection for most of the route.
Tourists are forced to eat dry food or cook food on a fire. Hiking requires proper physical fitness. It is aimed at lovers of outdoor activities and extreme sports.
Most of the routes are designed for young and healthy travelers who are able to overcome tens of kilometers in difficult landscape and climatic conditions.
Trekking is a direction of active tourism, which is highly dependent on the weather. Heavy downpours, cold nights or daytime heat significantly worsen the travel experience. Natural phenomena, changing climatic conditions are a common reason for the cancellation of a planned tour. Some circumstances are life-threatening.
- a sharp cold snap in the mountains;
- avalanche or mudflow;
- heavy wind;
- a large amount of sudden snowfall.
People who are not accustomed to overloads can easily get injured, catch a cold, and cannot withstand the rarefied air of the highlands. Usually routes are made taking into account the requirements of safety rules.
Features of trekking
Finally, in a separate direction of tourism, hiking over rough terrain took shape in the Himalayas and Tibet. Here are the most popular routes.
Trekking is not a casual walk through the area, but an extreme sport. Before setting off, the physical condition of each participant is assessed, and a pre-trip training is carried out.
- participants are introduced to each other;
- teach interaction in the wild;
- specify the level of sports training of each traveler;
- explain the safety rules.
On easy routes, such precautions are often unnecessary. Groups usually consist of 6-12 people. It is more difficult for instructors to work with a large number of participants.
Extreme routes are chosen by those who want to challenge their own physical abilities and personal psychological stability. If there are beginners in the group, they try to choose the easiest route with entry into settlements.
The hike is made mainly in the developed and populated territories. For travel, they choose flat terrain with a small amount of water barriers, forests or without them at all.
The group is on the road 4-6 hours during daylight hours. At nightfall, they stop for the night. In the daytime, they make sightseeing tours, sightseeing according to a pre-planned travel plan.
Such an active holiday is distinguished by:
- democratic value;
- almost complete absence of natural hazards;
- comparative ease of the route;
- the possibility of entering settlements;
- favorable weather and climate conditions.
The group moves at a comfortable pace. The situation is controlled by a trained guide walking ahead, another one closes the chain. Such a holiday has a tangible healing effect.
Such tourism is designed for travelers with good physical fitness. Mountain trekking involves overcoming passes, climbing to the peaks. Unlike classical mountaineering, there are no rock climbing elements in this trip that require special equipment and skills.
The most popular country for mountain trekking is Nepal. Such extreme entertainment is offered in the Caucasus, Altai, and other domestic mountainous regions. The alternation of ascents with descents stimulates respiratory activity, strengthens the muscular system.
Difficult reliefs and a long route allow you to test your own strength, survey many natural landscapes in a relatively short time, and get enough new vivid impressions. Mountain trekking requires an experienced guide, special equipment, and provisions. Appropriate equipment will be required.
Why go trekking?
Hiking allows you to plunge into the natural rhythm of life, get distracted, and relieve technogenic stress. The group moves along the developed route during daylight hours. At sunset, for safety reasons, they stop for the night. They rise with the first rays of the sun.
Synchronization of biological rhythms with nature has a beneficial effect on the body. Changing physiological rhythms to the most natural ones reboots the functional systems of the body. Trekking is worth doing to improve your own psycho-emotional background and physical condition.
Another good reason is the possibility of a sharp change in the usual technogenic environment with immersion in the natural environment. Hiking distracts from everyday worries, life problems, and focuses on overcoming kilometers of travel.
Trekking is a public all-around sport that allows you to test your own strength. This popular hiking destination is suitable for both students and business travelers. Such a democratic, useful, exciting pastime brings significant benefits to the body and psyche.
Where to begin trekking?
No matter how accessible and simple trekking may seem, it belongs to the types of outdoor activities with elements of extreme sports. It is logical to start hiking with getting advice from a specialist and a correct assessment of your own physical capabilities.
- will help you choose the best route;
- characterize the challenges ahead;
- explain the nuances of behavior on the way;
- will give recommendations on the selection of equipment, equipment, food and drinks.
Mountain trekking has individual features. This journey requires special preparation. Route choice is important. There are 4 difficulty levels of mountain travel. To begin with, it is better to choose the simplest one.
Preparation for the first trip should begin with getting information about available routes, improving your own fitness, and medical examination.
The need for physical fitness
There are routes for older tourists, children, and people with poor health. You can go on such a trip without physical preparation. To complete a difficult route, mountain trekking or an extreme tour with elements of sports all-around, endurance and proper sports form are required.
You will have to travel many kilometers with heavy luggage. The need for physical training is determined by the chosen route and the goals set. The training program before the passage of a difficult route begins 2-3 weeks before the scheduled start date of the trip.
Shoulders with hips need to be prepared for carrying a heavy travel backpack. It is better to train on rough terrain to simulate the conditions of the upcoming trip.
Classes adapt the muscles to stress, reduce the risk of abrasions, abrasions or skin irritations. General physical condition is improved by running exercises. They increase endurance, strengthen the muscles of the legs, and develop the respiratory system.
There is a wide range of accessories for hiking. The selection of equipment and equipment depends on the complexity and length of the route, the expected conditions.
On any journey away from populated areas and the benefits of civilization, you will need:
- tourist tent;
- sleeping bag;
- specialized trekking boots;
- stock of provisions and drinks;
- non-extinguishing tourist matches, a lighter;
- camping utensils and cutlery;
- aluminum or plastic flask;
- bowler hat;
- gas burner with fuel for it.
Take a compass or a modern GPS navigator on a trip. For a hike in the summer to the reservoir, you can take bathing accessories, sunglasses. Be sure to need a few towels, wet wipes to maintain hygiene.
Trekking is a pastime that requires careful selection of equipment and equipment.
An important hiking accessory is a personal first aid kit with:
- antiseptic and wound healing ointments;
- hemostatic agents;
- anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory drugs.
It is recommended to take a repellent for the destruction of blood-sucking insects. Depending on travel conditions, you may need a helmet with a headlamp and an extra set of batteries for a long hike.
Women definitely need to prepare intimate hygiene products, medical cosmetics, and a comb. Men may need shaving supplies. The main thing is not to get carried away and not to stuff the backpack too much.
Each item is extra weight in a grueling hike. All this will have to be carried on your shoulders. Experienced travelers recommend that for a long hike, pay special attention to the weight of each piece of the contents of a tourist backpack.
They are used to facilitate movement on relief irregularities, rocky areas, and printed soils. The need for trekking poles depends on the route. On lightly rough terrain, such travel gear slows down traffic. If you plan to overcome steep slopes, forests and wetlands, it is better to get trekking poles.
They make it easy to carry a heavy backpack – weighing more than 10 kg. Such products are made of durable carbon fiber or aluminum alloy. Trekking poles make long hikes easier with a heavy pack on your back.
By evenly distributing the load between the muscles of the lower and upper extremities, supporting travel accessories reduce fatigue and may slightly increase the speed of movement.
They have a foldable design, which makes it easy to transport to the starting point of the hike. The use of trekking poles gives the best effect during long descents or ascents on steep mountain slopes.
Additional support reduces the load on the knees and reduces the risk of injury to the joints. Trekking poles make it easier to maintain balance when walking on crumbling ground, kurums (accumulation of rocky blocks), and mountain trails.
Choice of shoes
For a hike, durable sneakers, specialized boots or timberlands are suitable. They must be waterproof, and the sole of the shoe must have high-quality shock-absorbing properties.
It is advisable to get anatomical insoles that reduce foot fatigue during a long and difficult transition over uneven terrain. The heat-saving characteristics of shoes should correspond to the season and climatic conditions of the travel region.
For an easy route or a hike of medium difficulty, you can give preference to sneakers with a low or high ankle. The latter option provides better support for muscle groups and the tendon-ligament apparatus.
For extreme travel along a mountain route or impassable forest thickets, it is advisable to choose heavy trekking boots with a deep tread, high fit and thick braided lacing.
Weight and volume of the backpack
Use a tourist accessory with a capacity of 40-80 liters. These backpacks are equipped with a rigid frame made of carbon polymer or aluminum alloy. The product must be made of waterproof material. The recommended weight for a man is 10-17 kg.
Tourist backpacks are completed with an anti-rain cover. Functionality and convenience are added to the product by external pockets with Velcro, rivets or zippers. The tourist backpack is equipped with canvas straps with foam padding in places of contact with the body.
Food and drink
It is recommended to drink natural juice or clean water without gas in small portions during the trip. This approach to drinking improves the evacuation of toxins that are actively produced during an accelerated metabolism. Moderate liquid consumption allows you not to waste energy on the distillation of the liquid.
Frequent and heavy drinking increases perspiration. For this reason, it is not recommended to drink tea or coffee during the trip, even during halts. Such drinks flush out salts and nutrients from the body, increasing the feeling of fatigue. It is advisable to have no more than 0.5 liters of drinking liquid with you so as not to overload the backpack with weight. On the way, the stock is replenished as much as possible. You can use herbal preparations brewed at the stake.
Trekking is a type of hiking that requires a special approach not only to drinking, but also to food. The latter seems to be a more complex element. The main rule is the consumption of easily digestible products along the way.
This will allow you not to spend a lot of body resources on digestive activity. For lunch, fast carbohydrates of natural origin seem to be the best choice. These foods include nuts and dried fruits.
Important requirements for food for trekking are lightweight, high calorie content, and fast cooking. Perishable foods should be eaten on the first day of the trip. Emphasis should preferably be placed on hermetically sealed dry concentrates.
On a fire, you can cook porridge from aluminum cans. But such food takes up a lot of space in the backpack and is heavy. It is advisable to choose dry concentrates that are prepared in 3-5 minutes.
Trekking walking technique
It is necessary to maintain a uniform pace on flat sections of the path. When climbing a slope, they try to take every step with a full foot. Strict adherence to the technique of walking and breathing in motion is not required.
It is recommended not to take deep breaths / exhalations. They speed up heart rate and blood circulation. When descending, the trekking walking technique involves moving on slightly bent knees.
This manner reduces the load on the joints and muscles. Proper movement significantly saves strength and allows you to maintain a given pace. Soft walking without excessive tension of the muscles of the lower extremities and waist area makes it possible to avoid pain from fatigue during a long hike.
Safe tracking tactics
Such a concept provides for the choice of the safest path, a correct assessment of one’s own physical capabilities. Overcoming crumbling areas, narrow mountain paths, water barriers subordinate to rationality and expediency.
Risking unnecessarily in the wilderness is not safe for hiking and brings nothing but dubious moral satisfaction. You need to pay attention to the ingredients from which the food is prepared.
Safe trekking tactics are a necessity that will save you a lot of trouble. Such a trip requires a competent selection of the contents of the backpack, and ideally, knowledge of the basics of first aid.
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