Trekking and Cycling Adventures

Ann’s Tips

The following information is based on many years’ tramping/trekking in the outdoors and being on the road travelling for extended periods of time. These tips are intended as a guide only to help you prepare for your adventure with minimum  ease.

Buying trekking/tramping boots:

Ensure that you wear the same socks when trying on tramping/trekking boots that you will be wearing when you are out there trekking. This can make a huge difference to your comfort, enjoyment and success of your trip. I feel the fit of socks are one of the most important factors in having healthy blister-free feet. I cannot stress enough how important this is. Buy good quality, good fitting socks and give your feet the attention they deserve.

Backpacks:

The most important factors to consider are fit and size.
Travel or trekking packs? This does not really matter. Decide what you will mostly use your backpack for. Tramping/trekking packs are top loading and lighter as there are less zips and bells and whistles. I prefer this option. On the other hand travel packs make it easy to find things.

Size: Larger backpacks can fit more in but are heavier to carry, 65 – 70Litre is more than adequate. The size you need will also depend on your height and length of your spine.
Fit: The most appealing backpack may not be the best fit so ensure you get expert advice from the store assistant before making any decisions. Make sure they fill the pack with some luggage/weight to give a true indication of how the pack feels. Ensure the store assistant shows you how to adjust the pack to fit correctly.

Raincoat:

There are three things that I feel you cannot compromise on: footwear, backpack and raincoat. These three things can make or break an outdoor adventure and also may save your life when conditions turn rough.
When choosing a raincoat, one of the most important factors is to make sure it is waterproof, breathable and windproof. A breathable coat will keep you dry and warm on the inside. This will allow your perspiration to escape at the same time while not allowing the rain to enter. The weight of coat that you buy really depends on where you are going and the type of conditions you will be using your raincoat in.

Clothing:

Clothing: Clothing is best worn in layers. There are many theories on what is the best option between wool and synthetics.
Wool is warm and does not need washing as often as synthetic fabrics. However this option is also heavier to carry and takes a long time to dry when it does need washing. Merino wool garments do not absorb odor as quickly as other wools and are soft on the skin.
Synthetic fabrics of today are far more advanced and technical than the synthetics of yesteryear. Good quality synthetics are light on the skin, very comfortable to wear, breath really well, dry fast when washed and are much lighter to carry in your luggage.

The main factors to consider are the heaviness of the garments, can they be dried overnight when they are washed and do they serve the purpose and conditions they need too? Also your clothing must be respectful to the culture of the country you are visiting.

Sleeping bag:

Sleeping bag: It is entirely up to you whether you buy synthetic or down.
Down sleeping bags are lightweight, pack up smaller and give more loft which traps in more warm air. Goose down gives more loft than duck down, so traps in more warm air, however goose down is also more expensive.
Synthetic sleeping bags are good however they are bulkier and heavier.

The most important thing to consider is the conditions you will be using your sleeping bag in. The life of your sleeping bag will depend on how you look after it. We perspire approximately one litre of fluid per night. This fluid and body oils are what shortens the life of your sleeping bag. To minimise deterioration of your sleeping bag it is advised to use a silk liner which will dry with your body heat.

Presents for children:

If you want to take something to give away to the local children, why not buy an ink stamp of a happy face or something similar. We do not advise that you take pens or sweets etc. Porters really love to get any old clothing e.g. socks, back packs, raincoats, tramping boots etc.

Time to pack and you think “Where to start?”

Packed and it won’t all fit? Take it all out and repack half of what you have.
Caution – don’t compromise too much – be aware of your safety.

Remember there is a restriction on weight on some domestic airlines and our policy of 15kg for porters carrying your backpack, so pack what you need but don’t overdo it.

Water:

It is wise to treat all drinking water and even the water we wash our teeth in. There are a number of ways that this can be achieved:

1. Buy bottled water: Trekking Adventure do not advise this option as the plastic waste is a real problem after it is discarded. We practice ‘what we take in we carry out’
2. Treat the water with purifying tablets or the like. Good option, however you need to ensure that the tablets used actually do take out all the nasty bugs.
3. Water filter.  This option takes care of nasty bugs in a clean and healthy way. It can be expensive to buy an effective water filter that takes out all the nasty bugs, however is very good for long term use.
4. Steri Pens. These are excellent and in my opinion the best option. Steri Pens claim to kill all nasty bugs and viruses by way of ultra- violet light. This option works by the ultra- violet light changing  the DNA which then stops the viruses multiplying within the body after drinking. They are light weight, small, user friendly, and operated with the minimum of fuss.
It is wise when considering which option is best for you,  that when trekking at altitude we will be consuming around five litres of fluid per day, which helps with acclimatisation. Water bladders with an attached drinking tube are recommended to help encourage the intake the fluids.

All of the enclosed information quoted has been complied with care and is given in good faith at the time of writing. This information is intended as a guideline only to help you prepare for your trek.