Useful hints and tips if you’re planning a trekking or walking holiday

Trek Equipment

It is simply not worth skimping on dubious quality boots or waterproofs if you have made the effort to travel often halfway round the world, spending a certain amount of money, only to have your ambitions bamboozled by the wrong equipment. However good quality gear can add to the cost of a trip. Thus at Imaginative Traveller we save you significant additional expense by providing on certain treks a Trek Pack which includes sleeping bag and sheet, insulated or waterproof jacket, foam mattress and kit bag (contents vary according to destination).

Fitness

We appreciate that often people are worried about fitness or being left behind “because I’m such a slow walker”. Don’t worry, it’s not a race. Part of the beauty of walking is to take in the scenery slowly, stop for rests, snacks, a drink, take a thousand photos, chat to the locals, your porters or guide. You might never pass this way again so what is the point in rushing? Everyone walks at their own pace. Our professional trekking guides make sure of that and we have a good ratio of staff to clients per trip to ensure no-one gets left behind! And remember that an awful lot of trekking is about mental attitude as well as fitness.

Trek Grading

Another important issue and a very emotive one. After all, one man’s stroll is another man’s expedition. It is impossible to take everyone’s individual fitness levels into account. We have graded our treks in general terms of ‘Leisurely, Moderate and Strenuous’ with some of our more ambitious European walks gaining a ‘Challenging’ grade. This enables us to group together various treks under the same categories which generally adhere to similar guidelines – length, altitude, hours walked each day etc…. Thus our 3-day trek through Tiger Leaping Gorge as part of Yunnan Revealed in China, is graded ‘Leisurely’ whereas the 1-day treks to see the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda on our Preserving Primates tour is ‘Moderate’ due to the more challenging conditions under foot. However it is such a personal issue that it is vital you read the detailed trip notes to understand exactly what the trek involves. If you have any concerns then please do call and speak to one of our experts in the Sales Team. We all have good knowledge of our product and would really rather you enjoyed your trip and perhaps took on a less ambitious trek than ‘bit off more than you could chew’.

Accommodation

If you are not used to sleeping under canvas or just a lack of toilet facilities then camping can come as a bit of a shock. However, it is usually the best way to access truly remote areas and we have discovered some superb camp spots throughout the world so if you can learn to embrace it and enjoy waking up to the magnificent mountain sunrises rather than grumble about the chilly mornings then so much the better!

Altitude

This generally does not tend to affect people below 3000m. Everyone reacts in a different way, at different times. Some can experience little more than a dull headache no matter how high they go. Others suffer from virtual migraines, nausea, difficulty breathing, dizziness etc….and the only way to recover is to descend. The best way to cope with altitude is to go slowly, walk high and sleep low where possible. The other requirement is rehydration. Drink water, water and more water. Which is of course a pain at night (especially where there is usually a lack of ‘en suite accommodation’), but certainly helps with any altitude-related headaches.

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