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Preparation Tips for a Long Distance Trek

Part of the fun of travel is the spontaneity and freedom it provides. However, if you’re planning a long-distance journey on foot, you’ll need to take the time to prepare a little. A long distance trek could mean anything from a two-week hike through the Andes to a six-month long journey backpacking through Southeast Asia. No matter how long the distance may be, there are a few tips that can help you start off on the right foot.

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Choosing a Route

The first step towards planning your trek is to choose an itinerary. The terrain, distance, and climate will help determine what you need to do to prepare, so it’s important to research these aspects of the trek before you begin. Think about the type of scenery you’re interested in exploring. Do you prefer a gentle walk around a series of lakes and valleys, or would you prefer a more challenging hike up the side of a mountain? How far do you plan to travel to get to the beginning of the hike? It’s best to narrow the route down by region and preferred terrain before you begin. You can then read reviews, books, and blogs about the trail. Be sure to stock up on hiking guides and maps for your journey.

Getting in Shape

With a good idea of what your route is going to look like, you’ll be able to start training for this endurance challenge. Remember that you’ll not only need to be walking for eight hours a day, potentially on steep inclines, but you’ll also need to be carrying a heavy load for much of this distance. Focus not only on building your leg muscles, but the body as a whole. Cardio exercises will help build your endurance, while weight lifting can help you prepare for heavy lifting. Even if you’re in top shape, prepare to start slowly on your hike and build up to more gruelling days, particularly at high altitudes.

Preparing your Packing List

What will you need to bring on your journey? If you’re travelling abroad, how will you get in touch with people? One option is to get a prepaid international SIM card from a provider like lebara.co.uk, which you can use in case of emergency. Yet in remote areas, you’ll also need to be self-sufficient. Think about health and beauty items like toilet paper, sanitary supplies, and soap, as well as adequate food and water. Dehydrated food is ideal for the trail, as it weighs less and doesn’t take up too much room. Powdered beans, vegetables, and soups can help keep you going on the trail.

Final Preparations

As you get closer to your final preparations, think about how you will stay in touch with the real world on a long distance journey. If you’ll be gone for several months, don’t forget to cancel your subscriptions and turn off media services. Prepay your bills or even switch over to a prepaid phone like the ones at Lebara, particularly if travelling abroad. You’ll also need to research your destination and find out if you need visas, permits, or vaccinations before entry.

By taking the time to research your journey in advance, you can ensure that your trip runs smoothly while still enjoying the spontaneity of life as a backpacker. You’ll then be free to enjoy the renewal of mind, body, and spirit that a long distance trek can provide.

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Natural Holidays in Lapland

It seems that when most people imagine their dream holidays, tropical beaches come to mind. They want to escape the relatively cold weather of their temperate homes and relax in shorts and flipflops, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But for some people, a sense of adventure draws them in the opposite direction—the far north. The Arctic Circle makes for a unique holiday destination for many reasons, but the most obvious is the natural environment and outdoors activities that are only possible there. Lapland in particular has many exciting activities to offer.

Natural Holidays in Lapland 1This region that spans both Sweden and Finland is a paradise for those that love the outdoors, though it changes drastically with the seasons. The difference between winter and summer there is dramatic, to say the least. In the winter, the harsh Lapland climate is intimidating but allows for some of the most scenic skiing in the world. The top-rated resorts have excellent terrain and almost non-existent lift lines, with expansive panoramic views over vast tracts of wilderness on clear days. Cross country skiing and snowshoeing are also popular activities, and in some regions are actually necessary for basic transportation when the snow buries roads for extended periods of time. Some remote Scandinavian villages still rely on dog sleds for transporting goods and supplies across long distances, and dog sled treks are a fantastic way for visitors to get a feel for the people, the countryside, and the animals. Bonding with the hardworking sled dogs is a fun and rewarding experience for anyone, and trips lasting anywhere from a week to an afternoon are easy to arrange. Snowmobiling, the modern answer to dog sledding, is another popular activity for visitors.

Natural Holidays in Lapland 2After and before the depth of winter, in March and September the earth is at its best location for viewing the famed aurora borealis, or northern lights. During the spring and fall equinoxes of these months, there is an increased chance of the geomagnetic storms that ignite the wildest colors of this eerie and beautiful phenomenon. To get the best views of the northern lights, escape the larger towns and cities and instead seek areas with less light pollution coming from human activity. Experiencing these sweeping curtains of color in the sky is undoubtedly the highlight for many visitors to Lapland and other areas in the far north.

Natural Holidays in Lapland 3In the summer, the weather becomes surprisingly temperate. Sweden and Finland are both marvelously pleasant at this time of year, and activities like trekking become more popular. Abisto National Park, one of Europe’s largest natural areas, is the home of the Kungsleden (“King’s Trail,”) a 425 km trek that takes about a month. Small trips are also very feasible, and take intrepid visitors through beautiful countryside, glacial waterfalls and lakes, and fields of wildflowers. Kayaking is another common pursuit.

Lapland is a beautiful area, and visiting at any time of year is a rewarding experience. So why stay on the beaten path? Leave the sunscreen at home and go on a real adventure.

 

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