Trekking: 7 Tips on Preparing for One

Prelude This is an introduction to the following 7 tips on preparing yourself for a trekking adventure. A trek can consist of backpacking, hiking or just walking through trails from your campsite. But one thing is for sure, if you've never done a trek that involves backpacking or hiking then there are things you should…

Prelude

This is an introduction to the following 7 tips on preparing yourself for a trekking adventure. A trek can consist of backpacking, hiking or just walking through trails from your campsite. But one thing is for sure, if you've never done a trek that involves backpacking or hiking then there are things you should do and learn before you ever go it alone. If you are very fortunate and know a very experienced backpacker or hiker and they are willing to take you with them on quite a few of their treks then you can probably forego the 7 tips as they will be able to teach you in your travels together.

Before we go on let's light touch on what experienced means. It means someone who has engaged in lots of different trekking experiences in all types of weather conditions, in all types of terrain and is very well versed in survival techniques and application. Otherwise you should read and consider following the 7 tips as a basic guide before you ever even think about going on a trek alone.

The first tip to consider seriously is Research. Researching by reading and talking with other people who have done it before you are always a good and valuable way to get the right information about what ever task you want to undertake. Books on backpacking and hiking from the library are great sources of information, internet sites that have information on those topics are also good if you find the right ones that give you quality information. Joining online outdoor sites that specialize in backpacking and hiking can be a wealth of information and resources of such because except for newbies like you there are a lot of very experienced people on them that are more than willing to help with advice and instructions on how to go about it the proper way. There will always be different opinions but they still know what they're talking about because they've done it. Many of them have hundreds of miles under their belt and have deal with all the above references that was made above (lots of treks, weather conditions, terrain and survival. something you would want to do.

The second tip would be equipment and using common sense about it. Travel as light as you can. Backpack, clothing, tent, mat, hydration, backpacking stoves, fuel, pots and pans, medications (perhaps you're diabetic or have severe allergies), personal hygiene items (shampoo, deodorant, etc.) and a variety of other are just some of the possibilities of items that you want to take with you on your trek. The distance that you're planning on trekking can be a consideration for the amount of equipment and type that you need to take with you. The longer your trek the more definite you should be about what items you take with you. You never want to carry more weight than you can deal with in the first place because that can cause undue stress to your body and possibly injure your back in the process. That's why it's a good rule of thumb to only carry the essentials that you will need.

The third tip is take the time to do trial trail treks to get used to different situations, different environments, a variety of weather, and different terrains Anyone can go out and do a little trekking on a gorgeous summer day. But once you get out there things can change dramatically. You can go out on that beautiful summer day and the next thing you know it's pouring down rain, the wind is blowing like crazy and depending on the terrain, branching could be breaking off trees or the path could be getting muddy and slick. This is just one example of why you should do trial treks in different situations. By doing trial trail treks and gaining experience by learning how to deal with these different situations, it can sometimes make the difference between life and death. Ex. If you should trek out somewhere unknown and you have a topographical map but do not know how to use it or a compass and there again you are unfamiliar with how it works then to put it simply you are lost. So not only is it important to learn about weather patterns for the area that you will be hiking or backpacking in or the type of terrain that you will be traversing, it's also important to learn about how directional instruments work if you are going to carry one or how to navigate from the sky or how to read a topographical map along with taking your trial trail treks. It all goes together.

The fourth tip is make a decision. This concerns trying to hike or backpack and wanting to hunt and fish in the process. If you are planning on going on a long trek and take your time doing it then I guess this tip would be insignificant but if you want to make time on your trek to get from point A to point B within a reasonable amount of time then it just does not seem prudent to try to hunt and fish while you're on your trek as these are time consuming activities. If you do have the time then maybe it would be conceivable to hunt some small animals (squirrel, rabbit), along the way providing that you have the appropriate state license and it's the proper season for that particular animal. There are all kinds of great tasting trail food on the market that is very reasonably priced so unless you're just an avid hunter by nature and you have loads of time to kill make a decision which you would rather do. You can hunt at the appropriate times when you're not on a trek.

The fifth tip is make contingencies plans. The old adage states that, “Sometimes even the best laid plans can go awry”. This happens to be a fact of life. So prepare for such occurrences. This tip would involve trying to think of all the things that can go wrong. You know, Murphy's Law. Take along emergency kits in the event that you (and / or you're companions), get bit by a snake, get poison ivy or any number of other things that can happen while you're out on the trail. Plan for the inevitability of the weather by taking along a poncho and waterproof covers for your supplies. Make a plan in the event that you did not take along enough food or water or run short of other supplies. Consider other alternatives to a trail that may now be blocked off by the forestry service if you're traveling through a National Forest. In short make your plans and then think of anything you can that may go wrong and plan for it while still trying to take into consideration the overall weight of your pack.

The sixth tip is considering going with an experienced person. Surely you know someone that lives around you that an an experienced hiker / backpacker. If not, it seems almost a no-brainer that most states have clubs for people that like to hike and backpack. It's great to want to get out there and really take on nature on your own terms but if you're inexperienced that's not a very smart decision. The absolutely best way to learn about hiking and backpacking and camping is to go with someone that has done it numerous times before and takes the responsibility in doing it the right way. That means being careful, preparing properly for inevitabilities like weather, bears etc., knows how to pack all the necessary equipment without overloading with unnecessary items. Someone that knows survival techniques and has the knowledge of implementing them. Someone that knows any governmental regulations on land and waterways. These are all good thing to know when hiking and backpacking. Experienced hikers and backpackers may not know all these things at once but someone that is responsible will know who to contact to find out.

The seventh and final tip is: consider the elements of nature. Mother nature is an enigmatic force to be reckoned with. So it just stands to reason that you must remember that and take measures in accordance with that fact and prepare for any temporaryities. Make rain gear and lightweight tarps part of your essentials as part of your pack. If you're going to be trekking in areas where you may encounter snow and ice plan for that as well. By checking out weather patterns for the areas that you will be traveling in will give you foresight as to the possibilities of what to expect. If you use trekking poles make sure to take along the appropriate baskets and possibly snowshoes which can be very helpful in those areas. Doing your homework can be a pivotal point in the locations that you will be trekking in so plan ahead, do your research, have contingency plans, use common sense, do not take a lot of non-essentials, do trial trail treks if you 're new to trekking or consider going with someone much more experienced so you can learn from them as well as being able to actually participate in a trek. Most of all get out there and see and experience things that you would not by sitting on your couch. Once you have some experience under your belt invite your friends and family along to enjoy nature with you. You've been surprised how activities like that can bring people closer together and how much fun you can have and memories you can create.

Here’s How to Hike (And How to Survive the Hike)

Traveling is a great way to unwind, get some exercise and reconnect with nature. It's healthy and satisfying but it also comes with risks, some more obvious than others. The level of danger depends on the location and duration of the hike. Hikes of several days (usually referred to as backpacking) and deep within mountains…

Traveling is a great way to unwind, get some exercise and reconnect with nature. It's healthy and satisfying but it also comes with risks, some more obvious than others.

The level of danger depends on the location and duration of the hike. Hikes of several days (usually referred to as backpacking) and deep within mountains are more dangerous than a three-hour trail in a nature reserve. Thorough planning and packing will help you avoid most of the things that can go wrong on a hiking trip. Proper preparation will also ensure that you are better able to cope should the unavoidable happen.

Dehydration is fairly common among inexperienced hikers. Few people realize just how quickly one becomes dehydrated. Just by sitting at your desk all day and drinking nothing but your morning and afternoon cuppa java can leave you dehydrated. According to medical experts, by the time you feel thirsty you are already in the first stages of dehydration.

If you can become dehydrated during an ordinary day at work, imagine what can happen over several hours of walking in the sun. Experienced hikers recommend that you take at least two liters of water with you. If you're going backpacking, you'll also need to take some water purifying tablets so you can use natural water sources.

Hypothermia is often associated with extreme winter weather and many casual hikers dismiss it as something that happens on only the highest peaks. The truth is, it does not take extreme cold to induce hypothermia (-1 ° C is sufficient), it takes a drop in your core body temperature and this can be caused by a number of factors.

If you're in the mountains, nights can be cold and the higher you go the colder it gets. Often hikers do not notice how cold it is until they stop and rest for the night and even then they might be tempted to leave off the jerseys while they cool down. The danger here is that they will get too cold too quickly and might not be able to warm themselves up again. Wet clothes are also a problem because water conducts heat away from the body. Add some wind and the danger starts mounting.

According to Tom Raley, the key to avoiding hypothermia is to dress in layers and remain dry. Layers can be added and removed as desired and are easily bound around the body or stored. Proper rain gear is essential; an improvised rain coat made out of a rubbish bag will not do. Fatigue, dehydration, hunger and alcohol can also exacerbate the problem.

Being hypothermic is often dismissed as being very cold, but there are a few symptoms that are dead giveaways: mental confusion, blue extremities, amnesia and, perversely, a desire to strip naked. Should any of your companions show any of these signs it's vital that you act quickly. Get them dry, wrap in them a sleeping bag and have them slowly sip a warm drink. Monitor the situation carefully; you may need to make an emergency call.

Most hiking mishaps occur because people walk off the trail or get lost. Assume that the people who laid out the trail knew what they were doing and stick to it. If you're breaking new ground, or are following a seldom used trail that is overgrown, take a map and a compass with you. The compass is in case your GPS conks out. Because, let's face it, these days only purists do not take their GPS when hiking.

Two of the most common hiking injuries are blisters and twisted ankles. Proper footwear will take of both. Hikers need proper hiking boots with proper ankle and foot support. Boots need to be comfortable and you'll need to wear them in before you go off on a 5-day hike in the Malutis. Soles need to be sturdy and slip-resistant; this will help steady your feet and, unless you do not look where you're going, it will minimize the chances of a sprain.

You will also need good, thick socks. Many hikers recommend that you actually wear two pairs of socks to ensure you do not get blisters. The inner sock does not have to be as thick as the outer one though, so you and your feet can breathe easily.

Everything else is common sense (which is sadly not as common as one would expect):

• Keep an eye on approaching weather systems. Most weather reports contain three-day forecasts. These are not set in stone but are a good guide as to what you can expect. If it looks like a storm is coming, do not go.
• Do not go hiking alone, if you can help it. Groups of three or four are ideal.
• Always tell someone where you'll be and how long you expect to be gone; someone needs to raise the alarm if you go missing.
• Always take a first-aid kit with you.
• Always take a torch and spare batteries.
• Always wear sunscreen.
• Always wear a watch so you can keep track of time.

Now get packing and happy hiking.

Trekking in Nepal – A Personal Recollection

I ended up trekking in Nepal via those famous last words “It's your birthday; you choose what you want to do”. For a long time I'd wanted to go trekking in Nepal – specifically to Everest Base Camp. And so my wonderful family granted me my wish – and you know what else they say,…

I ended up trekking in Nepal via those famous last words “It's your birthday; you choose what you want to do”. For a long time I'd wanted to go trekking in Nepal – specifically to Everest Base Camp. And so my wonderful family granted me my wish – and you know what else they say, be careful what you wish for.

Not being one to go back on my word I started on a strict training program of going to the gym three times a week, walking in the Brecon Beacons and Snowdon. My theory on this territory was that the SAS train in these areas, so it must be similar to Nepal..wrong!

We opted for staying in tea-houses, it's got to be more comfortable than camping..wrong again! Tents do not have mice and rats, and the toilet facilities have got to be at least 100 times cleaner.

The first few days up to Namche Bazaar were hell on earth. I knew that I was not super fit, but I felt like I was running on half power. It did not help either that most of the others in the group appeared to have no problem at all laughing and joking along the way, and already half way through their cup of tea by the time I eventually arrived at the next stop red faced and breathing heavily. Still, remember the hare and the tortoise fable, keep your head down and carry on.

Namche was where the splitting headaches started; it was also the first non-walking day, a day to explore and acclimatise. Now you may get the impression that I was not really enjoying this, but it did have its moments, the first of these was a wonderful German bakery which served a superb apple strudel.

It might have been my imagination, but from here the walking was a lot less steep, for me it seemed to get easier. Do not get the wrong idea, easy is probably not the right word, and for some, the altitude began to bring on blinding heads and nausea. What's the cure? Lots of garlic, garlic soup, roasted garlic, anything, and everything contained garlic; that included the strudel.

Now for the serious bit. One thing which really stuck me was that fitness is important, but it's not everything, especially when you get higher, luck plays its part too. Three people in our group, all fit, plus a Sherpa who did the route regularly, suffering from symptoms of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) and had to descend quickly, thankfully everyone fully recovered as soon as they reached a lower altitude. The hare and tortoise fable resurfaced again; take it slowly and acclimatise.

The second memorable moment was when we got back for our final night on the edge of the airstrip at Lukla, the party was incredible; it must have been all that oxygen, or was it the thought that tomorrow there might be an opportunity for a good long bath!

For me my first Nepalese trek was extreme and it was not really wise to choice as my first serious trek. Having said that, it is still something I remember with a feeling of pride as I did it! So, whether you are marking one of those 'special' moments in your life, or you just enjoy a challenge, trekking in Nepal is an experience you'll never forget and never regret.

Trekking Shoes – 5 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Choose a Trekking Shoe

Trekking Shoes are the most important piece of equipment for trekking. You'll be treading thousands and thousands of paces in rough country in them and you definitely do not want to spend days or weeks with sore feet, or even worse injure yourself in the wilderness. So you have to make sure the shoes you…

Trekking Shoes are the most important piece of equipment for trekking. You'll be treading thousands and thousands of paces in rough country in them and you definitely do not want to spend days or weeks with sore feet, or even worse injure yourself in the wilderness.

So you have to make sure the shoes you have strike the right balance for your trek between comfort, performance, protection and durability.

All Trekking shoes are not equal. Unfortunately there is not really such a thing as a 'one size fits all' trekking shoe. Sandals, trail runners, light boots, heavy boots and mountaineering boots are some of the basic types and trekking shoes can have features of more than one basic type.

You can get away with one pair of hiking shoes on several different treks if the treks are quite similar and not too demanding. But it is a really good idea to get the right kind of shoe for your trek. It makes all the difference in the world being able to walk comfortably and can often mean the difference between a trekking holiday and a trekking adventure.

A lot depends on the terrain you'll be traversing and how long you'll be traversing it for. Generally speaking the rougher the country the more you will need a tougher, heavier shoe that will need more wearing in and be less comfortable.

Questions to ask when choosing a trekking shoe:

1. How much ankle support will you need?

If you are ascending and descending steep inclines, you'll likely need more ankle support than if you are only on flat ground. For ankle support, choose a shoe that increases above your ankle.

2. How much punishment will your trekking shoes need to take?

If you're trekking through the undergrowth full of sharp sticks and rocks, you'll need more foot protection that if the trek takes place only on well-trodden paths. For protection, a durable heavy material like leather usually offers more resistance to sharp sticks and rocks than a lightweight synthetic material.

A heavy trekking shoe will require more wearing in than a lighter one. Wearing in your trekking shoe is a very, very good idea. Who wants to deal with sore feet on the first night of their 30 day trek?

3. Waterproofing, how important is this?

Are you going to an extremely wet place like a swamp or a very dry place where getting your feet a little wet will come as a relief. Some trekking shoes are waterproof out of the box, others need to be rented or will be just water resistant.

4. Will there be extremes of temperature?

If the trek is very hot, will ventilating your feet be important? Will the weight of the shoe be a factor? What about warm if it is cold? Will you need to wear very thick socks and so need a slightly larger shoe?

5. What kind of grip will you need?

Here you are thinking about the sole of the shoe. Will it need softer rubber for wet rocks? Will the sole need a little extra cushioning because you'll be walking on tarmac all day? Will a heavier sole tire you out more quickly?

One last thing – be sure to clean and look after your trekking shoes well, especially out there on the trek. Look after your trekking shoes, and they'll look after you.

Trekking Poles – The 3 Essential Things to Look for Before Choosing Trekking Poles

When it comes to trekking poles for a long time I was very much in the traditional camp. That is the best trekking pole is a small straight tree branch found near the start of a trek and preferably kept for years so that a handle is naturally worn into the pole by your hands…

When it comes to trekking poles for a long time I was very much in the traditional camp. That is the best trekking pole is a small straight tree branch found near the start of a trek and preferably kept for years so that a handle is naturally worn into the pole by your hands over all those hours spent trekking.

But I've come to see the benefits in spending a little money and getting the proper thing, and when it comes down to it the benefits are huge.

Trekking poles enable you to spread the load of your body and pack over 4 limbs rather than 2. This means you can trek faster, use less energy, save wear and tear on your legs and quite enjoy your trek even more.

They really come into play when descending a steep incline. The vastly improved weight distribution will save a ton of stress on your knees and you really notice the difference.

1. Trekking Poles should be adjustable in length.

Although some people like to have fixed lengths trekking poles as they say it saves a little weight, for most the convenience of adjustable length is key.

Adjustable length means you can both adjust the length to suit the terrain and also make the poles compact and store them when you do not need them.

Some poles like the Black Diamond even allow trekkers to adjust the length mid-stride.

2. Trekking Poles should have excellent grip – at both ends.

At the top the grip should be of good quality rubber so that they do not become slippery when they get wet. There should also be an adjustable loop so that you can hang them from your wrists while gripping other things if needed.

At the pointy end the tip should be chiseled rather than just a spike. These extra notches provide a little extra grip on most surfaces. For special surfaces like ice you might want to go for a more specialized tip however.

3. Trekking Poles should have shock absorption.

Shock absorption can have a huge effect over the course of a trek. Having your poles soak up a lot of extra wear and tear can mean you have a lot more energy towards the end of your trek, do less damage to your body and extremely allow you to enjoy your trek more.

The shock absorption begins in the grip, where the rubber should do a little. The poles themselves can have anti-shock systems of varying complexity and price.

Be warned the anti-shock system can actually mean using extra energy when climbing because you'll need a little bit more effort to push your way up. See if you can find poles where the anti shock system can be turned on or off.

One last thing to think about – trekking poles allow you to burn more calories when going about your normal walking, so can be a great buy even when you're not trekking.

The Backpacker’s Trail: Then And Now

In the past few decades, the backpacking culture has transformed; what has been a backpacker's paradise before has become cemented roads today. The sense of adventurism of travelers, backpackers or not is revived because of cheaper air fare. This has transformed the ways in which backpackers travel and their actual destinations. It has also become…

In the past few decades, the backpacking culture has transformed; what has been a backpacker's paradise before has become cemented roads today. The sense of adventurism of travelers, backpackers or not is revived because of cheaper air fare. This has transformed the ways in which backpackers travel and their actual destinations. It has also become more difficult to explore beyond the beat path to somewhere remote, inexpensively, and relatively undiscovered.

Although Thailand is considered the number one destination for backpackers, other Southeast Asian countries are growing in popularity too. Backpackers do not have to make Thailand as their only destination; there are Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia to welcome them.For travelers who have already been to Peru and the Galapagos, they can proceed to Panama, Costa Rica, Argentina, and Chile.

South Africa is no longer the most favorite destination in Africa since it has now become a recognized trail for backpackers. More off the beaten track, Tanzania and Malawi provide a more genuine African experience for backpackers today. If you want to venture out in places such as Vietnam and Tanzania, do not forget to secure Vietnam visas and Tanzania visas before your next adventure.

Even Eastern Europe has its share of travelers from across the globe. Its tourism infrastructures like the Ljubljana's Celica Hotel, a converted prison less than a kilometer from the city center is a unique example. In just a low price, you can experience an artistic Scandinavian design in the hotel's bunk bed cells. From Celica, see the sights of the lovely Lake Bled.

Backpackers also have their eyes on China, Mongolia and Russia. Most of the travelers are taking the Trans-Siberian Railway, making it the main route. From Moscow, trains trek 9,289 kilometers to Vladivostok in one week. If you want to save on tickets, you could buy them in Russia. Being alone in a four-person cabin might seem unexciting to you, but, you can break the boredom by sharing a cabin with three passengers who will probably change along the way. This wholly transforms your backpacking experience.

Russian visas

How to Pack Your Trail Backpack

If you've read other articles on the subject, you should have all of the gear necessary to have a successful outdoor adventure trip. I have been remiss on a very important topic, however: how to actually pack your things! While this may seem obvious, in reality a large amount of space is wasted if it…

If you've read other articles on the subject, you should have all of the gear necessary to have a successful outdoor adventure trip. I have been remiss on a very important topic, however: how to actually pack your things! While this may seem obvious, in reality a large amount of space is wasted if it is not done properly. Further, people may begin to skimp on important items if they find them running running out of space. Never fear, below I will outline how to pack for efficiency, weight distribution, and by order of importance on the trail.

Think of your pack as being in layers. We'll start from the bottom up, and end right at the point at which you zip the pack. The bottom layer is where we are going to put clothes, and later soiled clothes. You should first put a small trash bag in the bottom of the pack for later. This will become our “laundry bag.” Why plastic? You may be surprised to find that some of your clothes will get quite wet with perspiration. Getting them to completely dry will be difficult, and getting the smell out will require a washing machine. Placing them in a sealed environment will keep your pack much more fresh and dry.

The next layer will be your clean clothes. Instead of folding them like you normally would, you will need to lay them out flat on the floor and slowly and carefully roll them up. You will want your shirts to be no more than thin taquito-like rolls, and your pants should be like long burritos. This method of rolling will save you space, as you will see once you start placing them in your pack. The shape's design lends itself to the contours of a pack and will leave you much more room at the top for your equipment.

The next layer is your food. You will want to pack your trail food more towards the back, particularly if you have flat packs of them. I have recommended in earlier articles to go to surplus stores for military meals ready to eat (MRE's), in which case you'll have flat slabs of food that make a good base for the pack. If you find this too hard, place a thin layer of clothes in between your back and the food so you have a softer, but still firm backrest.

Above the food you should have your less essential equipment. Fire starting tools, water purification, things like this are useful, but rarely necessitate immediate deployment. Try several different methods of fitting things in until you find out which things will fit like a puzzle. Also, if there are any brand new items, make sure you take them out of the packaging. It can lead to litter and will cause you to lose space.

At the very top of the pack is where you want your safety equipment and snacks. Your whistles, flares if you keep them, radios, and first aid kit should be some of the first things you reach in and grab if necessary. Should someone be bitten by a snake or trip and hurt their ankle, you do not want to have to unload all of your gear to access a wrap or anti-venom kit. The snacks part is left for last so if you start to feel hungry and you do not have any food on you, you will not have to stop the entire group to fill up.

If you've been paying attention, you'll notice I left one important item out: water. Drinking water will generally go in one of two places. The first will be in a canteen or bottle in a holder on your backpack or on your person. The second is in a hydration system (like a Camelback) that will fit either in a pouch in your pack or in a smaller, thinner backpack you'll wear out your main one. Since water is your most important asset, it should have a special location. Water is your second pack, not part of your first one.

If you're going on an outdoor adventure trip for the first time, consider hiring or at least contacting an adventure guide company. Especially for Grand Canyon rim to rim trips, a tour guide company can give you the ins and outs and ensure you have a great trip. Good luck, and stay safe!

Tips On Buying The Right Pair Of Shoes For Your Hiking Adventure

Hiking is definitely one of the best loved outdoor adventures. As hiking involves the feet – trekking down the chosen terrain, choosing the appropriate pair of shoes becomes one big concern. Do you need to buy this from one specialty outdoor camping shop? Or do you need the branded and expensive pair? Are these types…

Hiking is definitely one of the best loved outdoor adventures. As hiking involves the feet – trekking down the chosen terrain, choosing the appropriate pair of shoes becomes one big concern. Do you need to buy this from one specialty outdoor camping shop? Or do you need the branded and expensive pair? Are these types of shoes really hard to find?

In finding your hiking shoes, the first thing to determine is the type of terrain for your hiking adventure. You should be aware that different terrains – and even different climates will require equally different footwear. Hiking sandals, boots and rubber hybrid shoes – these maybe the types you have to consider.

Hiking sandals are only really good for light terrain – those that are level and flat with very minimal scattered debris. As these are open, such would not be suitable for insect-infiltrated grounds. These types will find good use by the beach and flat surfaces such as parks. These types of hiking gear are applicable during the summer season – never for cold weathers.

During the winter, hiking boots are compulsory foot protection. Similarly, they are a must when you are trekking high altitudes where snow or ice is present. This will not only be protection against the coolness of the ground but also for the misty and wet surface.

There are hiking shoes that can be used with all protection and conveniences for any kind of environment. The features of these would include strong traction of the soles. These should be fitted with firm rubber grips, also on the soles, as protection against slipping and loss of balance. Wet surfaces are slippery and these kinds of shoes will also be recommended for wet terrain. Wearing these types of shoes during seasons with occasional rayfall is proposed.

Among the best hiking foot equipments are those that are provided with ankle support. This part of the shoes really needs to be higher than the ordinary or normal shoe height. This part will provide support and protection to the ankles thus, incidences of sprains are prevented. Pads incorporated around the dogs and toes are worthy for this hiking endeavor. The pads will cushion these feet parts from direct contact with the hard land surfaces.

Additional great feature of good foot gear may depend on the shoe laces. These should be strong enough when tied us. They will be instrumental for the footwear to fit snuggly to the whole contour of the feet. Shoes that are worth buying are equipped with strong laces that can be tied up well to reinforce the snug fit of the shoe.

You do not have to buy different hiking footwear for different weathers or seasons, or for different terrains. There are those that are useful for any surface. Some call this the hybrid types – the all-around hiking shoes. There are those that will keep your feet dry and cool during summer as well as in winter because it is equipped with special linings that absorb sweat.

Find one with these features and great amount of dollars can be spared. Just keep in mind that the best quality of hiking shoes should adhere to the purpose of keeping the feet always dry and comfortable.

Landscape Photography and Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru

Among the most prominent features of the Peruvian landscape are the huge Andean mountains that run north to south through the central and western regions of the country. In Peru, much of this mountain chain is well over 3,000 meters (around 10,000 feet) with the tallest peaks reaching heights of 6,000 meters (19,000 feet). The…

Among the most prominent features of the Peruvian landscape are the huge Andean mountains that run north to south through the central and western regions of the country. In Peru, much of this mountain chain is well over 3,000 meters (around 10,000 feet) with the tallest peaks reaching heights of 6,000 meters (19,000 feet). The majority of these Peruvian behemoths are found in the Cordillera Blanca; one of the best areas for landscape photography in Peru.

Located in Ancash province, in the central-western part of the country, the Cordillera Blanca has also been known as the “Peruvian Alps” because the incredibly scenic, craggy peaks are topped with snow and glaciers. Views of this beautiful mountain range are possible from towns in the nearby Huaraz valley but most photographers prefer to shoot the Cordillera Blanca from better vantage points.

There are a number of sites where photographers can get excellent panoramas of the Cordillera Blanca. The best Peruvian photography tours and itineraries make more than one stop at different times of the day for landscape photography of the Cordillera Blanca that makes use of different perspectives and lighting. Some of the best results come from using a Gigapan Systems Epic Pro robotic mount that is ideal for making gigapixel size panorama photographs of the Cordillera Blanca.

This is one of the best areas in Peru for landscape photography but most visitors to the Cordillera Blanca come to this beautiful, scenic region for trekking through the high mountains of Huascaran National Park. Adventurous and physically fit photographers who combine trekking with photography in the Cordillera Blanca will have amazing Peruvian photo opportunities at every step but because most of the area is over 4,000 meters in elevation and the high mountain weather can quickly change from brilliant sun in a deep blue sky to leaden clouds that throw down snow and hail, all visitors need to be very prepared and updated on weather conditions.

Photographers who are not as adventurous or physically fit are still in luck when visiting the Cordillera Blanca, Peru for landscape photography because they can visit some incredibly scenic areas by road, including the Llanganuco lakes. These high mountain, deep green lagoons are bordered by rare, Polylepis forests that host a number of spectacular bird species such as the Giant Hummingbird, Shining Sunbeam, and White-cheeked Cotinga, and are framed by massive, snow-capped mountains.

Mountains of the Cordillera Blanca, Peru

Some of the more prominent, famous, and photo descripting mountains of the Cordillera Blanca, Peru are:

  • Alpamayo – An international survey of photographers and mountaineers in 1966 named this nearly 6,000 meter (19,000 feet) pyramid of rock, ice, and snow The most beautiful mountain in the world. The base camp for Alpamayo can be reached with a steep climb but landscape photographers do not need to get that close to this scenic peak to capture its beauty.
  • Despite sounding as if it was named after the Alps, it actually shares a name with a nearby village and in Quechua means “Muddy River”. The real name for Alpamayo, “Shuyturahu”, more accurately reflects its appearance as it means “pyramid glacier”.
  • Huascaran – This tallest mountain in Peru towers above the nearby town of Yungay. Locals are grateful to incredible mountain scenery and wonderful photo opportunities on a daily basis but also considering the mountain with caution because their relationship with this glacier topped peak has not always been a pleasant one. Massive amounts of ice and snow that accumulate on Huascaran and water from the Llanganuco lakes have crashed down upon Yungay on more than one occasion. Triggered by earthquakes, these tragedies are rare though, and should not be expected by visitors to the Cordillera Blanca.
  • Artesonraju – The fact that Paramount Pictures uses footage of this mountain for their logo shows how awe-inspiring the scenery is in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru. The ice and steep slopes of this peak make it difficult to climb but its pyramid-like shape makes for wonderful portraits that can be taken from locations in Huascaran National Park.
  • Siula Grande – This 6,000 meter plus, craggy peak is actually found just south of the Cordillera Blanca in the Cordillera Huayhuash. More remote than the Cordillera Blanca, the Huayhuash is just as scenic and more difficult to climb. Siula Grande has become one of the most famous mountains in the world after a harrowing account of its ascent and even more dangerous descent were detailed in Joe Simpson's excellent mountaineering book, “Touching the Void.” In 2003, the trials experienced on Siula Grande by Simpson and his mountain climbing companion Simon Yates were shown in the movie of the same name.
  • Pisco – For the best panoramic photos of the Cordillera Blanca, Mount Pisco, Peru is the peak to climb because it's the most accessible spot for taking panoramic views of the entire Cordillera Blanca. Pisco Mountain, Peru must be climbed with proper equipment but no technical climbing is involved and the peak can be reached with careful, guided trekking. A number of mountain climbing and trekking companies in Peru do the hike to Pisco Peak as a three to four day excursion. They can rent or provide equipment as well as porters for carrying photography equipment required to take panoramic photos of this stunning mountain range.

Trekking: Do Research Before You Go On One – Tip1

Do not go until you've done a whole lot of Research. There are so many things to consider when going on a hike, trek or backpacking especially on your own. You have to plan even to just go camping. You have to consider how long you want to be there, how much food you'll need,…

Do not go until you've done a whole lot of Research. There are so many things to consider when going on a hike, trek or backpacking especially on your own. You have to plan even to just go camping. You have to consider how long you want to be there, how much food you'll need, what is the weather going to be like and so on. Of course everyone knows how to camp and usually can figure out how much food and other equipment to take for the duration of their stay but trekking, hiking and backpacking are very different activities.

If you're going with friends or family or both, you will usually establish a base camp and if doing a short trekking or backpacking trip is something that you all want to engage in together as a group, you'll probably just head off your base camp. It does not hurt to have a couple of people along that do not mind staying behind to 'guard' the base camp until the rest of the group gets back from their trek.

If on the other hand you are wanting to do this activity with one or two other people and plan on doing a much longer trek and camping as you go then things will be a lot different. If you are a beginner you will want to study, learn and practice before you ever take on a long trek even if you are going with a couple of other people. If you are going with someone with much more experienced than you that has been on quite a few treks and has the knowledge of what to do in case something unforseen happens then you will probably be fine. But it never hurts to arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can.

There are all kinds of books out there that are informative on hiking, backpacking and trekking. Go to your local libraries and ask the librarian what you want to do and ask her to direct you to the how to section or backpacking section. There is all kinds of information on the web that has has to on the topic that you seek. Go to backpacking and hiking forums and ask some of the people on there about how to obtain information on hiking or backpacking and gear that you would need to take with you for all kinds of treks from short day trips to cross country treks. You will probably have to join as a newbie but you will get great responses from very experienced hikers, backpackers and trekkers from all walks of life and all parts of the country. They will all have great advice for you although some may have different opinions about what type of gear you'll need, the best books to read on the topic and things of that nature. But they are an invaluable resource for finding out where you need to look for your information. Many of them will have had hundreds of miles under their belt from their experiences from trekking north, south, east and west and cross ways.

The Complete Walker IV, by Colin Fletcher, is a great place to start. It has several revised versions but they all contain great advice on how to get started. Its very adept at giving you a 'feel' for a hike as well as giving you the lowdown on gear. Checking out sources such as YouTube is a great way to find information on backpacking, hiking and trekking. As silly as it may seem, the Boy Scout Merit Badge Pamphlet can also be a good source of learning because it stresses safety and has a set of requirements to meet so if you agree that you have the basic knowledge and basic skill that you will need to know for starting out. You should know which information to heed and which to dismiss just from common sense alone. But it can be a good basic source divertheless. Along those same lines is the Boy Scout Field book. So if you know anyone in your area that has a Boy Scout chapter ask if they have a spare one that you can check out.

The point here being, that the more knowledge that you get and the more experience you put under your belt by doing trial trail treks, camping in the backyard and even going on short treks with more experienced people, it will be time well spent in the long run.