Five Tips That Every Beginner Trekker Should Keep in Mind

Trekking .. Oh man .. there is just no better way to satisfy your wanderlust. Being smack in the middle of nature, feeling the untouched earth below your feet, and being the silent watcher as every bird, every butterfly, every plant goes about its business. There can be nothing more relaxing and more invigorating than…

Trekking ..

Oh man .. there is just no better way to satisfy your wanderlust. Being smack in the middle of nature, feeling the untouched earth below your feet, and being the silent watcher as every bird, every butterfly, every plant goes about its business. There can be nothing more relaxing and more invigorating than that, trust me!

But then trekking is also a serious activity. The impact and risk level that you will be exposed to while you hike depends upon a lot of factors which include the type of terrain you are walking on, nature of the surroundings you will be exposed to and of course your experience as a trekker.

So if you are a beginner in this world, I would suggest you take these basic pointers in mind before you decide to take off on a nature trail for some exploration. These will help you keep the risk factor to a minimum and ensure you enjoy your time with nature as best as possible.

Tip # 1: Know the trail

You really do not want to end up getting lost in the middle of nowhere. No matter what, always do your research before setting out to explore a new trail. There is not any universal metric system available in the world that will tell you the level of difficulty level of a trail. That's the beauty of it – you never know what you will encounter out in the wild outdoors! But there is a difference between being an adventurer and being downright reckless. My suggestion? Talk to the local communities, ask around for any adventurers in the area or find a trek operator that can advise you on the best trails. But, at least at the beginner level, do not embark on an expedition without any knowledge of the trail at all.

Tip # 2: Get the gear

As I pointed out earlier, trekking is a serious activity and as such, you should not venture out in the wild unprepared. When it comes to hiking gear, a few things you will find handy are carabiners, a rope, flashlight, extra batteries, rain protection, some extra clothing, first aid kit, a pocket knife, maps, a compass and some munchies in case you feel peckish out there. Ample supply of water is a must and an energy drink will be good too. Stash all of it in a sturdy backpack and you are good to go. And hey! Do not forget your camera, just in case.

Tip # 3: Dress up

When it comes to footwear, I would always recommend a good, strong pair of hiking boots as the best choice. Sneakers and flip flops are OK if the trail you are headed for is a flat, well trodden and manicured one, but mostly, what you would find out there will be an uneven, rocky, earthy path that will be totally untamed. Anything can hurt your feet out there, be it a thorn or a leech or an insect or even worse – snake bite! The rest of your clothing should be comfy and airy and should not hamper free movement in any way. Cotton tends to be the best fabric to be wearing on a hike in my opinion.

Tip # 4: Protect the joints

Downhill trekking can be really hard on your knees and thighs. Taking too long strides and jumps can also harm your joints and injury movement. You might not realize it now, but this recklessness can cost you big time, in the form of muscle damage and joint pain. Do not be rushing downhill, take smaller strides and commit to a route that is less of an incline. Remember, you are not doing this to show off your hiking skills, you are just here to enjoy nature and have fun. For more tips on how to protect your body while hiking, you can read the other articles I have written.

Tip # 5: Start short

If you are a beginner trekker, I would suggest you start short and not overestimate how far you can go. See, trekking is an activity that can really tax your body in terms of effort, strain and muscle work. Tired feet are the most intolerable to twists and sprains. In the initial stages, I recommend you limit the distance to two miles and build upon your stamina from there. As you gain confidence and your endurance improvements, you can begin to take larger expeditions.

Hope you have a great time in the wild on your first trekking trip!

The Road to Mount Kinabalu, Low’s Peak!

Push yourself to conquer the giant Mount Kinabalu , pride of Sabah and Borneo! To witness the panoramic views of Sabah at 4,095 meters above sea level is truly breathtaking and why every year thousands of tourists attempted the challenge of reaching the highest peak in Malaysia. Traveling higher and higher on the winding roads…

Push yourself to conquer the giant Mount Kinabalu , pride of Sabah and Borneo!

To witness the panoramic views of Sabah at 4,095 meters above sea level is truly breathtaking and why every year thousands of tourists attempted the challenge of reaching the highest peak in Malaysia.

Traveling higher and higher on the winding roads to Kinabalu National Park is a tranquil time as picturesque views of early morning mist cover the hillsides.

Arriving at Kinabalu Park Headquarters, all climbers must pay for the entrance fee, which is inclusive of the conservation work within the park. In 2000, UNESCO designated Kinabalu Park a World Heritage Site. Rightly so, as scientists the world over visit the area for its incredible biodiversity endemic to Borneo.

For the interest of safety, and compulsory by law, all climbers must be guided during their climb up to the summit and back down. It's worth it to request for a private guide, so the individual climber sets the pace. However, the guides are local to the area and have immunity knowledge to offer suggestions and encouragement depending on various factors, such as the weather conditions, the climbers' health and fitness and their itinerary.

Mount Kinabalu's summit trail begins at Timpohon Gate, an altitude of 1,866 meters and is one of the few jungle trails open to the public as a means of preserving the park.

Per 1km there will be a shelter to rest, with a simple toilet and drinking water (untreated) and a noticboard with information on the mountain geology and history. Each shelter is a checkpoint for the climber to take note of the progress of their relentless uphill climb to the Laban Rata compound at 3,273 meters.

Once reaching Laban Rata, there will be no plans except a buffet dinner and an early bedtime because the last leg of the summit trail will start in the early hours of the next morning. The few kilometers to the summit is dark, except for the flashlight of climbers, and some parts of the trail involve use of roads secured to the mountainside so if the weather is too unforgiving, climbing to the summit and / or other mountain activities may be canceled for safety reasons.

The ascent to Mount Kinabalu summit , Low's Peak at 4,095 meters, is worth the effort to witness the sunrise and panoramic vista of the mountainous Crocker range aligned by daybreak. A clear, sunny day will reveal postcard views of the other surrounding mountain peaks such as, Ugly Sister Peak and Donkey Ears Peak.

The gradual descent back down to Laban Rata, and eventually Timpohon Gate, will accompany the noticeable feeling of pressure from altitude change and higher temperature. It's advisable when climbing down to keep a slow and steady pace, rather than rushing to the finishing line, as the forceful impact on the knee joint and training of the calf muscles will cause a few days of wincing and hobbling. Although, if time permits climber's can experience the comforts of Kinabalu Park accommodation and soak in the Poring hot springs to soothe their aches and pains of their climbing.

Enjoy the rare and special sights of Borneo at Kinabalu Park before coming back to the bustling excitation of Kota Kinabalu City once again.

What Every Hiker Needs In Their Backpack

Anyone who has ever been on a hiking or camping trip in the wilderness knows the importance of having quality survival gear in their bag or pack. It is impossible to predict what will happen once you set foot into the wild, so being prepared for anything is essential. Inclement weather can show up without…

Anyone who has ever been on a hiking or camping trip in the wilderness knows the importance of having quality survival gear in their bag or pack. It is impossible to predict what will happen once you set foot into the wild, so being prepared for anything is essential. Inclement weather can show up without warning and even the best outdoorsmen can find themselves lost or disoriented.

Having some form of rope or cordage is a must-have item in your wilderness survival kit. It can be used in a wide variety of scenarios ranging from shelter building to tourniquets to animal snares. Cordage comes in many different types and forms but one of the most popular is paracord.

The qualities that make paracord so popular are its strength, its small size and its light weight. The most common type of paracord is called 550 cord, which gets its name from its break test strength. With a rating of 550 pounds, it is strong enough to handle most of the situations you will likely encounter in the wilderness. Stranger things have happened than the need to hold large amounts of weight in the wild. That's why 550 cord is a great choice for hikers, backpackers, campers and anyone else who ventures into the great outdoors.

Other things you will want to consider are how much of the cord you need for your trip and what color you prefer. Usually the cord will come in either 50 or 100 ft. lengths. Most people will find that 50 ft. is enough to cover most of their needs, although some would say having too much cordage is never a problem. There are also many different colors of cord available, ranging from solid colors to camouflage. If you happen to be in a desert area, choosing tan or desert camo would be a great choice. If you're heading to a woodland area, you might want to try foliage green or olive drab.

For those looking for more than just the standard cord, you can find accessories made from cord as well. There are multiple styles of paracord bracelets that when needed can be unrolled into a small amount of cord for emergency situations. While these are stylish and a great thing to have on hand at all times, it is important to have more than just that small reserve with you when out in the bush.

Trekking In Nepal: Best Hiking Trails For Adventurers!

If you check the global map, you will discover that the territory of Nepal is nothing but of mere ant size, while its neighbors are passable as a baby elephant in contrast, and I mean no disrespect when I divulge this stale discovery. The topic here, as you know, is of Nepal, and its own…

If you check the global map, you will discover that the territory of Nepal is nothing but of mere ant size, while its neighbors are passable as a baby elephant in contrast, and I mean no disrespect when I divulge this stale discovery. The topic here, as you know, is of Nepal, and its own humble land coverage (which is just 0.03% of world's total land area), the presence of mighty Himalayas, including eight tallest peaks of the world, have given the country a remarkable reputation among hikers and mountaineers. In fact, some even remark it to the trekking capital of the world. Applause side, we would like to introduce our fellow hikers 5 of the best trekking routes of Nepal, around Everest and some other tall mountain peaks.

1. Everest Base Camp

Touching the Everest is every human's fantasy, and while mountaineers dare risk their life to touch the mighty summit, we hikers have another challenge – making it to the Base Camp of this towering peak, and it is not easy. Your greatest fear, while trapping over the Himalayas, is not the steep slopes, wild animals or the freezing cold; what you must be really afraid of is the ailment called altitude sickness. Word of advice is to acclimatize properly to the mountain environment before you proceed to climb above 25000 meters. Let me add that this spectacular Himalayan trail requires hikers to stand at a whooping 5545m altitude – ie Kala Patthar, is simply awesome. It's Mount Everest, after all, the summit of the world.

2. Upper Mustang Trekking

In a country so green and lush that the thought of a desert would never cross your mind, travelers tramping over the Upper Mustang area, aka the land beyond the Himalayas, have been rendered speechless. They had entertained a mental picture of green Nepal, and therefore were unprepared to bare the sight of barren hills and arid desert-like landscape.

While geologists have a complex theory for this strange phenomenon, suffice it to say that the area falls in the no-rain zone, an obvious trait of a land in close proximity to the Tibetan plateaus. Amidst this rare geographic diversity of Nepal, there lies a mystical city, La Manthang, from where a king, now retired, once ruled the Himalayan country. All the same, you will find the city's varied attractions truly hypnotic. Along the trail, hikers will also have the honor to visit the sacred temple called Muktinath, where they say an eternal flame blazes from time immemorial.

3. Annapurna Circuit Trek

Just type “what are the most beautiful hiking routes of the world”, and Google will retrieve back numerable web pages, all touting about the enchanting trail of Annapurna Circuit area, which blossoms with lush vegetation and stunning mountain vista. Let it be noted that Annapurna presents thirty mountain peaks, with, of course, Annapurna I (8091m) as the tenth highest peak of the world; it's siblings are generally above seven or six thousand meter high. You see, you are going to make a circuit of this amazing mountain landscape, and along the pleasant trail, you will be sometimes admiring the green landscape; sometimes witnessing the queer lifestyle of the hillside villages; sometimes gawking at the magical scenario of the sun setting or rising behind the mountains; and, most of the times, shooting pictures of the lovely snow peaks.

4. Manaslu Base Camp

It never fails to shock us that a young British lady, novice in mountaineering and in her early twenties, made it to the summit of Manaslu, creating a sensation as the youngest British woman to acquire such a daring feat. From then on, crowds of mountaineers and hikers came from all over the world to touch the summit and to make it to the base respectively. I would like to address the brave hikers, and warn them that this challenging and restricted trail to the Manaslu Base Camp, while spectacular with wonderful villas, Buddhist shrines and picturesque landscapes around, is fraught with peril. Bear in mind that the trail is quite far away, requiring you to spend several cold nights under warm tents (pray that weather does not go on a rampage), and you will also be drinking to cross the Larkya La pass (a glacial saddle ), which lies at an incredible height of around 5213m (beware of altitude sickness) and, admittedly, offers a breath-taking panorama of the Himalayas.

5. Gokyo Trek

Call it the sweat of the Himalayas or its tears, either way the glacial lakes are a wonder to behold. And, the alpine valley of Gokyo, with six sacred glacial lakes, never fails to enchant the hikers with its picturesque beauty. Nonetheless, let me warn you that the Gokyo valley, which lies at the altitude of 4970m, commands a rogue reputation as the Valley of Death, owing to the death of numerous hikers caught in the grip of altitude sickness. And, there's this one hill, actually a small peak, called Gokyo Ri and hikers, in pursuit of the perfect viewpoint to capture the ultimate picture of the majestic Himalayas, climb this 5357m high peak, often falling or slipping down in their recklessness. All the same, I must say the view is worth the climb.

A HIker’s Dream Trails: 5 Loveliest Trekking Routes!

They say the world is small but a hiker knows how vast it is. They say beauty is in our concrete palaces and digital machines but a hiker knows the real beauty. And, what may it be? Well, it is the Nature. For those who have shackled themselves to the luxuries of their concrete world,…

They say the world is small but a hiker knows how vast it is. They say beauty is in our concrete palaces and digital machines but a hiker knows the real beauty. And, what may it be? Well, it is the Nature. For those who have shackled themselves to the luxuries of their concrete world, the word “nature”, which is narrowed down to ignite a picture of a small garden in their mind, would never tickle their excitement. So, it is time you strap on your trekking boots and stuff everything that you might need in your backpack, from that handy torchlight to a delightful sleeping bag. Then, take that small step which will lead you out of the concrete world and throw you into the wild, where every day is a big adventure. Here are some of the loveliest hiking trails, blossoming with natural beauty and wonder.

1. Zion Canyon, United States

Have you ever been to the Narrows? Well, if not then, imagine a 16 miles long stretch of river, flanked on either side by a wall of gigantic red rocks transforming it into one of the longest and most spectacular canyons the world has seen. Now, imagine yourself tramping, knee-dip or maybe waist-dip (depending on the season), through that cold river with nothing but a trekking pole to warn you of the water's depth (and to give you support). So, if rocks and rivers fascinate you, then prepare for a wet trek down the picturesque canyon of Zion National Park (incidentally, the park accepts up to 80 hikers a day).

2. Tongariro Northern Circuit, New Zealand

Something hotter than fire (or any aphrodisiac women) lurks inside Mount Ngauruhoe. Do you know what is it? Yes, lava, hot molten lava! Now, before I encourage you people to embark upon the Tongariro Northern Circuit, which encircles this spectacular volcanic mountain, let me give you a word of caution: Mount Ngauruhoe is not dormant but an active volcanic peak, ready to shower lava on you. All the same, no hikers can rest from inching near to the remarkable lava pits and craters for a close view. Add that Emerald Lake in the vicinity and this volcanic stretch is a scene of wonder.

Speaking of mountains, it would thrill you to hear that Mount Kilimanjaro, despite its intimidating altitude of around 19,340 feet, requires no such mountaineering expertise, nor any complex gears, to make it to the summit. No wonder, it is heralded as the “world's tallest walkable mountain”. Any hikers can manage it, although with care.

3. Annapurna Circuit Trek, Nepal

In the humble territory of Nepal – a country sandwiched between two intimate neighbors -, one can see the Everest (yeah, that's summit of the world … 8848m, to be precise), not to mention seven other noble snow peaks that make it to the “top ten tallest mountains” list with their incredible eight-thousand-meter-plus altitude. Among these mountains mountains include the Annapurna, and it is not just renounced for its 8 altitude but rather more popular for the outstanding, and numerous, hiking trails it offers to the wanderers. While you can dare the beautiful trail to the Annapurna Base Camp in just about 13 days, we soonheless insist upon the 19 days long Annapurna Circuit trek. The reason being it offers more diverse landscapes, ranging from the stunning Himalayan peaks to the lush forests, poignant waters, scenic landscapes, sacred walls and, yep, the roaring rivers. In short, Annapurna Circuit is a beautiful package, although the altitude sickness could be a big obstacle.

4. Inca Trail, Peru

While the ancient tribe of Quechua and their royal Incan Empire may have lost their way into the pages of history and myths, their mighty fortress city still stands majestically in what we now call Peru. And, it is to that remote city of mystique and archaeological wonder that this Inca trail leads to. The only danger here would be stumbling across that irregular stone staircase, stretching on for around 15000 careful steps or so. It will take around four or five days for you to explore this Incan empire. And, while you are in Peru, it would be nice to try the lovely Santa Cruz trek too, if time allows.

5. Kalalau Trail, Hawaii

We do not underestimate the beauty of Cinque Terre of Italy (the lovely seaside villas are a sight to see at night) or the Tour du Mont Blanc (it stretches over 100 miles, connecting three countries, sometimes France, Italy and Switzerland) but, Neverheless, we would like to recommend the Kalalau trail of the Hawaii Island for a lovely hike (just make sure to bring mosquito repellant or patrolling bloodsuckers will not let you peace). Wherever you stand or pause along this 11 miles long trek, the lush green vegetation and that ocean landscape will be a constant marvel. The prize for the hikers, who make it to the end of this strenuous trail (the ground can be slippery, and you will wish you had bought a trekking pole), is the magnificent Kalalau Beach, calm, serene and far from the roaring crowd of civilization.

The Sporades Islands

A brief introduction to the Sporades islands. These islands are perfect for hikers, nature lovers and would-be adventurers.

A brief introduction to the Sporades islands. These islands are perfect for hikers, nature lovers and would-be adventurers.

Hiking The Lycian Way, Turkey

An introduction to the Lycian Way. This Turkish route takes in many beautiful sites and historic wonders along its 500km plus waymarked trail.

An introduction to the Lycian Way. This Turkish route takes in many beautiful sites and historic wonders along its 500km plus waymarked trail.

7 Reasons You Should Visit Manuel Antonio Costa Rica

If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica for business or leisure, there are many things you might consider doing during your visit. One place you should not miss is Manuel Antonio National Park. This beautiful location includes gorgeous beaches, lush forests, rare wildlife, hiking, swimming, surfing, and much more. Read this article for…

If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica for business or leisure, there are many things you might consider doing during your visit. One place you should not miss is Manuel Antonio National Park. This beautiful location includes gorgeous beaches, lush forests, rare wildlife, hiking, swimming, surfing, and much more. Read this article for details.

Backpacker Trip Guide: Things To Do In El Chalten Argentina

Argentina is the go to place for many backpackers who are interested in hiking and skiing. It boasts of ample tourist offerings such as the Bariloche Ski Centre, the Iguazu National Park, the Andes Mountain, Los Alerces National Park as well as the location of some popular Incan sites.

Argentina is the go to place for many backpackers who are interested in hiking and skiing. It boasts of ample tourist offerings such as the Bariloche Ski Centre, the Iguazu National Park, the Andes Mountain, Los Alerces National Park as well as the location of some popular Incan sites.

Hiking the Triple Crown

The Triple Crown is among the most tough and longest hikes on Earth. For many enthusiasts, completing this path is the pinnacle of all hiking experience out there. The Triple Crown describes combination of the three longest tracks in the United States.

The Triple Crown is among the most tough and longest hikes on Earth. For many enthusiasts, completing this path is the pinnacle of all hiking experience out there. The Triple Crown describes combination of the three longest tracks in the United States.