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A successful and enjoyable trip is a well-planned trip. Prepare thoroughly beforehand by checking the weather forecast and informing someone else of your intentions. This way if the worse were to happen, another person knows your route.
Research your route thoroughly, collect information on conditions and look for online forums where you might find advice from others who have done the same route or similar. Always listen to local advice – they might know more than the guidebooks!
Consider what you wear – sensible clothing is a must. Take the time to test out your kit before you begin your adventure, particularly your footwear. It will make your trip more enjoyable if you break in your boots. Also remember that feet slightly swell in head so shoes that are too small will cause blisters. Proper hiking socks are advised as they wick away moisture more effectively than cotton socks.
Weather systems in the mountains are very unpredictable so be prepared for every eventuality by taking several light layers. This makes it easy to put on or remove a layer as required. Synthetic clothing is helpful at high altitude as it is lightweight, packs easily and dries quickly.
The bare minimum is a good waterproof jacket but waterproof leggings or gaiters to cover your boots are also worth considering.
Don’t let the cold deceive when it comes to the strength of the sun. You may be surrounded by snow and ice but the sun’s rays are more intense at altitude; for every 3,280ft your UV sun exposure increases by 10%.Therefore at 6,000 to 8,000 feet in elevation, you’re exposed to 25% more UV radiation than at sea level.
You might not use everything in your backpack but it’s better to be safe than sorry! Don’t leave without the following:
First aid kit (anti-inflammatories, butterfly wound closures, blister kit, duct tape)
LED lightweight torch and batteries
High energy snacks
A phone/walkie talkie
Sturdy water bottle
Sunscreen and lip protection
A substantial and nutritious breakfast will set you up well for a challenging day. Porridge with a banana or wholemeal toast and peanut butter are healthy options. Snacks, often referred to as “trail food” will keep you going throughout the day; high energy/protein foods like supplement bars and nuts are good options. Salty snacks are good for replenishing the electrolytes lost through sweat but eating too many will mean you’re thirsty for the rest of the day! Drink little and often to stay hydrated.
Map-reading skills will put you in good stead for your trip and for future. GPS devices can be helpful but can also break or lose charge so should not be your sole source of navigation.
Adventures in the mountains are growing in popularity and not to be feared. If you are well prepared it is unlikely for things to go wrong but you may still be caught out by unexpected circumstances. We offer a wide range of policies to cover mountaineering activities from climbing to trekking to glacier walking. Find out more and get a quote here.