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What Are the Best Tips for Mountain Trekking?

The Inca Trail, which overlooks the ruins of Machu Picchu, is a popular choice for guided treks.
Hikers and mountaineers should always keep an eye out for approaching weather systems.
Mountains.
A group of trekkers.
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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 July 2014
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Mountain trekking may refer to more than one type of activity: trekking may refer to a guided trip through difficult, backcountry terrain in which a participant is aided by sherpas or other types of assistants; or it may refer to a self-guided hiking trip through the wilderness both on and off trails. The latter type of mountain trekking is very difficult and dangerous, and it requires significant preparation and training. The guided trips are less risky because participants are guided by professionals. In either case, a participant should familiarize himself with the terrain, climate, and common dangers associated with the area to be trekked.

If the participant is doing solo mountain trekking without the assistance of a guide, the most important tip he or she should consider is making sure he or she knows the territory well. This means consulting maps and global positioning systems, or GPS. The trekker should not only know where he or she is going while mountain trekking, but also where to find shelter, water, and help in case of an emergency. If the trekker is using a GPS, he or she should also carry a hard copy map just in case the GPS fails to work for any reason.

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Regardless of the type of mountain trekking being done, anyone participating in a trek should have at least basic first aid knowledge. Taking a first aid class before leaving on a trek is a wise decision, and getting certified for CPR as well as wilderness emergency response can make the trip safer. The trekker should carry a well-stocked first aid kit that can handle basic emergencies as well as emergencies related to regional risks, such as frostbite in high mountains or snake bites in deserts.

One should remember that mountain trekking is a physically demanding activity, and it takes a significant amount of conditioning before the trip takes place. The body will go through rigors not normal in day-to-day life, and the muscles of the body will be placed under higher demand. A trekker should spend plenty of time conditioning his or her body before leaving on a trek to ensure he or she is prepared for the rigors of the trip.

A trekker should also carry a water purification system while on a trek. Guided treks may offer water services, or have guides who will carry water for the trekkers, but in case of an emergency, a water purification system should be available. These are generally lightweight and easy to use, and they can be the difference between a safe trip and a risky one.

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