Staying Safe and Healthy During Your Trekking Holiday
It’s very important to stay safe and healthy during a trekking holiday. Although a trekking holiday is supposed to be your downtime from work, it’s also a physically and mentally challenging mountaineering experience.
Before signing up for a trekking holiday, it’s very important to evaluate your current physical condition. A successful and enjoyable trekking holiday requires you to be in optimal physical health. If you are not in top physical condition, you will want to train appropriately before embarking on a trekking adventure.
Don’t Trek Alone
One of the primary ways to stay safe during your trekking holiday is to only ascend the mountain you are planning on climbing with other climbing partners.
If you are new to trekking or are planning an ascent in a new region of the world, hiring a trekking guide and following the guide’s advice will help to ensure your safety. A local, experienced trekking guide will know the climbing route you are taking well and the fluctuations of the weather patterns in the local area.
Drink Plenty of Water to Avoid Dehydration
Of course, it is also important to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration while on your trek. Drinking an adequate amount of water every day and patiently following the recommendations of your trekking guide about the amount of time you need to allow your body to adjust before ascending further up your route will help to ensure your safety on your dream trekking vacation.
Use Sun Protection
In higher altitudes, especially in snowy terrain, the sun’s rays are very strong. Direct sunlight is reflected off of the snow and is magnified several times.
In order to be safe from overexposure to the sun on your trekking holiday, wear sunscreen with a high SPF rating on all exposed skin, including around your eyes, ears and lips (a chap stick is also a great option for lips).
Also, remember to wear protective sun glasses or glacier goggles to protect your eyes from damage and possibly snow blindness. Wearing a hat will also help to shield your face and eyes from the sun’s rays.
Avoid Tummy Upsets
Getting a stomach ache or a case of diarrhoea is never an enjoyable experience, but it is especially unwelcome during a trek. Often when travelling to trekking destinations, the issue of stomach upsets and diarrhoea can be quite common. The best approach to avoid this complication is to:
- drink/use water that has been properly sterilised (avoid ice cubes)
- maintain excellent hygiene practices (washing hands thoroughly with soap)
- eat fruit that you can peel (bananas)
- use common sense when eating food
Acclimatise Slowly to Avoid Altitude Sickness
A very important, critical key to staying safe on a trekking holiday is to avoid altitude sickness by letting your body acclimatise slowly during the initial days of your trek.
On larger mountain climbs there are usually a series of base camps at increasing levels of altitude where you will be asked to stay for up to several days in order to allow your body to adjust to the higher altitudes and less oxygen rich air.