Adventure travel is an incredible way to see the world. Nature lovers and fitness fanatics are perfect candidates for this style of travel. Even if you don’t fall into one of these personality types, you can still find a trip that’s right for you.
The biggest thing you need to know when booking a trip is how to prepare for your trip. So before you get lined up with a fantastic vacation, read below to make sure you’re not getting into something too difficult.
Booking the Trip
There are quite a few options available for adventure travel, and some are very challenging, so this kind of trip really depends on your fitness level. Be realistic! If you can’t run three miles, it’s probably not a good idea to hike the Himalayas. Conversely, if you’re a marathon runner, a simple, flat trek might not be challenging enough for you. So, check your fitness before you do anything.
That said, no matter what you do, you should train before you embark on a big adventure. Most sites say you should spend a minimum of three months training before you arrive. A good idea might be to pick a trip six months or so out, and start training before you book. See how far you get. This is a good indicator as to what you can actually handle.
Don’t be afraid to call the outfitter. They deal with this question all the time and, frankly, prefer you ask so that no one ends up in a bad situation – it’s not just a problem for you, but the group of strangers you’re traveling with. So, ask all the questions!
If the word training makes you cringe, you shouldn’t go on an overly physical trip. But if training sounds all right, then read on!
For trekking trips, you need endurance and strength. Cross training is good for fitness, and you should certainly bike and swim (particularly good for relieving joints), but the idea is slow and steady. Difficult yoga classes are good for mental concentration during difficult moments, and strengthening. Walking on a major incline on a treadmill simulate a mountain – do this for as long as you can, building up. It’s a good idea to actually hike, so if possible, find some area mountains and plan weekend trips.
Biking is simple – you must bike. Swimming requires swimming. All should be complemented with strength training and, of course, rest days so that your muscles can recover and be stronger than ever.
What to Pack
This is not a vanity project, so leave the heels at home. Adventure travel is you and the elements, so you need practical items like sunscreen, a good raincoat, a water bottle, lots of good socks to protect wet feet, sunglasses, a bathing suit, and a hat.
Some things you may not be considering are waterproof baggies, a waterproof cover for your backpack, energy shots for those inevitable moments when you’re starting to run out of steam, all weather pants that can unsnap into shorts. Bring a thin, well insulated layer to wear at higher altitudes or on cool nights. Mole skin is a hiker’s absolute necessity – blisters can truly ruin a fun trip. By the same token, spend the money on good hiking shoes. Don’t wait until you go on your trip to wear the shoes – that’s a sure way to get blisters. Before you go, get your hiking shoes well worn-in so by the time you’re trekking, they’re nice and comfortable.
Finally, don’t forget things like Tylenol or Advil, for achy muscles and headaches, band aids, and, most importantly, chocolate for energy!
What are your adventure must-haves? What’s your favorite adventure trip?