The ultimate step-by-step plan for preparing a trek or hike

A trek or hike is the perfect way to escape from the busy life and the daily grind and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Good preparation is important to ensure that your adventure goes well.

One of the first and most important steps is choosing your destination and route. That makes a lot of difference what materials you need and what preparations you still have to make. Think carefully about what you might encounter on your route. Are you fit enough for this terrain or do you still need to train a little? Especially with a backpack with a good number of kilos on your back. Also think about your experience, which season you choose and of course your personal preferences. If you don't like rain I wouldn't recommend choosing Scandinavia or Scotland.

Now that you know where you are going to make your adventure, you need the right equipment. Make a list of the things you think you need on your trip and make sure you don't pack too much on the road. Most important is a sturdy backpack, good hiking shoes, sleeping bag, tent or bivi, clothing suitable for the terrain and weather conditions, water bottles, food and navigation (map or GPS, or both). Also important is a first aid kit, flashlight and insect repellents....think of the midgets in Scotland.

If you have also put your equipment in order, it is time to build up your fitness and start training. You can never start early enough. Build up your fitness slowly but surely, do not immediately run long distances if you normally run almost nothing in a day. Build it up with a light backpack first and shorter distances and then longer and longer. Take care of a regularity and for days in between so that your body can recover from the effort. All this works together to make you stronger, increase your endurance and to prevent injuries as much as possible

It is extremely important to be able to navigate and orient yourself well in the wilderness. In the Netherlands you can easily see streets and ask someone for directions. If you really go into the wildernes, it may just be that one day you hardly meet anyone or no one at all. You will have to keep track of your route from the moment you start and check every time you stop to see if you are still going well. You have to recognize natural clues such as mountains, rivers and trees so that you can also find this on a map. Something I sometimes forgot during one of the tours is to take a good look at the elevation lines on a map. That's what the group I was away with knew. Super cool to work with, but for some also a little too heavy. But they also look back on an enormously cool trip afterwards.

By the time you leave, it is also nice for the Home Front to inform them about your trip. So when do you go ‘under the radar’ and you are probably not reachable. If you have an intermediate point or a Point High where you think you have range, please send a message to the home front to let us know that you are doing well. Also in the last days before you leave, check what the weather will do and adjust your clothes accordingly. Layering always remains the key for this type of tour.

And then the adventure really starts. Follow the rules of the country, the area and make sure you don't leave anything behind in nature. If everyone would do this, we could make even more people excited to undertake this kind of tour. And especially important is to enjoy the fresh air, beautiful views, and the people you are away with. You can have the best conversations with each other on this type of trip.

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