If you like the outdoors, love getting out in a new country, and want to combine the two into a long trek amongst a different culture, it’s crucial you’re prepared for your journey. Too many travellers embark on a trek and reach a certain point with that horrible thought ‘I’m not fit enough for this’.
To get the most out of your time - and you sometimes considerable outlay of money - it’s important to research the specific requirements of your chosen activity. If you intend to travel with a touring group, then this information will generally be provided for you. If you’re a bit of an adventurer and want to get out in the wild, off the beaten track with no guides and no restrictions - it’s even more important to be prepared, because you don’t have the safety net of a tour guide to support you.
A sneaky way to gather the information for preparing for a specific trek is to research a tour group that offers a similar journey. Often these groups will include useful information regarding the physical requirements and preparation you should undertake. Tour groups are a great way to see the world and meet new people, but sometimes you just want to get out on the road, unshackled my an itinerary.
Getting fit doesn’t require a costly gym membership - you don’t want to pay that when you’re saving for your dream trip. Take advantage of the great outdoors, get out there on a weekend and hike a mountain. Alternatively you can start small and gradually work your way up. Building fitness is all about starting at your level and working in increments to expand that.
Even someone reasonably fit, who walks every day, will find a big step up in strapping on a heavy backpack. Get used to it; get accustomed to the weight and the feel. You can be sure that you absolutely do not want to experience it for the first time out there on the road.
One crucial and often overlooked tip: wear-in your shoes. Sure, people like having shiny new footwear, but it is totally impractical when trekking. You need to get comfortable with the shape and the feel of the boots. The last things you want are painful blisters. When you’re out trekking, your feet will be your most important asset. Train them and the rest of your body well.