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One Thing I Wish I&'d Known Before my First Adventure
3 Min Read
26 August 2016
One Thing I Wish I&'d Known Before my First Adventure
There's a lot to think about before heading off on an active adventure. You'll be experiencing some hidden corners, and spending your days on the trail, so it pays to be prepared. Here we share our "things to know" before going on a walking or cycling holiday.

Carry Less Stuff

[caption id="attachment_20462" align="aligncenter" width="960"]Sarah Henderson Atla Via Sarah & her partner on the Alta Via 1[/caption] Sarah Henderson says "Less is definitely more when it comes to a hut to hut style Alpine Trek (Tour du Mont Blanc or Alta Via 1 for example), particularly if you don't have the option of daily baggage transfer. I didn’t need things like a book as we spent most evenings in the restaurant/bar talking to other walkers, then I was so tired I just went straight to sleep!" "You don't really care about looking immaculate, and end up wearing the same things most days, particularly outer layers" says Laura Paterson "and, it makes it much easier at your accommodation each day if you don't have to dig through your overstuffed baggage then repack it all. More time to put up your feet and relax!" Jo Payne says: "Pack, and then half it".

On the Flip Side - Don't be Underprepared

It is a careful balance, but we'd always recomend packing minimal clothing (as long as you have one of each recommended item) and cutting out the "nice to have" items, as long as you focus on what's really important. [caption id="attachment_20463" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Minna Kilimanjaro Minna on the summit of Kilimanjaro[/caption] "Before my first big trip (hiking Kilimanjaro) I was really really unprepared, especially gear wise." adds Minna. "I should have taken hiking Poles (the ascent was fine but the descent killed my knees, not a happy camper at all), and a head torch. "Who needs a head torch?"...that was my attitude prior to having to rely on everyone else!" If in doubt, ask us!

Never Underestimate Yourself

"You can always achieve a lot more than you think but equally you have to be realistic!" advises Jo. "If you're not used to it, then try to go out on occasional back to back days cycling/walking as your trip approaches. Don’t just focus on said activity though. Going to the gym, swimming, jogging, and yoga all help build core strength. You’re bound to have one day which feels more tiring than others. Just enjoy where you are, take your time, and don’t fret about it."

Be Prepared for the "Just In Case"

[caption id="attachment_20464" align="aligncenter" width="960"]Dabube Cycle path Andy cycling the Danube Cycle Path[/caption] Andy suggests: "Before a cycling trip I  always check You Tube for videos of some of the routes, so I can get a better idea of the terrain and what to expect. While I am on You Tube I also search “how to” videos just as a refresher on my bike maintenance checks, how to repair a puncture, inflate tyres, adjust saddles/ handlebars. It doesn't take long to check out some videos over a cup of coffee, and I can head off feeling confident."

Have a Plan B

Having carefully planned a drive & hike adventure in Park Penede Geres, Northern Portugal, Berta and her companion were faced with severe weather warnings on their day of departure. "I found quite useful to have maps and guide books for all of the area, not just for the walks we had planned. We were able to visit different villages in the park and to do smaller walks as the weather conditions didn’t allow long distance walks. We still had a great time despite not being able to do our walks."

Plan That Nutrition!

"I struggled to get my nutrition and water supply right." says Ann from our German Office. "How much water will I need for my trip? What should be in my packed lunch and how much do I really need?" "I (painfully) remember my first walking trip to the Alps, when I had to carry around 5 Kg of food (of which 50% was chocolate), because I thought I’d be starving! Now, I have a really good breakfast, and pack the following snacks for the day:
  • Some cheese
  • Salami sticks
  • Vegetables like tomatoes (technically a fruit....but you get the idea!)
  • A piece of fruit, an apple is perfect, as it doesn't get squeezed
  • Cereal or energy bars
  • Nuts and dried fruits
  • 2-3 L water (depends on the temperature)

And Finally,  For the Feet

Emma sums it up: "One word...Compeed." (In the interest of neutrality, other blister products are of course available!) Our team are always delighted to share their tips and tricks to help make your walking trip or cycling adventure run without a hitch, but the most important thing is to relax and enjoy it. There's always a forgotten item or a climb that's a little harder than anticipated, but if you're as prepared as you can be then nothing will stop you having a fabulous experience.  
Frances McCann

Written by

Frances McCann
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