In the last of our four blog series on being trek-ready we take a look at the importance of selecting the right size pack for your adventure and give you some final stretches for before and during your trek.
1. Pack Selection
Regarding pack selection – pick the smallest possible one for the job. Although you may think a big pack will be more flexible for your needs, people tend to do just one thing with a bigger pack – they fill it. One of the easiest ways to develop an injury while trekking is to have a heavy backpack.
A good hiking or trekking pack has a rigid frame, space for a hydration bladder, and a decent padded hip belt. There should be accessible pockets on the waist strap to hold ‘quick draw’ objects like your phone/camera and a snack.
Put your heavy stuff at the bottom of your pack. You can purchase light packing cells to help you to pack and unpack quickly without your entire pack contents exploding right across the trail. If you only need a day pack, the same rules apply – don’t overpack. There are a host of great day packs available. I personally use a lightweight 9 litre day pack with padded straps and a wide waist belt with pockets.
2. Stretching and flexibility
One last bit of advice about regarding preparation involves stretching. Stretching can help improve your joint range of motion and reduce your risk of injury.
Three stretches you may want to try before and during your trekking adventures.
- Place one foot forwards with your heel on the floor, toes up and the knee straight. Keep your back foot facing forwards and soften the back knee lowering your buttocks slightly.
- Keep your hips square maintain a straight back.
- Lean your trunk forwards and push your hips behind you, keeping your front leg straight.
- Hold for 20 seconds.
- Start in a standing position, hold on to a table or chair for support and place one foot flat on the floor behind you keeping the knee straight.
- Keep the toes pointing forwards and your heel on the floor. Bend the knee of the front leg, moving your body forwards, until you feel a stretch in your calf of the back leg. Keep you heel on the floor. Hold for 20 seconds.
- Start in a seated position.
- Lift one leg so the ankle is resting on the opposite knee.
- Lean your trunk forward from the hip keeping your back straight to feel the stretch in the buttock on the side of the bent knee. Hold for 20 seconds.
So you’ve prepared your body and have the right footware and travel gear, you are on your way! Hope you enjoy your adventures, we’d love you to share some of your stories with us, Deb