How to prepare for your hiking trip
Hiking isn’t just a normal walk constantly to a higher altitude within a mountain. It’s a strenuous activity that requires strength and physical fitness to get through the hike to and from the peak. Mount Elgon National Park is 4,321m above sea level and is regarded as a more friendly hiking destination compared to the higher peaks of Mountain Rwenzori and Mount Kilimanjaro within the East African Region. Never the less, if for that you think you will just hop off the couch after along layoff, get your hiking boots on and hit the hiking trail, you should rethink. 4,321m above sea level aren’t just a walk over the hike requires balance and strength to get through. No worries anyway, here are tips on how to get in shape for hiking mount Elgon and any other peaks;
Top Essential tips on how to get in shape for hiking
- Do basic training
Just to warm up your muscles and get your heart rate up for the hike especially if you haven’t been active for a while, you should start with basic training. These trainings are inclusive but not limited to running or walking in sand, standing on a tennis ball, do squats and lunges, do push-ups, do step ups with your back packs as you add in 5 pounds each week till its as heavy as your back pack and you can make 700 steps in 30 minutes. These exercises will help you build the muscles that protect your knees and ankles. Two of the most common injuries on a hiking trip are ankle rolling and ankle sprains and with these exercises you can avoid them and return from your hiking safari in Uganda safe.
- Take a day hike
For a first timer trying out the adventure of a hiking trip, when the weather is good, you can opt for a day’s hike. However, before you push yourself harder, if you haven’t been active a lot you scan start with taking a walk two to three times a week while carrying a light day pack. On the day’s hike, wear the same shoes that you’ll be wearing during the hike (just to make sure you will be comfortable during the hike)
- Choose the right hiking
Whether you are an experienced hiker, your foot wear can be a determinant to your hiking adventure. Choose a hiking boot that will protect and support your feet and ankles because if it doesn’t you will want to get it off your feet before the hike ends. While buying your shoe choose one that is good for both hiking and makes your packing easy. Do your research early, fit int the shoe and hike for a day with the shoe just to ensure you don’t have your hiking trip messed.
Extra tips for a hiking trip
On a hiking trip you will definitely have to slope back down, but this isn’t just about sloping. Downhill hiking is tough on your legs, toes, and especially knees. During the downhill hike, your body is holding its own weight back, plus whatever you have in your backpack, to avoid falling. This repeated pressure can lead to injury yet rolling over rocks and uneven surfaces can also strain joints. While preparing for your hiking Uganda tour, hike down slope to, to ensure that you can do it right with your shoes and the back pack too.
Use hiking poles: Whether a first timer or a seasoned hiker, this can be of help. They help you gain balance especially on the downhill hike or even on an uneven surface. It’s at least a guarantee for an extra two limbs for you to hold when you don’t have where to. Ensure to use them properly by not planting the tip of the pole in front of your lead foot.
Prevent altitude sickness. Geographically its said the cooler you go the cooler it becomes and with the energy invested on the hike, you can probably get sick. When you are a flat lander, the 4,321m above sea level can really mean something different. However, the best way of beating altitude sickness is by giving yourself time to acclimate to the elevation by gradually climbing slowly. You can do this by spreading the number of days on safari. The other way is also by drinking plenty of water, eat a lot, keep your pace slow and incase it completely fails then go down to a lower altitude. It hurts to retreat from your hike but then your health is important as well. For simple headache always pack some medication after consulting a physician.
Trekking along with a friend is also a good way to go. Company can help you calm down.
Wear comfortable clothes in layers that you can remove or add as needed. If you are hiking in an area where the weather is changeable, pack rain gear. Also wear a hat, hand gloves and sunscreen.
Mount Elgon has for centuries been a hiking hot spot for families and for this many visit this place. For greater memories you can also have a Jinja source of the Nile tour on a boat cruise to the source of the Nile on your way to or from the hike. In case you would love to have a wildlife tour then visiting Kidepo Valley National Park in North Easter Uganda or continuing for a tour to Murchison Falls National Park is a great option.
Get ready for your hike and have much more than a hike but a great safari experience.