Get Ready for Trekking and Backpacking Trips
You didn't sign up for a death march, so there is rarely any pressing reason to get an especially early start. However, since you will probably be exhausted at the end of each day, an early-to-bed, early-to-rise routine usually develops pretty quickly. Of course, there are exceptions, such as days when you want to catch the sunrise from the top of a mountain or when you need to time your hiking to the tides, as is the case on some trips along the Pacific coast of the United States and Canada.
There will also inevitably be days when you have to walk farther than you would prefer. These days are usually balanced by short days that include lots of stops for scenery ogling. On longer trips, you might even spend a day or two exploring from a base camp.
If you aren't already walking or jogging on a regular basis, get started right away. Since most guided trips need to be booked months in advance, you should just have enough time to get yourself in shape. If you're heading for the hills, be sure to spend plenty of time on a Stairmaster or steep trails every week. When you finally head out, you'll be glad you spent time developing your quads.
If you're doing a backpacking trip, be sure to do at least one or two shakedown trips on your own; this can be as easy as an overnight hike, but try to hike as many miles as will be covered on an average day of the guided trip. Also, try to load your pack with the same amount of gear you plan on carrying. If at all possible on your shakedown hikes, try to duplicate the sort of terrain you will be hiking through later. It's all well and good to practice carrying a heavy pack on a flat trail, but you'll find that this doesn't really prepare you for a 3,000-foot climb or descent.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication