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Mythbuster: 12 Common Myths About Trekking And Hiking

There are many dedicated trekkers all around the world and there are many who have started looking for treks currently. After the pandemic outbreak and impose of lockdown many youngsters have actually realized the importance of travel and activities like hiking after being confined at home for months. Many newer enthusiasts, on the other hand, do not believe that walking for days on end is the ideal way to spend a vacation. Some people are put off by the prospect of camping. Others believe they aren’t physically fit enough. Treks, on the other hand, vary greatly, and even the most discerning traveler will find something that appeals to them. With that in mind, consider the following frequent trekking myths and why you should reconsider them.

1. Trekking and Hiking is just walking

Trekking/Hiking, of course, entails walking. However, the notion that you’ll be walking nonstop isn’t necessarily correct. Most treks comprise of climbing vast mountainous regions which cannot be completed alone unless the person is familiar to that area. Kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, paragliding, and trips to deep underground caves and beautiful waterfalls are all included in some treks. If you fear you’ll grow bored placing one foot in front of the other all day, search for a walk with a strong cultural component or where you may participate in other adventurous activities while on the same trip.

2. Trekking cannot be done with kids

People may believe that hiking with children is impossible due to short legs, unique nutrition requirements, and the difficulty of carrying smaller children. This is a pity. There are numerous methods to make it a family-friendly pastime. Trails for families are easy to find in some regions. Smaller children can be carried by porters or horses in other places. Kids who have been raised to enjoy a feeling of adventure can enjoy hiking provided the route is carefully designed with their – and their parents’ – requirements in mind. Treks teach youngsters important life lessons. It is embedded in the trip and does not require instruction. Parents are aware of this and want their children to follow in their footsteps. It’s also crucial to get your child in shape for a trek, no matter how old they are. Get them on a fitness plan a month and a half before the start of their adventure. They should prepare their lungs and bodies for the journey. It’s enough to do a half-hour cardio workout with some squats and push-ups. Trekking can even be proceeded with your pet dogs. 

 

3. Alcohol helps to keep you warm

Many people believe that drinking alcohol is the simplest and cheapest way to warm up their bodies when trekking in winter or high altitudes. The inexperienced trekker always goes for a handful peg of rum at higher altitudes where the temperature is always on the lower side, which is essentially an invitation for a very common ailment called Hypothermia. Alcohol raises the rate of adrenaline, which causes blood vessels to expand, allowing blood to flow to the skin’s surface. This makes the trekker feel warmer on the inside, although it really lowers the body’s temperature. Hyperthermia can be mild, moderate, or severe, but all of the symptoms are the same. Breathing, respiratory, and blood pressure rates will all drop, and the body will begin to shudder. It has a direct effect on the nervous system, causing significant organ failure and clinical death or brain death.

4. You can’t Trek when you have a running nose or caught a cold

Many trekkers think they have a cold because their noses are constantly running. But that’s not the case as condensation causes your nose to run when it’s cold outside. The warmth in your exhaled air collides with the chilly air and condenses in your nose. This is the source of your runny nose. When it’s chilly, this happens more frequently early in the morning and late in the evening. Keep your face and head covered as much as possible to combat this. These heated layers can be peeled off as needed to keep you warm. You should also bring a handkerchief or tissue paper to wipe the booger off your face.

5. Leeches will drain out all the blood

Leeches can be found in hiking places and are common in wetter areas or during rainy season. They may appear to be bloodsuckers, yet they are actually beneficial medical gifts that doctors use in medical procedures. Leeches are effective at increasing blood circulation and breaking up blood clots. It should be no surprise that they can be used as leech therapy or to treat circulatory disorders and cardiovascular disease. You won’t know if a leech is attached to you unless you notice it. Leeches soothe the discomfort of sucking blood with a chemical that makes it easier for them to do it. While walking, keep in mind that leeches can be found in a variety of places, including grass, woodlands, rocks, and water. On the plus side, they are completely harmless save from sucking a few droplets of blood. They will stick to you for little more than 20 to 30 minutes at the most. Also leeches are uncommon in high altitude treks and occurrence is rare in dry and cold areas.

6. You can’t go for hike during periods

When their menstrual dates coincide, women often appear hesitant about their hiking intentions. There are various fallacies about going on a trip during periods, such as whether it is safe or hygienic, that cause women to avoid going if their menstrual cycle coincides with their trek plans. So we thought we’d assist you clear your mind and comprehend that going on a trek during periods is absolutely OK as long as you keep a few things accessible and maintain your cleanliness. After all, don’t you all go about your daily lives, going to work or college when on your period? Why would you choose something that comes back every month to trouble you for a little while over an opportunity to go to the mountains that you plan maybe once a year? If you don’t want to hike during your period since your cramps are unbearable and you’re feeling down in the dumps, That’s an other story altogether. However, if you’ve been advised not to hike because an wild animal will kill you, please take a step back and consider this rationally.

7. Google Maps

With Google Maps, you can get around your world faster and more easily. There are almost 220 countries and territories included on the map, as well as hundreds of millions of businesses and locations. Now let’s consider what could go wrong. What if you misplace your phone? Or does it perish? Alternatively, the screen shatters into a million pieces, leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere with no way to get back to the camp or home. This is why you should never rely solely on technology to get you back to your destination safely. Sure, it’s useful, but you’ll also need a map and compass, as well as knowledge of how to use them and what to do in various safety circumstances. Otherwise, your worst nightmares will come true.

8. You must be slim or thin to trek

If you’re on the overweight side and still want to hike, the first thing you need to do is get rid of all of these stereotypical notions. To begin with, hiking is a general pastime that is not limited to elite athletes. Hiking is suitable for everyone who enjoys the outdoors and wants to get a decent workout. In fact, there are currently hiking trails that are wheelchair accessible thanks to accessible tours. Furthermore, because each hiking trail is distinct from the others, each day will be unique. This implies that while one path may be simple for you, others may be far more challenging.

Get away from the assumption that hiking is only done by slender people who are physically fitter than the rest of us and can manage all types of hiking paths with ease when you think about it. Of course, when it comes to hiking, these aren’t always negative characteristics. Hiking, in general, pushes individuals out of their comfort zones, but if you learn to accept the activity and “go with the flow,” as it were, you can truly enjoy hiking as it was intended. In fact, one of the best things about hiking is the opportunity to stop and relax anytime you choose.

9. Gym routine will make it easy

Even if you can run for an hour on a treadmill or carry heavy plates in amazing ways, your body might not be up to the task of long-distance hiking. Even the fittest gym rats will question their fitness after climbing several thousand feet in a few hours. Fortunately, going for a trek is the ideal method to train. If you know you’ll be going on a long trip soon, try to schedule some shorter, local treks in the weeks leading up to it. In the gym, getting in shape for a long hike is difficult. Spend some time hiking at higher elevations to help you prepare for longer, more difficult journeys.

10. Jackets are unnecessary

Not so much a prevalent misconception as a common blunder made by the majority of hikers: In the summer, most hikers start with shorts and a T-shirt and don’t bring a jacket. At such high temperatures, it is just deemed superfluous. Even during winters many people do not wear a jacket over because they consider they will be all sweaty while climbing up during the trails. After a few hundred metres of ascent, one reaches the peak and, understandably, wants to sit for a while – or maybe a little longer – to take in the breathtaking panorama. The sweaty T-shirt sticks chilly to the back of your neck, and you start to feel cold. No matter how hot it is, you should always have a T-shirt to change into as well as a jacket or pullover to wear. Never forget that the temperature difference between the valley and the summit can be enormous, and do not underestimate the chilly wind that can blow at the top.

11. Your footwear should be hiking boots

If you’re new to hiking, you’ve probably already been advised that you need to get hiking boots. This is not the case; many long-distance hikers no longer wear hiking boots! This is due to the fact that hiking boots are fairly hefty and large, making them uncomfortable to wear in hot temperatures. When they get wet, they also take a long time to dry.

This is why many hikers prefer to wear running shoes instead of hiking boots. Running shoes are lightweight and easy to dry, making them perfect for hiking in hot weather; but, if you are planning in a cold, very high altitude or snowy region, hiking boots will be more suited.

 

12. I don’t need a guide it is a popular trek

When you’re in a major wild trail or on a crowded length of trail to a popular trek, it’s easy to believe that nothing could possibly go wrong. If you run into rangers or other hikers every few hours, it can almost feel like you’re not actually in a remote place. However, even on heavily-trafficked routes, if you’re more than a few hours away from civilization, you should do some study before going out and making the right choice you should hire a local guide. In some treks which are lengthy and actually difficult having a local guide is very important. 

A trekker who might have even researched about the place will not actually have all the knowledge about a respective trek as much as the local guides. The guide can make the people on the trek abide by important rules and making them reach on time. In other instances the guide can also look after the people if they are injured and can work as a helping hand in difficulties like climbing rocks or crossing water bodies. Moreover the guide can also act as the missing link in terms of a language barrier in case of communication and sudden interactions.  

Trekking and Hiking

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Dibyajyoti

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