Get ready for the trip - part VI - trip to the mountains

2017-04-20
Get ready for the trip - part VI - trip to the mountains

I perfectly remember the first trip to the mountains - it was not a typical spontaneous journey in the style of "I'm packing a backpack and going to the Bieszczady Mountains". My direction was a little different - the Tatras. I packed the backpack to the brim, all pockets were filled with clothes, gadgets and maps printed on A3. After all, the main thing is not to forget anything.

On the day of departure I was still adding more things to my backpack, thinking "maybe it will be useful". Loaded, I went on a journey. At the end of the trip, it turned out that my mother's words came true again - I took far too many things. And yes, taught by the first trip to the mountains, the next ones I knew what was necessary (for the new guests: see the previous text Prepare for departure - part V - what to take. Today, however, not about things, but about myths and tips related to trips to the mountains.

1. When you go to the mountains for the first time, never buy new shoes.

I bought my first trekking shoes in one of the biggest sports chain stores. As for their properties, they were really great - adequate soles hardness, raised upper covering the ankle, quick bindings and brilliant design. Just in time for a summer trip to the mountains. However, they had one minus, they were new. Unfortunately, this rule applies to all types of footwear - no matter how well-fitted the shoes are, they must first be worn. Why? Because the shoe is not yet adapted to your foot, it can cause abrasions or corns at the beginning of walking. I note that 3 days is definitely too short a time. It's best if you do a few or several longer walks, e.g. in the woods.

Advice for beginners: Although the route to Morskie Oko is very pleasant and easy, I am asking you to leave flip-flops and flip-flops to Hawaii or a walk around Krupówki. Because, first of all, you run the risk of twisting your ankle, and secondly, the people next to you have a really good laugh.

2. Regardless of the route chosen, be prepared for various situations.

You can get lost on the trails, even if you have a map with you. Available guidebooks and tourist maps provide us with a lot of information and definitely facilitate the choice of route, but no one will help determine the weather. The mountains have the charm that the weather can change very quickly - the wonderfully favorable sun can hide behind a cloudy and rainy sky. Unfortunately, during one of the trips I had the "luck" that I got off my trail. Initially, the route was to last about 2 hours, finally ended after 6 hours. It was a bit frightening, but the views were amazing and enormous delight, when going down I began to hear the stream. You could say happiness in misery, because the route I chose did not include such views.

Therefore, advice for you: Before leaving, make sure you have with you: a hat, a spare pair of socks, gloves, a raincoat or other waterproof clothing, a first-aid kit with basic equipment, a flashlight, a source of fire (incandescent lighter or matches), a compass and a supply of food for 24h. Nowadays, a power bank will certainly be useful. In addition, remember to leave a message about your trip route and possible time of return at your place of stay.

3. Even if the weather is perfect, dress in layers.

If you are planning a recreational trip to the mountains, you do not have to strain your budget and buy professional or technical clothing. Of course, I do not deny that they are very useful and practical, but when hiking in the mountains, the rule of thumb is to dress in layers. Walking in the open air, at an altitude above the forest border, temperature and weather can take its toll. So what should our outfit look like?

The basic set is a T-shirt, a hat, trousers with detachable legs and a rain jacket. Rule No. 1 - jeans are not good pants, no matter how much you like to wear them. Why? In the event of rain, they dry for a long time and may cause abrasions on long journeys. If you are going for a short, simple walk, then traditional tracksuits or leggings will work.

4. Mountains are not expensive.

Before I went to the mountains for the first time, I heard from stories of friends or family that mountains are terribly expensive. As it turned out in practice, most of this expenditure was not related to expensive mountain equipment, but to ordinary shopping cravings. It is known that trips are never the same. A trip for one day looks differently than a few days trip. For example - a trip for 5 nights, using current book portals or promotional websites, will amount to about PLN 500 and including breakfast! I found a friendly enough guest house that I got a small set for the day trip, including yogurt, energy bars, water and 2 sandwiches. So if you want, you can.

Before I went to the mountains for the first time, I heard from stories of friends or family that mountains are terribly expensive. As it turned out in practice, most of this expenditure was not related to expensive mountain equipment, but to ordinary shopping cravings. It is known that trips are never the same. A trip for one day looks differently than a few days trip. For example - a trip for 5 nights, using current book portals or promotional websites, will amount to about PLN 500 and including breakfast! I found a friendly enough guest house that I got a small set for the day trip, including yogurt, energy bars, water and 2 sandwiches. So if you want, you can.

5. You don't have to be a fitness instructor when going to the mountains.

A trip to the mountains is primarily to ensure peace and pleasant rest. Straight trails do not require super strength. On the routes, I saw 3-year-olds or people of a little more weight who managed the route perfectly. Hiking in the mountains is to restore balance and peace of mind - you go at the pace that pleases you. Nobody stands above you and says - cover 2 km now, then rest. NO. You know when you want to stop and need some rest. When I first climbed the Giewont, I thought I couldn't make it, because unfortunately I was aware that I don't have enough strength to climb the part with chains. I tried it anyway. I had the moment that I wanted to go down, but then the Lord stopped by me (He looked passionate about the mountains), who said that there is an amazing view from above and I should definitely go there. And He was not wrong, after a moment of rest, I moved on. The view was unforgettable. And then I realized that the mountains are really for everyone, and for these landscapes it is worth overcoming your difficulties.

A small tip: If you are still afraid that you will not be able to do it or that your friends will laugh, that you are out of shape - just ignore it. The mountains are for you, not for the opinions of friends. And if you want to increase your endurance, just take care of yourself a month or two before leaving. Go for longer walks, go to the swimming pool, and if possible, get back from work or school on foot.

It's time to set off to conquer the mountains. All I can do is wish you good weather, because the views and your well-being will certainly be wonderful! If you are in the mountains, be sure to visit Slovak Paradise!

Author: Joanna Rassmus

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