With experience, comes knowledge. With knowledge, comes the impulse to share. At the very core of Impulse Adventures there is a desire to share our experiences with you first hand. We want you to come with us and experience our amazing destinations for yourself, but before you do, we’d like to share some of the things we’ve learnt over the years, to make your experience more comfortable, more enjoyable, and more rewarding.
Here you will find a collection of stories and guides ranging from exploring concepts of travel, to selecting the right gear, and getting prepared for your adventure.
The Impulsive Traveler
What is Trekking?Mon, 22nd Feb 2016
So what is trekking? left, right, left, right, the rest of the body magically follows along, simple right? In essence, yes, but just like everything else we humans do, you can delve deeper into this ancient mode of transport and see that it may not be so simple after all.
By definition, ‘trekking’ is a slow or arduous journey on foot, generally in mountainous terrain. While historically a necessary evil, in modern times its a mode of transport used by adventurers and explorers, both amateur and professional, to gain access to areas otherwise inaccessible.
But is it that simple? Is trekking purely a mode of transport? There are definitely practical aspects of it, technique, environment, the trails themselves, the physical things, but what about the rest? Those who have completed trekking journeys speak of more than the physical journey.
The psychological journey on some treks can be even more taxing and yet more rewarding than even the physical journey. The process of the mind giving up before the body, and then pushing the mind further than its been before, the effects of history being re-experienced, all potential perils of a journey. But when the day is over, the dust settles, and the reward of knowing your accomplishments, achieved only by the power of your own 2 feet, has taken hold, only then, will you realise the magic of trekking.
When it comes to the practical aspects of trekking, environmental variables are endless. Terrain, prevailing weather/environment, equipment, physical fitness, local cultures, it's impossible to sum it all up in a single article. There is, however, a way to categorise treks into the level of challenge one will encounter, using an expedition difficulty grading system.
GRADE 1 – EASY
Very little walking involved and when there is, it is usually for short distances.
GRADE 2 – MODERATE
Moderate trekking, possibly multiple days, long days could be 5-6 hours trekking. Generally not overly demanding terrain or conditions, well maintained trails, bellow 2,500m/8,200ft above sea level, where altitude is not a concern.
GRADE 3 – DIFFICULT
Reasonably demanding trekking at altitudes up to 4,000m/13,000ft. Sections of difficult terrain, potentially longer days/distances covered, trekking for 5-8 hours a day, for 7+ days. Altitude is now considered.
GRADE 4 – STRENUOUS
Expeditions of a demanding nature, requiring all participants to be fit and in excellent health, often in remote areas and sometimes reaching altitudes in excess of 5000m/18,000ft. Extended expeditions, long periods of difficult terrain, altitude is a major consideration.
Extremely demanding treks, sometimes in very remote areas on rough terrain and perhaps including (in Nepal) one or more of the so called ‘trekking peaks’ – maximum altitude, Mt. Mera, at 6,461m/21,192ft. Participants should have at least a basic knowledge of use of crampons and ice axes, though first time climbers may be accepted on some of the so called ‘easy’ routes on these peaks.
Stay tuned for more articles on how to select the best equipment for you and your trek!