Prepare for a Mountain Climbing Trip

Edited by Ann General, Anonymous, Lynn, Inukshuk and 4 others

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Mountain climbing is not as straightforward as a lot of other fun and challenging activities available. A mountain climbing trip requires a lot of preparations and you really have to make sure that you are both physically and mentally ready for this kind of adventure. Since there's no easy way to turn back once you've set out, this article will discuss suggestions to make sure you are safe, prepared and enjoy your mountain hike adventure.

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Steps to Prepare for Your Mountain Climb

  1. 1
    Research the mountain and terrain you're attempting to conquer.
    Make sure to do your research and find out the most basic and important information about the summit. Find out how tall the mountain is, how long it should take you to reach the peak, and if the way is steep, etc. This is to ready for the challenges that lie ahead of you.
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  2. 2
    Be realistic.
    Once you've obtained enough information about the summit you are attempting to climb, ask yourself if you really can do it. Are you physically, mentally and emotionally ready for it? This is the best time to be honest about your weaknesses and realistically decide if you can strengthen them before your hike.
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  3. 3
    Do you need an orientation?
    Many developed summits open for mountaineers offer orientations to prepare climbers for what's ahead. Attending one before your climb is important so you will have an idea of what and what not to do. This is also the best time to ask questions and get tips and advice from the organizers who have obviously made the climb many times.
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  4. 4
    Prepare yourself physically for your climb.
    Running, swimming, aerobics and regular hiking will all help. Employ exercises that will strengthen your muscles and increase your heart rate. But make sure to not over exert yourself before your climb. Also, consulting your physician would be best before considering this activity. Mountain climbing is not advisable for those who suffer from cardiac and pulmonary issues, or those who have had similar problems in the past.
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  5. 5
    Prepare your hiking kit.
    Make sure you have the appropriate and necessary hiking gear and clothing. Double-check each item to make sure that they are still in good condition and are working properly. Failure to wear and bring the necessary equipment for mountain climbing could end your hike much earlier than you expected. Only pack what's necessary. Over packing results in a heavy pack, which you will regret once you are climbing and doing a lot of walking.
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  6. 6
    An emergency kit is vital.
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Things to Pack in Your Emergency Kit

  1. 1
    Supplies.
    Food, water (purification supplies for found water). Dehydration can be your downfall.
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  2. 2
    Clothes.
    Climbing clothes, a hat, thick socks, mittens or gloves (mittens are warmer but don't allow as much movement as gloves), a change of clothes (make sure you have something fleece).
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  3. 3
    Map.
    Not only is a map a must, knowing how to read it is essential for a successful climb. They are not the same as a road map. Although some trails are marked, the weather may turn, and you might not be able to read the signs.
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  4. 4
    Compass.
    You can't read this kind of map without a compass. Do not rely on an app. What will happen if your phone runs out of juice, or has no signal?
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  5. 5
    Flashlight.
    Obviously, you'll need a flashlight, but don't forget spare batteries.
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  6. 6
    Waterproof Matches.
    There are streams, and rain and snow. Don't get caught with a soggy book of matches. You might also consider a flint kit.
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  7. 7
    Penknife.
    It will be very difficult to manage without this handy tool. A Swiss Army Knife with lots of attachments is recommended.
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  8. 8
    Whistle.
    If you get lost, or become injured, you'll need a way to attract attention. You CANNOT rely on your mobile phone. The international signal for help is SIX BLASTS repeated every minute.
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  9. 9
    Survival Bag.
    These are amazing bags designed for a person. If you become trapped or injured, you can climb inside to stay warm and safe. Usually, they are bright orange, and will attract the attention of anyone looking for you. This bag could save your life. Do not substitute a silver safety blanket for a survival bag.
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  10. 10
    First aid kit.
    Pack any medications you're on in the first aid kit. Also include bandages, gauze, tape, antiseptic, lotions, sunscreen and other things that you may need in the event of an accident or emergency. Issues that may arise include poisoning, injury and becoming stranded. You can buy these kits already made up.
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Possible Consequences For Not Preparing For A Hike

  1. 1
    Exhaustion.
    Walking and climbing while carrying your heavy load can overwhelm your body, especially if you didn't prepare yourself physically. This is why it's advisable to exercise regularly beforehand to strengthen your muscles and do some short hikes before your major trip.
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  2. 2
    Injuries.
    The hike might be a little too much, especially if it's a really steep climb. A small wrong move can cause you an injury or even cost your life.
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  3. 3
    Getting lost.
    Choosing a wrong path and not bringing a map can result in you getting lost, or at the very least, it will take you longer than you anticipated to get to the peak. Also, make sure you actually know how to read a map before taking your trip.
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  4. 4
    Overwhelmed by the altitude.
    Pay attention to your body's reaction during the hike. Do not ignore nausea, headaches, dizziness or shortness of breath. If you start to experience any of these things, then go back! Do not jeopardize your health. You can always return another time.
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Things to Avoid When Hiking

  1. 1
    Hiking alone.
    It's definitely not the best idea to do a mountain climb alone. A buddy system is always best, especially if you are going to an area you aren't familiar with.
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  2. 2
    Ignoring marked trails.
    Trails are marked for a very good reason. If you end up choosing an alternate route, your "shortcut" might end up getting you lost, or might lead you to a dead end with no way to continue. Either way, your climb will end up taking more time than you originally planned. Light only lasts so long.
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  3. 3
    Do not climb on waterfalls.
    We all know that waterfalls are one of the world's most impressive creations, but it's not a good idea to try and jump from one during a hike. There have been a lot of fatal accident and deaths recorded because people have seen this in too many films, and decided to take the plunge. Don't let the view entice you over its precipice.
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  4. 4
    Improper attire.
    The temperature drops quickly the closer you get to the top. Make sure to not wear cotton clothing! Make sure to wear layers of clothing to help your body with the temperature. Also, wear clothes that are resistant to moisture that dry quickly. Avoid wearing a camouflage pattern. Instead, choose brightly colored clothing. This will help you and your hiking buddies keep an eye on each other. This will also make you easier to find if you become lost.
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Important Things to Know if You Become Lost

  1. 1
    Relax.
    Panicking won't do you any good, especially when the air is thinner than you're used to. Panicking increases the breathing, and this is difficult enough in a normal atmosphere, and dangerous in higher altitudes, where the air is already taxing your breathing. When your breathing is labored, you'd experience more anxiety, increasing the difficulty of your breathing. The cycle will continue.
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  2. 2
    Stay where you are.
    Once you realize you are lost, stay in one area and do not continue to try to look for your hiking mates. Moving around too much could result in you wandering even further away, and make it harder for the rescuers to find you. Also, you might just move into an area the rescuers have already checked.
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  3. 3
    Whistle.
    Bringing a whistle during a hike is not just to inform your co-hikers that something is wrong or you're injured. Whistling can also help your rescuer to look for you if you get lost.
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  4. 4
    Be visible.
    Make sure you stay in an open area so it will be easier for the rescuers to spot you. If you notice a helicopter searching above you, lie down so you will look bigger from above and they can more easily see you. Wave your arms so the movement will get their attention.
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Tips and Warnings

  • DO NOT rely on your mobile phone to replace things listed. You have no idea if you'll have a signal.
  • Read the blogs of other climbers who've successfully mastered the mountain you are going to climb.
  • Make sure you're body has been conditioned for the climb.
  • Do not climb alone.
  • Make sure you've packed an emergency kit.
  • Layer your clothing – the temperature drops as you rise.
  • Make sure you know how to read that kind of map.
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Questions and Answers

Any other activity after reaching the peak?

We are planning to climb the mountain but would like to do some fun activities while at the peak. Please advise.

Bring flags and stake them for pics. Be sure to remove the flags before you leave the mountain peak. Replicate photos like the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima for instance. Whatever activities you plan on doing, keep in mind that you have to climb up and down with it and each little ounce of weight can feel like 10 pounds before you reach the peak.

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Play a White Elephant game with one supply from everyone. Make sure it is not a necessary one like sunscreen but you can even ask that they pack a snack or something before hand for the white elephant exchange. It could even be something still left from the hike like dirty socks as a fun game.

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Categories : Travel & Leisure

Recent edits by: Nuance, Maria, Eng

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