6 Tips and Tricks for Hiking the Inca Trail -

6 Tips and Tricks for Hiking the Inca Trail

Credit: incatrail.info

  • Nov 30 2017 02:40About: 12 days ago
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My flight was booked! My dream of hiking the Inca Trail, and walking through the sun gate to Machu Picchu was finally becoming a reality. But then, the reality hit me. I have never done an overnight hike before! What do I pack? How do I get into shape? Is it safe? Do I go alone or with a group? As excited as I was, I realized I had a lot of planning ahead of me, but every moment of preparation (and sometimes extreme anxiety) was all worth it. Here are a few tips and tricks that helped me not only survive the Inca Trail, but have the trip of a lifetime!

Tips for hiking the Inca Trail

Find an Incredible Tour Group

Before booking my trip, I was not sure how I felt about going with a tour group. I was worried that traveling with a group of strangers would take away from the trip. However, after plenty of research, I decided to go with Active Adventures on the Ultimate Peru Adventure.

Our trip leader was not only full of helpful and interesting information, but became a friend who gave local tips, and made me feel comfortable and safe. I became close friends with my small tour group of 10 people, and still keep in touch with them. Picking a quality tour group like Active Adventures not only helped take the stress out of travelling logistics, but is truly what made my trip an enjoyable experience. (And for all the foodies out there, our Inca Trail chefs were incredible).

tour-group

Get FitGet Fit

On the Inca Trail we had people of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels. However, I highly recommend preparing your body a little, and familiarizing yourself with how your body reacts to high altitude. But, don’t worry, you don’t need to an extreme amount of training. To prepare, I went on one to two hikes a week, and did plenty of dog walking. My hikes on average ranged from 3 to 7 miles.

However, as fit as you are, everybody reacts differently to altitude. Try finding a hike in your area that has somewhat of a higher altitude. I only had the opportunity to do one higher altitude hike. It was not as high as the Inca Trail, but it still gave me an idea of how my body feels in high altitude. But don’t stress out too much! Your tour leader has helped many people hike the Inca Trail, and will be there to help you if you start to feel sick, or simply need a little extra motivation.

Technology Tools

I am a firm believer in digital detoxing when traveling, but when hiking in the wilderness, it is comforting to know that I have helpful resources at my fingertips if I ever need it. When hiking or traveling, there are always a few resources and apps I like to have on my phone or iTouch to stay safe.

As a traveler, we are more vulnerable to security threats or identity theft on public computers and Wi-Fi. I choose to use a VPN when traveling for Wi-Fi security in hotels, to avoid computer viruses, and to gain access to content that is geo-blocked. For my Inca Trail trek I downloaded the MotionX GPS app. The app supports GPS navigation without the need for cell service. Thankfully our guides kept us on track, but it was comforting knowing that if anything happened, I could use my phone as a backup for navigation help.

Make a Visit to Your Doctor

When traveling anywhere, it is important to check in with your doctor. Different regions of the world may require various vaccinations, or medication. Before visiting your doctor, it is also helpful to do a little bit of your own research as to what medications or vaccinations are needed for travel. Your doctor may be familiar with vaccinations needed for Peru, but you are the only person who knows what your trip will consist of. Be sure to mention to your doctor if you are going to the Peruvian Amazon, or high altitude.

For the Inca Trail I recommend packing the following medications:

-Altitude sickness medication (Acetazolamide)

                       -Imodium

                       -Antibiotics (Ciprofloxacin)

                       -Bug spray (not technically a medication, but important to bring as well)

                       -Ibuprofen (always good to have)

This list is most likely what your doctor will recommend as well, but be sure to do your own research as well. You may need malaria pills or certain vaccinations depending on where else your trip is going, or personal previous medical history.

Pack LightPack Light

The hardest part of my trip (aside from trekking up the stairs of the Inca Trail) was packing! There are several limitations on how much you pack on the Inca Trail in order to maintain that porters are being treated fairly and respectfully. Each porter is limited to carrying 20kg. This includes all blankets, clothes, and the porter’s personal belongings. Talk to your Active Adventure tour guide before leaving on your trip to find out up to date information on how much you are able to pack, and information on sleeping bags and pads.

Aside from packing light, there are of course certain items you will want to pack, depending on the time of year your trek is. I used Her Packing List, along with the information provided by Active Adventures to help me in packing everything I need.

Have the Time of Your Life

Last, but not least, be ready to have incredible experiences and memories that will last a life time. When I first booked my trip to Peru and the Inca Trail I had certain expectations and ideas of what the trip would be like. I was looking forward to seeing Machu Picchu, but what I found was that the most memorable and exciting parts of my trip were not necessarily seeing the big tourist spots like Machu Picchu, but the journey getting there, and the unexpected surprises that came along the way. Peru and its people exceeded all expectations, and opened my mind in ways I did not know were possible.

Hi, my name is Jess Signet. My parents were travelers since before I was born. Even in the womb, I was able to travel all over the place! Boy, did things NOT change as I grew older! Knowing there’s more to the world than the bubble I live in made me want to travel even further. Traveling is my drug and I’m addicted. (Please, no intervention!)

 

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flight booked! dream hiking Inca Trail walking through gate Machu Picchu finally becoming reality. then reality have never done overnight hike before! What pack? into shape? safe? alone with group? excited was realized planning ahead every moment preparation (and sometimes extreme anxiety) worth Here tips tricks that helped only survive Trail trip lifetime! Find Incredible Tour Group Before booking trip sure felt about going tour group. worried traveling group strangers would take away from trip. However after plenty research decided Active Adventures Ultimate Peru Adventure. Our leader full helpful interesting information became friend gave local tips made feel comfortable safe. close friends small people still keep touch them. Picking quality like stress travelling logistics truly what enjoyable experience. (And foodies there chefs were incredible). Fit On ages sizes fitness levels. However highly recommend preparing your body little familiarizing yourself reacts high altitude. But don’t worry need amount training. prepare went hikes week walking. average ranged miles. However are everybody differently finding area somewhat higher opportunity altitude hike. Trail idea feels much! Your many Trail will help start sick simply extra motivation. Technology Tools I firm believer digital detoxing when traveling wilderness comforting know resources fingertips ever When traveling always apps phone iTouch stay safe. As traveler more vulnerable security threats identity theft public computers Wi-Fi. choose Wi-Fi hotels avoid computer viruses gain access content geo-blocked. trek downloaded MotionX app. supports navigation without cell service. Thankfully guides kept track knowing anything happened could backup help. Make Visit Doctor When anywhere important check doctor. Different regions world require various vaccinations medication. Before visiting doctor also medications needed travel. familiar Peru person knows consist mention Peruvian Amazon altitude. For packing following medications: -Altitude sickness medication (Acetazolamide)                        -Imodium            -Antibiotics (Ciprofloxacin)            -Bug spray (not technically medication bring well)            -Ibuprofen (always good have) This list most likely well well. malaria pills certain depending where else going personal previous medical history. Pack Light The hardest part (aside trekking stairs Trail) packing! There several limitations much pack order maintain porters being treated fairly respectfully. Each porter limited carrying 20kg. This includes blankets clothes porter’s belongings. Talk Adventure guide before leaving find date able pack sleeping bags pads. Aside light course items want pack time year used Packing List along provided everything need. Have Time Life Last least ready incredible experiences memories last life time. first booked expectations ideas like. looking forward seeing Picchu found memorable exciting parts necessarily tourist spots Picchu journey getting there unexpected surprises came way. exceeded expectations opened mind ways possible. Hi name Jess Signet. parents travelers since born. Even womb travel over place! Boy things change grew older! Knowing there’s than bubble live even further. Traveling drug I’m addicted. (Please intervention!)  

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