1. Pick an introductory route
Choose a route with minimal elevation gain, which is to say one that’s reasonably flat so you don’t freak out your body and mind by tackling something overwhelming. Don’t go for a route that takes you into extreme weather – not only will this require possible very expensive equipment that you don’t yet have, but it will also tax you physically and mentally in a way that you should perhaps build towards. Don’t go for extreme terrain, like a very rocky path or one with tons of scree. Also consider avoiding snow and ice, which might necessitate bringing crampons. Build up your ankle strength and confidence by tackling a relatively smooth and dry path.
2. Choose your season carefully
Check the weather forecast just before heading out.
Research any water crossings
3. Tell someone when and where you’re going
Satellite phones for the win
4. Try slackpacking before trekking with a rucksack
Don't shy away from using the services of a porter
5. Research national and park permits
6. Choose your fellow trekkers carefully
7. Make a checklist
8. Do some preparation hikes
Ideally, start your preparation hikes at least two months before the trek.
9. Train with your backpack
10. Train in your hiking boots
About 60% of people have differently sized feet, so always try on both the left and right boots.
11. Hike on back-to-back days
Clothing and gear
12. Wear broken in shoes and socks
13. Bring gaiters
Keeping dirt and small stones out of your socks and shoes. Keeping water and mud at bay (if waterproof). Protecting you from cuts and rashes caused by thorns, serrated plants and other nasties. Protecting you from snake bites.
If you’re worried about snakes, try to remember this saying: “First one wakes it. Second one annoys it. Third one gets it.” So it’s best to not walk third in line. 😃
14. Pack waterproof gear
15. Wear layers
An inner layer (think thermal long-sleeved vest and leggings in cold climates) A middle layer (this would be your shirt and shorts or trousers) An outer layer (like a fleece jacket, beanie and gloves) A waterproof layer