HikingMonk was created out of a love for being in the outdoors, specifically hiking. It’s a great way to interact with nature and do something physically challenging at the same time. Hiking comes in varying degrees of challenges and this site caters to those just thinking about doing their first hike to those who have hiked a number of difficult trails.
My first ever big hike was the Inca trail in Peru a few years ago. At the time, I knew very little about hiking in general and I remember feeling overwhelmed – preparing for the trip, selecting the best hiking gear, determining what to bring, etc. I researched everything – from the right hiking shoe, to the proper backpack, to the right pair of socks.
When we got into Cusco – where hikers of the Inca trail begin their journey – I was immediately overcome by the altitude. Cusco, which is close to the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range, is quite elevated at 11,000 feet (3,400 m). The best way to describe altitude sickness is similar to getting the flu, but ten times worse. Not a fun experience when your hike was a couple of days away.
On the hike, the altitude was a big impact not just on myself but a few others in the group. When you’re less than 100%, your pack seems heavier, your shoes feel like bricks, and your clothing makes you either too hot or too cold. The hike became not just a physical challenge, but emotionally and mentally as well.
The point of the story is that this site will try to provide you the information you need to get you geared up for your hike – whether it’s on a local trail or somewhere further away. But the one lesson I learned from that experience is that no matter how much you prepare, be ready for the unexpected.
Life is an adventure.