Challenges on a Guided Hiking Tour
An organized hiking tour usually come with porters that will help you along the way including carrying your backpack, pitching your tent, cooking your food an so on. Even so, you might still encounter some challenges along the way.
The challenges you may encounter depends on the destination, your goals, weather, the tour company and your level of fitness and experience. Some terrain are harder than others and the weather in some parts of the world may be harsher. Some may have breathing difficulties climbing up to the Machu Picchu.
Your guide or porter will help you out in case something unexpected happens but you still need to prepare yourself physical by training to increase your stamina before the trip. But if you are young and fit, sometimes guided tours may not provide you enough of a challenge.
You may have to slow down to give slower and weaker hikers a chance to keep up. In some locations where there are more porters than visitors you have the chance to get your own personal porter so can challenge yourself to keep up with his pace. You’ll find that these guys are stronger than they look.
Most of the time, the guides and porters are well trained in the local human and natural history so can learn about a lot of interesting stuff from them that you might not find in history or guide books. They are useful in interpreting what you are seeing.
However, some porters may not be fluent in your language or not speak your language at all but their insight into local culture and traditions may still prove to be useful. These porters often come from nearby villages and they’re usually paid very little. It would be nice to give them a generous tip or give away your used camping gear. The porters will greatly appreciate it.
Sometimes you have the option to use pack animals to carry your camping equipment. Your guide will likely help you pack them but there’s still a limit to how much the pack animals can carry so you might still need to carry some of your gear.
On guided tours you don’t need to worry about your camping equipment so much as there will be the option to use the tour company’s camping equipment including tents for a small rental fee. Be sure to check with the tour company first for availability and bookings.
As for comfort and hygiene, it varies greatly in different parts of the world. You may find conditions that you have trouble dealing with. Some conditions can even make you sick because your body is not used to it. It is important that you consult with your doctor about this and ask how you can handle such situations. The doctor may give you some advice specific to the destination and maybe even give you some medicines just in case. Just remember to bring them along on the trip.
Tour companies are usually aware that some tourists have problems with unhygienic conditions especially in developing countries. They can help you choose the right food and find drinkable water. Some will even provide adequate toilet facilities.