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Prepare yourself physically
A long mountain trek requires that you prepare yourself both physically and mentally. Regardless of how many days you have planned to hike, you will expose yourself to stresses that you rarely experience during your normal daily schedule. You leg muscles, feet and willpower will be tested and the more prepared you are the more you will enjoy the gurgling brooks and dramatic mountain tops.
1) Start early
Your general fitness level is important for long hikes where you are carrying your lodging. Your heart and lungs are going to have to work hard, which means that you need to be in relatively good shape to be able to enjoy the nature. If you are not physically active year-round, you should start training no later than six months before you go on a long trek. Hiking, biking, running and swimming are all good activities to build up your fitness level.
2) Trekking in mountainous terrain
Your leg muscles, knees, feet and joints will be exposed to extreme stress. In order to help your body become accustomed to these stresses, you should try to create the same conditions as your adventure. Hike in stony terrain and up and down hills or mountains. Try to take a long walk at least once a week.
3) Get used to a backpack
Carrying a heavy backpack can feel uncomfortable at first. It weighs down on your shoulders and hips and your steps become heavier. But if you start with a lighter pack and slowly increase the weight, your body will get used to the load. Slowly add to the pack until you reach the weight you will carry during your trek. You do not want to shock your body - this can lead to serious injury.
4) Break in your hiking boots
Make sure you have broken in your hiking boots before you go on your trek. There is nothing worse than having to cut a trip short due to blisters. To be really sure that your boots fit well, we recommend that you walk at least 200 kilometres in them before going on a long trek.
5) Don't overtrain
Hiking in the Swedish mountains is difficult but it is not like climbing Mount Everest - it is important that you do not overtrain. Before the trek, you should eat healthily, get plenty of sleep and not train so hard that your muscles and joints become sore. The objective should be to start your trip with a rested, strong body.