If you have read Part 1 you'll know that I am speaking from experience in putting this Top Tips blog together!
Yes, I did take on the Sahara Desert Trek with very short notice and minimal preparation. But that doesn't change, and in fact, further amplifies the reasons behind my tips below.
The Sahara Challenge is an incredible one, but to ensure you have the best experience possible, make sure the below are packed in your physical (and metaphorical!) kit bag:
- TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN - the fitter you are, the better you'll cope with the sand, the heat and the walking. Don't forget sand can sap your energy - unlike tarmac or even grass, so you'll need to build up your stamina. For first hand guidance, grab a place on a training weekend with our Challenge Leaders.
- (Well worn in) Trekking boots - speaking from personal experience here, watch out for ones which allow sand into the top layer but don't allow it out. This can cause sand to build up between the layers and make the boots atleast one size smaller than they should be (less than ideal, especially when your feet swell in response to the heat). Cotswold Outdoor can provide you with some great guidance on choosing the right pair.
- A good water carrier - you'll be drinking approximately 2 litres of water per day on the trek. I used a Platypus / Camelbak bottle. When reaching in and out of your bag, ensure you don't let the drinking tube fall on the floor - sand is not a good addition to your refreshment!
- Baby wipes (and plenty of them) - for several days there is no water for washing and much like being at a festival, these are your best substitute. Don't let this put you off though, this is all part of the challenge experience (and you'll appreciate the shower when you reach Well Camp all the more!)
- Hand Gel - this is essential and we highly recommend it for maintaining hygiene as far as possible during the trek. This helps to limit any transfer of bacteria, therefore preventing the spread of any sickness within the group.
- High SPF lip salve - and no, not just for the ladies! I used a factor 15 all the time and my lips still became dry, so I'd recommend a purchasing as higher factor as you can get your hands on.
- Comfy campsite shoes - you'll feet will appreciate a breather from your walking boots as you get into camp each evening. The ground is often stony and you'll come across a few thorns and thistles so bare feet is best avoided.
- Spare t-shirts / wicking tops - try to take a few more than you think you'll need but avoid cotton ones (they hold the sweat) - you'll appreciate a few fresh back ups but be warned you'll likely need to get a few days wear out of each one.
- Head torch - as Rob mentions in the 'Kitting Up' section of our brochure these are essential for finding your way around camp at night. For my next adventure (the Coast to Coast Rainforest Trek) I'm going to get one which has both white light and a red one for night time.
- Above all, DON'T WORRY - our crew will be there to look after and guide you. They are fantastic!
Remember challenges are supposed to put you out of your comfort zone and that all adds to your sense of achievement at the end. You will be extremely proud of yourself when you look back on the trek, and doubly so if you have fund-raised for a charity you care about.
Don't forget, as with all our challenges, you are with a group who are all going through the same emotions and physical experience as you - lean on them and support them in equal measure, you'll become great friends.
You're also with some very experienced leaders, and crew who have completed several challenges before. They'll be looking out for you, your safety, health and experience is paramount.
If you want to know more about what our Sahara trek challenge involves, take a look here.
Or if you are thinking of taking part and want to ask me some questions,
please give me a call on 01722 718 444.#LivetheAdventure #KnowNoLimits