Ready to head into the wilderness and prove your survival skills with everything you need on your back? Not so fast. It’s tough out there, and you’d be surprised how many people take to the (long-distance) trails unprepared for what’s in store. Preparation may feel like a drag, especially if you’re not the planning type - but take it from us, you don’t want to be stranded in the wilderness full of regrets about what you didn’t do. Take a look at these tips to prepare yourself properly, and as soon as you’ve checked them all off, you’re free to head out there. Promise. 


Set your expectations

The first thing to do is accept that not many adventures are fun all the time. Expect a few Instagram-vs-reality moments, embrace them for what they are and power through to the next milestone – the epic views and unforgettable experiences will all be worth it. Speaking of milestones…

Baby steps

Set yourself small, achievable goals along the way, and celebrate as you reach each one. It’ll stop the magnitude of the task from psyching you out and spur you on to the next one. 


How much you plan will depend on if you’re the type to drift along and take each day as it comes, or prefer a detailed route plan. However, three essential things to plan are:


1. Where your next food and water supply is

2. What the plan is in an emergency

3. How you can communicate with essential people



You didn’t think you could just take on a trek without training, did you? Preparation is everything when you’re heading into the wilderness, and there’s no such thing as too much. You need to train three specific areas to prepare for a multi-day adventure:



Endurance means low-intensity exercise for long periods – and the only way to build that up is experience. We recommend getting comfortable doing three consecutive eight-hour days in the British hills before you take on any adventure, in the UK or otherwise. Weekend microadventures are key to this, and are a good chance to try out different nutrition patterns and work out what’s best for your body – but more on that later.



An obvious skill for multi-day adventures, but an often-overlooked area of training. Not being able to carry enough weight causes injuries all over your body – shoulders, neck, hips, knees, ankles – so it’s a real make or break factor for your adventure. On your weekend training sessions, gradually increase the weight of your pack over time, with the ultimate aim of carrying 5kg more than necessary to account for adverse conditions while you’re out there. Thank us later on this one.



Your cardiovascular fitness is your heart and lungs, and this comes from a high-intensity exercise (think running, cycling or swimming) for 20-60 minutes, about three times a week, increasing your distance over time. Cardiovascular fitness will also help to develop your endurance fitness as you go, so don’t be surprised if you’re racking up record times in the hills before long.



We don’t need to tell you that food and water are massively important for maintaining your strength, but if you’ve set yourself a gruelling schedule, you’ll need to be extra prepared. 


You’ll need to stay hydrated and eat regularly (obviously), but working out this balance takes work. Do your research and use your training weekends to try out different snacks and amounts to find your balance between feeling low and light-headed and carrying so much food you need extra calories to manage it all. Healthy snacks like fruit, nuts and cereal bars are a good place to start for trickle-feeding energy to your body. Remember, that you’ll also need to stock up and ration if you’re heading into sparse or remote regions.


When it comes to water, we recommend staying near sources of fresh water for your first few expeditions, as a situation without water can get pretty dire, pretty quickly. Carry a few litres plus a purifier or pump filter, and you can gradually increase what you carry as you do more expeditions and move away from those constant water sources.

Travel light

Facing the prospect of being alone (or almost alone) in the wilderness for days can make even the most sensible traveller pack on impulse – but every gram counts, and only your most versatile gear can make the cut. Spare clothing becomes a towel, a fleece becomes a pillow, and two pairs of pants and socks are plenty – just keep on top of rinsing or washing things as often as you can. Check out our guide to verstaile basics to get you started.

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