Use Daw­son’s ad­vice to get the most out of any ad­ven­ture

Men's Fitness - - Features -


The se­cret is to start each day slowly and ex­pect to get slower, par­tic­u­larly if your ad­ven­ture is at al­ti­tude. Pause ev­ery 15 min­utes or so to re­hy­drate and eat some­thing sweet such as a piece of choco­late or some dates. The brain and body need glu­cose dur­ing a chal­lenge like this.


If you’re anx­ious about, say, a blis­ter in the mak­ing, stop and sort it out. I still re­mem­ber the mantra of my Moun­tain Leader in­struc­tor – “Coulda, Shoulda” – be­cause if you don’t ad­dress a prob­lem, you’ll prob­a­bly end up in a world of not just pain but also frus­tra­tion.


At the end of the day re­hy­drate, prefer­ably with elec­trolytes, and stretch your quads, glutes, calves and feet, es­pe­cially if you’ve been walk­ing in stiff boots. Un­pack your sleep­ing bag, eat as you would af­ter a gym work­out and, most im­por­tantly, try to get a good night’s sleep.


Use a dry bag stuffed with a down jacket as a pil­low and wear a pair of socks and a woolly hat to bed if you need to. A cold sur­face will con­duct warmth away from your body if it’s not well in­su­lated, so if you’re go­ing camp­ing in­vest in an in­flat­able sleep­ing mat­tress.


Take a cou­ple of “lux­ury” items, such as an AeroPress and some freshly ground cof­fee - ap­pre­ci­ated at 3,200m on Toubkal. Other use­ful items in­clude a lantern for when the gen­er­a­tor’s off and a book or jour­nal (no bat­ter­ies). But of course, the more you bring the heav­ier your back­pack!

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