CLIMB ANY MOUNTAIN
Use Dawson’s advice to get the most out of any adventure
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.
LIVE IN LUXURY
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!