Choosing a trek is the first step of my adventure.  I am always open to suggestions from fellow hikers, online searches, periodicals and, my favorite,  Cicerone guidebooks .   I like to pick a hike that is at least 200 miles and one that we can stay in refuges, B&Bs or small hotels thus eliminating carrying camping gear.  Spectacular mountains, charming villages, and historical significance also play a part in the choice.

Once the trek has been chosen, the planning can begin.

  1. Decide how many days the trek will take.  The guidebooks set out daily stages; however, I sometimes wish to alter those stages.  Planning for rest days is helpful not only to rest the tired body, but to give a little leeway in case of bad weather.
  2. Secure the flight thus having firm dates with which to work.
  3. Research lodging for each night.  It would be great if the trek could be done without reservations, but these places are often booked especially on weekends and during August.  Usually, I can find the lodging information in the guidebooks, but if not, a search online is most helpful.  Many of these places can be contacted by email (some have a reservations website), but occasionally I have to call.  Some refuges require a deposit which can be a little tricky as many do not accept credit cards.  I have used Western Union and very rarely been able to use Paypal.
  4. Mark the route.  Using topo maps, my computer and “Maps” on my phone, I mark our intended path both on the topo maps and on my GPS.
  5. Arrange transportation to and from the trail.


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