My very first experience hiking was a guided tour. In 2011 I did the Annapurna circuit in Nepal and I freaking loved it! I had never done anything like that before and the very idea of it was incredibly daunting but… The tour company organised everything for me! Where I would sleep, what I would eat, where we would go… all I had to do was turn up. As a new hiker, having someone else take care of the details for me allowed me to focus on the walking and really helped me make the most of my experience.
Here’s my top 6 reasons for doing a guided tour:
1 – It’s a guaranteed good time
On a guided tour the experience is tailor made to include all of the very best bits, and none of the average ones, so you can trust that you’re going to have a good time.
Being in nature is always good and you’re pretty much guaranteed to see some beautiful sights, but a guided tour is hand-crafted on BEST bits! From the best walking tracks to the best gear, the best sights, the best lunch spot and the best menu… so you won’t waste a moment wondering if you missed something.
2 – Learn from industry experts
Like any new activity, multi day hiking requires knowledge and a particular set of skills and how better to learn then out in the field with a local expert!
If you’re like me when I started hiking, you’ll have no idea how to pitch a tent, cook using a jet-boil, pop a squat in the bush?! Let alone what to wear, pack and how to maintain your hygiene along the way.
A guide is a trusted resource and potentially a new friend that you can turn to with any kind of question and get tried and true advice.
3 – Convenience is key (rock up and go!)
In this day and age, it’s so difficult to cram adventures in between working 40+ hours a week and keeping up with your social life, commitments and Netflix releases. We hear you!
One of the best things about going on a guided tour is not having to spend hours planning it beforehand. You can relax knowing that from the moment your guide picks you up, they’ve got everything sorted. Where, when and what you’ll eat, sleeping arrangements, activities, transport, photo ops… they’ve thought of everything! This means a guaranteed stress-free holiday where you can sit back and enjoy all the fun bits. Where do we sign up?!
4 – Safety loves company
I know some people (hubby included) that are fond of a solo hiking expedition and while I like the idea in theory, in reality… I’m a big scaredy cat! The late-night animal scuffling and owl hoots sound a lot more friendly when I know I have got some (human) company in the tent next door. Your guide has the equipment, specialist skills and contingency planning to deal with anything that can go wrong from injury or wild weather to getting lost in the bush. With someone else taking care of these details you can feel confident that there is nothing to fear and focus on priority number two, having a blast.
5 – You’ll make fast friends
On a guided hike you’re guaranteed to have other like-minded people on the journey with you and the great outdoors is a great place to bond over sunsets and camp coffee and share memories that will last a lifetime. It might even spark a friendship that can last a lifetime too! I’ve definitely found that to be true, I have friends that I met hiking Annapurna that I’ve ended up adventuring with years later across the globe.
6 – You can actually SAVE money
Yes, you read that correct! If you’re new to hiking you’ve got to factor in the cost of getting your gear. We are talking tents, sleeping bags, mats, cooking equipment, utensils, water bladders, filtration devices and of course the best bit… the food. These items can add up pretty quickly and that’s before you even start walking. On a guided tour these items are usually all included so you get to try out top quality gear before deciding if you want to invest in your own kit.
For more details about what is involved on a guided hike, you can check out Australian Summit Tours range of guided hikes here!