Mongolia is the ultimate wild land. With the lowest density of population in the world and its luxuriant nature, it offers many possibilities to hike or trek, for all the levels.
There are in our "discovery" tours some easy hikes lasting one hour or more, to go and discover some places and fully enjoy the natural landscapes. These hikes are always easy and don't need to have particular physical skills. In most cases, the vehicle can follow you and those who don't want to walk or who worry not to be able to end the hike can take advantage of it. For these hikes, specific equipment is not necessary, and light walking shoes with a low upper, or even a good pair of sports shoes, are enough. But choose waterproof shoes, or bring a second pair, because we're not shielded from a hard shower in Mongolia.
During our "hiking" tours, you'll walk for many days in a self-sufficient trek, with pack animals carrying the equipment and your belongings. For these treks, preferably you must enjoy walking, but also have a good physical condition. All the tours don't require to have the same level: some are rather easy, like in Orkhon Valley and in Gorkhi-Terelj Park; others are intended for those who regularly walk, notably in a high mountain, like our trek in Altai.
For your own comfort during the hikes and treks, please follow these instructions :
- Before leaving, make sure that you have the physical condition required and that you're quite capable of walking 5 to 6 hours a day.
- Bring comfortable walking shoes already used to walk. There's nothing worse than new shoes that will give you blisters after two days.
- During the hike/trek, you needn't carry your bag (it will be carried by the pack animals). Just bring a second small backpack to carry your belongings for the day. Once put on the animal, your main bag is inaccessible.
- During the hike/trek, many times and by foot, you will be required to cross rivers. Bring some water shoes and keep them close at hand in your personal backpack.
- Trekking/hiking poles are not provided. If you usually walk with a pole, remember to bring it.
- Our trek in Altai takes place at more than 2000 metres (1,24 mile) above the sea level, with a pass at 3600 metres (2,24 miles) and an ascent until 4100 metres (2,55 miles); think to bring medicines against altitude sickness.
During the hikes/treks, not only your guide will come with you, but also a local guide. The local guide will generally lead the march horse riding, and your guide will bring up the rear. Grooms will also follow you and take care of the animals.
For a classical hiking/trekking day, you'll wake up at 7. After breakfast, the camp must be tidied, then the breeders can load the animals. Generally, we start walking around 9.30 (don't worry, it won't be too hot to walk). After about 1.30 walking, we'll have the first break (30 minutes) with a light snack (cereal bar) before walking again for about 1.30. From 1 to 3 PM, it's a lunch break. In the afternoon, we'll walk for about 2 to 2.30 and will reach our night camp around 5.30 PM.
Of course, this is explained for information purposes only and can depend on your own pace, on climate conditions, on the possible encounters on the way, or on the habits of your guide.