Tag Archive for challenge advice

Staying in Touch Whilst on a Challenge

At Charity Challenge, before a trip’s departure, we regularly receive concerns regarding contacting back home while away. To let you know exactly what happens on our challenges regarding communication, here is a guide to interaction with those back home and when abroad.

Direct Contact on a Challenge

On camping trips we generally encounter limited coverage. On challenges to Kilimanjaro, Everest, Peru, Sumatra, Morocco, Burma and even Iceland, phone reception is likely to be poor and one would not be able to make or receive calls, texts and data usage for much of the time on the trip. However, to make sure that all our participants can be reached and can get in contact with back home in the case of an emergency, we make sure that leaders carry and have access to satellite phones. This ensures that you can be reached you no matter where you may be, should direct contact be needed.

SumatraYour Mum may find it difficult to get through to your mobile when you’re trekking through the heart of the Sumatran jungle.

Moreover, we do ensure that we send out ‘emergency contact’ numbers with every trip, which participants should leave with those who may wish to contact them whilst they are away. These numbers should only be used if the participant cannot be reached directly. They should then be contacting us, and we will facilitate getting the message through. Though not the norm, it will in some cases take some time to relay messages through to participants, for example if you are deep in the Sumatran jungle.

Mobile Phone Access

On trips where there are hotels in which we will be staying there will usually be good WIFI service. Phone signals are better in such places, as these hotels are in locations with greater infrastructure and are generally more built up. Not all networks though will work overseas, with signals varying. We have found that not all mobile networks will work abroad, and some people have discovered that their phones do not work at all. However, if you find yourself desperately wanting to contact home, then you will be able to get a local SIM card – though this does depend on whether your phone is blocked or not.

06 Ride to MarasSurely this scenery is more interesting than looking at your phone screen.

It’s a Positive!

You should not though see a lack of WIFI and phone signal as a negative, but rather as a great positive. These challenges should be seen as a perfect opportunity to remove yourself from the everyday norms, exploring nature and other cultures that you may not have seen or experienced previously. These challenges are a great opportunity to give yourself some headspace and have time to think and reflect on the charity you have chosen to fundraise for, as well as meet and build relationships with the other participants. A technology-free week, or at least limited one, is something that should be seen as desirable, and the leaders will try to emphasise this message in their briefings. This will give you the opportunity to properly experience the country without distractions from back home.

Top trekking advice from trekkers past to trekkers future!

Once our Charity Challengers are safely back home and resting their feet, we send them our charity challenge survey, and one question we are always sure to ask is;

“If you could give any advice to future participants taking part in this challenge, what would it be?”

We ask this as it’s really important for us to know -particularly from a participants eyes view! –  What people could have done with knowing more about, or what they could have been better prepared for, so that our next group of trekkers can boldly head out onto their challenge being that much more confident and better prepared.

So check out the below to see some of the messages that our previous trekkers want to pass on to the next generation of charity challengers!

Good idea to set up a forum with the others going on your challenge…great to be able to encourage each other and get tips on training and fundraising!Hilary Banks, Sumatra Jungle Trekker

Definitely train and if you think you’ve forgotten something don’t panic someone else is sure to have remembered and you will have stuff others have forgotten so be prepared to share your kit as well as your experiences and most of all enjoy.” Sarah Hollies, Sahara Desert Trek challenger

“Look after your feet, make sure you’ve got good socks/liner socks, break in boots.  Boots need good soles to protect from the very rocky day.  Tuck your laces in so you don’t trip up (like I did!).  Take a very warm sleeping bag.  There aren’t many bugs – so don’t be put off.  There are some bushes – so don’t worry too much about no loo in the day!” Sahara Desert Trek challenger

“Make sure you take lots of photos, I wish I had stopped sometimes to take more.Hellen Vaughan-Williams, Cuban Revolution Cyclist

Enjoy!”. Kevin Moore, Cuban Revolution Cyclist

My advise would be to embrace every aspect of the challenge, the organisers and in my case the other challengers were the best people I could have ever met, dont let that pass you by.” Amy Harbone, Trek to Machu Picchu

“Just to go for it, push your boundaries and enjoy the challenge. Take the time to read all the info sent out by Charity Challenge and in particular the kit list. Do the training and it will be a breeze” Adrienne Booth, Great Wall Discovery Trekker

“Don’t underestimate the challenge, altitude and sustained camping are tough. You have to have a strong will, maybe be a bit stubborn to succeed! Take your training seriously but it’s as much a mental challenge as a physical one…Most of all, enjoy (and respect) the mountain, the whole experience even the difficult bits, and stay positive. It will be over too soon! Grace Breathe, Kilimanjaro Trekker

Do the training!!  I was gald of the different terrain that we had trained in and the numerouse climbs that we had undertaken – it made our trek very manageable. It is also key to train with the equipment that you are going to be using as you are then comfortable with it all and have sorted out any ‘niggles’.” Joy Mitchell, African Bush Trek

“Make sure you have all of the correct kit and are prepared for every season of weather! Poles are essential!!” Brooke Kinsella, Trek to Machu Picchu

For more top tips, and to learn more about all our charity challenges, please visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com, and, to keep up to date on all our challenge news, subscribe to this blog by clicking on the orange RSS button, you can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list!