In this episode, we cover everything fitness, training, gear, and nutrition to make sure you are successful on your Inca Trail, Salkantay Trail or Extreme Inca Tour.
We discuss the training that you should do so you don’t end up hating your life while out on the treks. Your best bet is to slap a backpack on with some weight and go for a hike a few times prior to your trip to Peru.
David talks about the nutrition required so that you have enough energy to sustain yourself on a difficulty multiday hike. At Cachi Life, we love Clif Bars and Beef Jerky. Just don’t eat all your snacks on the first day. And it’s probably best to avoid the booze.
What is the best gear to bring that you may not think of? You shouldn’t leave without your toothbrush or toothpaste. But, we REALLY like baby wipes. It can be tough to keep that clean feeling when you haven’t been able to shower for four days.
Finally, we cover why you NEED to book your trip on the Inca Trail at least 6 months ahead. For those of you who missed out, there is the Salkantay Trek, which may be even more beautiful.
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Below is a transcript which has been modified for your reading pleasure.
Charlie Thompson: 00:20 So Dave, I’m heading to Peru year and a couple of weeks or maybe a couple months and I want to know.
David Kosloski: 00:26 Like a couple of years.
Charlie Thompson: 00:27 Or maybe a couple of years.
David Kosloski: 00:28 You’ve gotta shed some pounds.
Charlie Thompson: 00:31 Look, I’ve got to Peru trip coming up here in the future and I just want to know what can I be mindful of because if you don’t pay attention to your health and fitness for these treks and Peru, you’re going to miss out. Right? You’re missing out on everything around you because you’re hungry. You’re tired. How do I keep that from happening?
David Kosloski: 00:50 Yeah, man, I think that’s pretty loaded question. I love, I love fitness topics as you know. So we’ll break it down piece by piece. I think. First of all, we know you’re going to get back in shape. You’re gonna get back into CrossFit gym. We’re going to get you back there.
Charlie Thompson: 01:05 I’ve been, I fell off the wagon a little bit the way twice, but look, hey, third time’s a charm.
David Kosloski: 01:11 That’s right. That’s right. I mean I don’t think that it’s kind of like a loaded question because there’s a lot of people who are like, I mean, you can’t look at somebody and say they’re fit or not. I get beat by guys are bigger than me all the time at the gym and I think they do great on trails in Peru. That being said, you know, we’ve got Kevin on our team who is a gear junkie and be joining us here soon hopefully. But, uh, I think, I think something that we try to think about when you think about hiking and fitness, right? It’s a different type of fitness really. I mean it’s something that you kinda sort of have to train for if you want to not be brutally murdered on the trip. And when I say that, like putting rocks in, you know, a bag or a sack and kind of just like doing a hike, an honestly one big hike would probably be fine.
David Kosloski: 01:57 When I say a big hike, we’re talking like, Waimanu Valley hike where you go two days and you hike crazy amount of miles, a crazy elevation, but I’m doing some regular hiking, getting that cardio level up. That fitness level up. Understanding what it’s like to carry a heavyweight. Unless you have a porter carry your stuff too. There’s always that option. I think overall fitness level though like you should be able to run a mile. I mean I won’t give you a time because I don’t think there’s like a specific time that you should be able to run a mile and be like, okay, after.
Charlie Thompson: 02:28 Well and be comfortable in your own skin. You know, your own limits. Right?
David Kosloski: 02:32 Of course.
Charlie Thompson: 02:33 I know for a fact right now I wouldn’t be able to do the Inca Trail tomorrow, but if I wanted to do it in a couple months that I could prepare myself because you don’t want to be hiking up over 15,000 feet, you know, over 4,000 meters on the Inca Trail and be so out of shape and out of breath and lagging behind that you miss all the beautiful sights around you. I mean, you’re coming up the day on Machu Picchu, you know, these historical thousands of years of history.
David Kosloski: 03:05 You’re dead and you can’t enjoy it because you’re just, you’re fried.
Charlie Thompson: 03:08 Exactly. And that’s what you don’t want to happen. So we’re not saying that you know, you have to be, you know, the number one CrossFit athlete or the strongest man in the world or a woman. That’s not a requirement.
David Kosloski: 03:23 I think ironically, I think had this conversation with someone recently, and I want to say it was my buddy Eric, his mom, Gosh, she’s going to hate me if this is not him, but his mom did the Inca Trail and two porters actually carried her up a hill because she couldn’t and they carried her quite a ways. And they just switch her back and forth between the two different people, so it’s definitely doable. Again, I mean they give, you can run a mile, you’re pretty good on the Inca Trail. There’s enough breaks that are put in there. There are stopping places for food, which if I was to make a suggestion, I would say bring snacks. It’s important to, to fuel up while you’re on that trip.
Charlie Thompson: 04:01 Well, Duh. Dive in the snacks.
David Kosloski: 04:04 That’s the most country. Dab. Dive in. Dive into the snacks.
Charlie Thompson: 04:07 Dive right into them. Snacks up from Tennessee. What do you think?
David Kosloski: 04:13 Yeah, a man. I don’t know. We brought Clif Bars. Beef jerky. That’s a must I love beef jerky though.
Charlie Thompson: 04:21 Well those kinds of snacks. Give me some of the basics. Like if I’m…
David Kosloski: 04:24 Carbs, looking for carbs, looking for protein, you know, and that really, I guess it’s irrelevant because I’ve heard, I don’t want to tell people what they should and shouldn’t eat because I’ve got some Vegan who’s probably listening to this right now, is like Americans consume too much protein, da da da. And I’m going to be like, oh, whatever, you know, I just like beef jerky. To me, I think it tastes.
Charlie Thompson: 04:44 I love beef jerky.
David Kosloski: 04:45 Yeah, love the beef jerky.
Charlie Thompson: 04:48 Jack Links. It doesn’t matter. Kroger brand.
David Kosloski: 04:50 Yeah. Uh, I mean, Clif Bars are great. They got carbs, but really the carbs and energy because you’re burning a ton of calories doing that hike or any of the hikes rather. Um, I think, uh, when you’re not doing the snack thing, just really trying to eat as much as you can at lunch and dinner just to refuel your body. Don’t drink. There’s a bunch of idiots the first night they drink, they get loaded up on beers because the porters, they do drink, they’ll bring beer, they’ll sell it to you. And I learned and never forget some dumb ass drink like three beers in the first night or whatever and he was loaded up and cause you’re high in elevation and he’s loaded up next day. He was the last man standing. I mean he was so far back. I feel like that would be you.
Charlie Thompson: 05:31 That might be me.
David Kosloski: 05:33 Just want to have vacation Dave.
Charlie Thompson: 05:36 Exactly. Look, don’t tell me what to do.
David Kosloski: 05:39 Yeah, we, we tried to drink. We bought a bottle of the last day, second to the last day. It was horrible. It was so hard to drink straight booze. Like we bought like a bottle from somebody. There’s along the way you can buy snacks, different posts or whatever. And one had booze, it was awful.
Charlie Thompson: 05:56 Well and these porters, I mean they’ve been doing this for years. I mean this is their normal, you know.
David Kosloski: 06:01 I mean they do manual labor to. All these guys work at farms, they, they are, they’re locals. And that elevation. So, I mean, comparing your level of fitness to theres is just completely different and really comes down to when you think about athletes, right? Like you’ve got a great football player, doesn’t mean he could play hockey that well, you know, you got a great guy, who can hike all day, but just because you can go run a 10 minute mile or, or an eight minute mile or seven minute mile doesn’t mean he can hike that great. So really, ultimately there’s really not much you can do to prepare except for to hike, like go do a damn hike. It’s fine. Well, that’s interesting. I guess one thing you enjoy but go on a hike, go bring hiking boots. A lot of the questions we get to are you know, I did a day hike or I do day hikes. That’s fine. I mean it, it helps. But this is typically most hikes out there. I mean, what’s our shortest one? Like three nights Lares or something like that. And Salkantay is a four night trek. So, I mean, you’re out there for quite a while.
Charlie Thompson: 06:52 Four nights, five days. Three nights. Four days. Yeah. And then you hike, you hike, what? At least five to six hours.
David Kosloski: 06:59 Yeah. I mean you get a break here for lunch so that. But when you’re hiking a long time level of fitness wise, uh, definitely, uh, just, just go out and do some hiking and make sure you pack a lot of food.
Charlie Thompso: 07:10 You mentioned boots, so what’s some of the other bases? Like do I need to, do I need to bring my own sleeping bag? You know, I’ve toothbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste obviously, but what’s some other what some things that may be might slip your mind if you’re not used to going on hiking trips where you’re camping and you’re staying overnight, and you know, you’re not used to 15,000 feet elevation. Like what do I need to bring or what could I rent there. What’s some of those basics.
David Kosloski: 07:35 Yeah. Jumping off the fitness wagon, getting rid of the six pack, we’ll go into some food stuff into, or excuse me into some necessity. So the sleeping bag, you know, you don’t need to bring a sleeping bag, you can rent one. They’re usually about 20 bucks for the whole trip. But at least they are for us. But if you’re going to bring a sleeping bag, excuse me, I didn’t bring a sleeping bag when I went. I know people do bring sleeping bags. It really is up to you. It takes up a lot of space in your luggage, which kind of sucks. You asked about to bring toothpaste. Bring all the essential too, dude baby wipes. That is where it’s at. Baby wipes. Save your life if you’re. I hate being gross and stinky. Whereas Kevin, dude didn’t shower for like four days after we got back from the Inca Trail. He loves to be disgusting. Like literally one night
Charlie Thompson: 08:21 He’s a manly man.
David Kosloski 08:23 Do we heard some horror story? One Night Kevin got all scared. He’s like, God, I’m really nervous. Can sleep in your guys’s tent? And kills like, yeah, it’s fun. I’m like hitting her, like, shut up. That dude hasn’t showered in like a month. Like, we’re not, he’s not going to come in our tent with us,
Charlie Thompson: 08:35 I just call him a manly man. And then you said he just got scared.
David Kosloski: 08:41 Give you kind of a difference to in level of fitness. Kevin is like 12 percent body fat, something crazy like that. I mean, he obviously is, he’s gained some more since hopping on the crossfit bandwagon, but I’m no six pack by any means. Cayla who is the smallest of us. All my girlfriend, she was the one who died the hardest and I think that really comes down to she’s had never hiked before, she did some hikes with us, but she never did a hike, like a, like a two day backpacking trip or one night back in trips. So, Kevin was above me, but Kevin had did a lot more hiking and camping than me. Your first hike that you do don’t let it be the Inca Trail. That’s actually probably the biggest, if I can say, is like, don’t let your first backpacking trip where you go hiking.
David Kosloski: 09:30 The Inca Trail because you won’t enjoy it, and I say that because when I did Waimanu Valley wrote that blog post about it and it was miserable like, and everyone’s like, when we set that up for revision, and I was like, Oh, you’re going to make it sound somewhat good at the end. I was like, you guys, it was miserable because that first time you do it, it’s awful. It’s just horrible. You can’t really enjoy it as much as you can. The next one and the next one, I’m pumped. We’re going to go back out to Peru. We’re going to take Charlie, do some hiking and do some sightseeing and stuff like that. And when you think about it, five days like that, that is our trip. I mean, we’re literally gonna be in Lima for two days, go to Cusco and spent a day at Cusco, hike.
David Kosloski: 10:05 Spent a day back, a day or two in Cusco, fly back to Lima dip out. Like it’s a quick trip. The trip is the hike, you know, really.
Charlie Thompson: 10:14 Right. And that’s the whole experience of it, right?
David Kosloski: 10:16 It is. You got two weeks, go for it. If you’ve got more time, I say, because there’s a lot of cool stuff you could see in Cusco. A lot of cool stuff you can see in Lima. Hell, I mean we want to see the lines. We want to see the rain forest. I mean there’s the oasis. We can go sand snowboarding or sandboarding or whatever. There’s so much to do in Peru. It’s unreal. You can’t hit it all. But you know, there’s obviously the core main tourist production areas.
Charlie Thompson: 10:41 And really we say all this not, not to scare you, not to be like, Oh man, I can I do the Inca Trail it, you know, most people can do the Inca Trail.
David Kosloski: 10:50 Charlie how much do you weigh?
Charlie Thompson: 10:51 How much do I weigh? 285.
David Kosloski: 10:54 And how tall are you?
Charlie Thompson: 10:56 Six foot eight.
David Kosloski: 10:56 So your BMI is probably like what overweight?
Charlie Thompson: 11:00 I would, yeah, I’d probably considered overweight. I think my, I think I’m supposed to have her around like 235, 240.
David Kosloski: 11:05 Yeah. So Charlie your almost 280, whatever. I’m looking at Charlie. Knowing Charlie’s physical ability, he could definitely do the Inca Trail, he would suffer greatly, but he could finish it. He’d be just miserable and probably be asking for a smoke halfway up the mountain, have a beer and a pack of cigarettes.
Charlie Thompson: 11:23 Yeah. And I will. I’m saying this though, to be like, look, we’re not trying to scare you. We want you to just be mindful of these tips and tricks just so you can have the best experience possible. That’s what we’re all about. Because again, if you’re huffing and puffing, if you’re the last guy and you’re worried or you’re hungry all the time because you didn’t bring snacks or you didn’t eat enough because you didn’t feel good, you’re missing out on what this trip is supposed to be about.
David Kosloski: 11:51 There was a quote by Ben Bergeron, I hope I don’t butcher it, but he said there’s a high percentage of people quit early because they feel discomfort without pushing forward to feeling like so they quit early because they feel discomfort. Whereas if they pushed further that little bit, that little bit more, they could have much better gains. Right. Or like or growth and so where I’ve been using that to correlate a lot of things and so while you may feel discomfort training for a trail or a hike in Peru and it may suck that pay out and reward to that is going to be so much greater going into a hike, in Peru because you can enjoy it. Because really it is the most beautiful. I mean I think, yeah, that hands down probably most beautiful hike I’ve ever been in my entire life were hikes were in Peru and they’re gorgeous and yeah.
Charlie Thompson: 12:45 I literally can’t wait. I’m just like, you guys listening, like I’m pumped up.
David Kosloski: 12:49 He’s ready to go. He’s pumped up with his Preds socks on too.
Charlie Thompson: 12:53 Go go Preds. Alright. One last little thing because this is a question that we get all the time. When can I book the Inca Trail?
David Kosloski: 13:04 Yo. So check it out. I got one cool for you, we’re going to plug it again. since we plugged the last episode. The Inca Trail, you got to book six months out depending. Really depends on the government. Typically it’s like five to six months. And the reason I say that is because there’s only allotted 600 passes a day. That being said, those include your porters, your guides, your cooks, everybody. Okay. There’s only 600 allotted a day you’re going to have a lot of porters. Even if two people go, you’re going to have porters because you’re going to have to have a cook, you’re going to have to have them carrying the food, carrying the water, etc. So a lot of people go on this every single day. That means they book up very, very quickly. But I got one for you that’s a little bit better, is that if you’re like a last minute or, and you didn’t really plan out the Inca Trail, which is fine.
David Kosloski: 13:53 There’s a trail that goes next to the Inca Trail and it’s just as beautiful. In fact, some say it’s even more beautiful and less crowded. So you get that more solitude feeling as you’re hiking Salkantay Trail. Gorgeous. And if you’re going a little bit longer, it’s a day longer, I wouldn’t go for the short one. The shorter version, the Lares Trail, which is also beautiful, and guess what? They both end up at the beautiful, mystical Machu Picchu. okay. So at the end of the day, you’re still ended up in the same place and your journey might be more intimate, might be more beautiful, it might be more whatever. And it’s for those last minute planners who, hey, I’m going to be in Peru in two weeks and we just had one the other day, like I’m going to be in Peru in two weeks. We’re like, crap, well you can’t do the Inca Trail but you can get, we can get you onto the Salkantay Trail and it’s just as beautiful.
David Kosloski: 14:41 So, if you’re one of those people that you just like, oh, I didn’t want to book way far ahead, I’m going to Peru, hit us up, we’ll help you get the Salkantay Trail booked up or Lares Trail. If you don’t want to do that, you want, you just want to see Machu Picchu. We got that covered and don’t forget super cheap.
Charlie Thompson: 14:59 It’s worth it.
David Kosloski: 14:59 Yeah. And just so you guys know, listening to, we think we really talked about this, we got to do an episode here as soon as to why we started Cachi and then really what our main goals are and sort of just kind of talk a little about the country and where we’re at. But besides that, everything that you guys, when you guys help us out in terms of booking through us, I’m going through our people in Peru.
David Kosloski: 15:17 You’re helping a lot of the families down there. We are a big company about giving back. We care about giving back. When you book through us, you’re helping a ton of locals, which is really important to us because when we were there, we experienced some, some things and we’ll talk about that later, but we really wanted to help the locals help local communities. And this Cachi is our outlet to do that. Our outlet to employ locals, educate them, help them progress and be successful. So anytime you booked through us, you’re a part of that success.
Charlie Thompso: 15:48 So hit us up on Facebook or Twitter, message us. We’re down to earth guys like we want to help out.
David Kosloski: 15:54 Dude I would love messages. Yeah, like like personal ones. We get the questions…. But send us personal questions about Peru or your experience with Peru. If you want to write a blog post about your experience in Peru. Let us know what it was like. We’ll post it. Whatever. Man. We just love talking to people about travel. I mean in, in the beautiful country of Peru.
Charlie Thompson: 16:12 Exactly. And we’re not some, you know, we’re down to earth we’re, we want to talk to everyone about that. We want to help in your adventure. We want to be a part of your adventure. That’s exciting for us. So hit us up cachilife.com, Cachi on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and if you want to shoot us an emaIl [email protected] That’s all the time we have today on the Peru Travel Podcast. We will see you soon.
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