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You’ve survived through to 2020 after a season of gorging out on sugar, fat and alcohol.
Why not sweat it off in the name of charity?
Charity treks are a great way of forcing you to get fit and help you get into trekking while raising money for a good cause.
You benefit from getting in shape while the charity benefits from you raising money for them to achieve your goals for the year – a win/win scenario.
Many of the blogs we produce at Trek Addict look at treks and hikes that may suit the more experienced hiker or walker.
This one may well benefit the our followers who are in no fit shape to assault the hill to their local shop yet alone Everest.
Ranging from a five mile family jaunt to 26 miles on different terrains, you will find a reason to start training soon for a walk that will get you in shape for trekking seasons to come.
As ever we will look at a longer dramatic walk and wind through the different options to the shortest.
Long distance charity treks through an agency
As with many other trekking trips abroad it often pays to do a charity trek through an agency.
They will put all the resources together to make your adventure possible.
You then raise the money, including the travel and logistics costs, to do the trek.
One company that specialises in long haul charity treks includes the walk to the summit of Kilimanjaro that we have covered in a previous blog.
This is an eight day adventure (excluding travel to and fro base camp) and is quite a challenge.
There are drawbacks to this idea.
A trip like this can cost many thousands of pounds to do just covering the expenses of getting you to the location and then paying local guides to get you along the expedition, not to mention food, insurance and so forth.
The overheads to a Kilimanjaro summit attempt could be £5000 or more, so unless you can at least match that sum for the charity in question you’re largely getting someone else to pay for your holiday.
UK charity treks
There are more efficient treks that are far less expensive and can be done with far less expense just to get to the start line.
In short, though you can walk tall having achieved a major personal goal for the year, you aren’t getting someone else to pay for your holiday!
Many of the largest charities run far more efficient operations that don’t involve such a phenomenal amount of cash just to get you to the start line.
Ultimately you will give more than you take in this regard.
These are often more efficient than the long distance trips abroad in terms of how much outlay you need to find just to get to the start line.
You may need a pair of decent boots and some other walking gear as well as travel and accommodation on site – all you would pay for yourself.
Even if you live at the other side of the country to the walk in question it could cost you just a few hundred pounds to get to the start line, and then the money you need to fundraise to qualify.
As we discussed, these charity treks can give you a lot as a person.
You may spend too much time on the sofa reading Trek Addict and other blogs, and need a focus to get the lard off your butt and to get into trekking as opposed to just reading about it!
For someone who has probably added a few inches worth of cakes to their waistline this Christmas, to manage a big day-long trek in July or September you need to start training now.
This is where you can do some taking from the charity in a way that may even keep you from needing their services in times to come.
That is to say, in getting fit for a walk like that you could potentially avoid things like cancer and heart problems, let alone the mental health conditions that can come before or after them – or even the hospice care that comes from that lifestyle bringing your own life to a premature close. Now that’s a win/win!
The British Heart Foundation
One of the better funded charities in the UK, the British Heart Foundation is running a large number of charity treks in 2020.
With few exceptions they are going to get your heart beating and you will need to get in good shape to do them.
Some folks manage to do non-stop in 24 hours, though there is an option to do this over two days in daylight hours.
You have a choice of doing a half or quarter of the coast path (for a lower fee) but it costs just £11.25 to register for the full walk and you’re expected to raise a minimum of £595.
Relatively short but no less brutal is the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge that will certainly get your heart in fine fettle as you mount the three highest peaks of the Yorkshire Dales in a day.
The £35 entry fee covers their costs for running the event and you’re encouraged to raise £300 for doing it.
Macmillan Mighty Hikes – MacMillan Cancer Support
Macmillan provide cancer nurses to guide people through their journeys of a cancer diagnosis.
They are among the best-funded charities in the UK and run efficient fundraising operations.
One of those annual fundraisers is the annual Mighty Hikes where you walk anything up to 26 miles in a day-long adventure.
You pay £25 to register and then must raise £250 to get to the start line.
They show you how to raise the money through the likes of Just Giving and personal collections.
That sort of minimum funding is something you can top up with your own cash should you fall short.
Another thing they offer is membership of a social media group where inevitably people start challenging each other into raising more money and doing practice walks through the year in the run-up to the event.
In 2020 Macmillan are offering Mighty Hikes including the Jurassic Coast, the Ullswater Way in the Lake District, a section of the Wye Valley Walk and gentler ones such as one along the Thames Path.
One in three of us will experience mental health issues in our lifetime – that is up from the old estimate of one in four just a few years ago.
Even so mental health is considered the ‘Cinderella Service’ of the NHS.
Mind works into communities across the UK providing help and support to people in distress through their paths to recovery.
In June 2020 you can do a mentally and physically challenging 24 hour walk up the Yorkshire coastline from Whitby, aptly called the Mind Hike Whitby.
On the 27th June you will leave after breakfast and then walk as far as possible up the often brutal Yorkshire coast.
You stop for dinner (and a brief nap if you dare!) and then walk through the night.
This has a £69 registration fee and you’re expected to raise a minimum of £690 for the event.
Local charity walks
Julia’s House hospice is one of many local hospice charities running fundraisers, in this case to keep their children’s hospice service in Dorset and Wiltshire going.
In Julia’s House’s case they are offering three challenges – a 26 mile brute, a 13 mile medium hike and a five mile circuit for those with young families to do.
This is one of many such local fundraisers that don’t raise dramatic amounts of money for giant organisations but can make a big difference to local families.
You may choose to support a local charity over a national one as ultimately their bureaucracies are smaller and more of your money will go into front-line services than would be the case for a national player.
Whatever your reason for the local charity doesn’t lessen the hard work you may need in preparation for the walk or the fundraising for the event.
Hills are no flatter and the stamina required for a 20 plus mile walk is no less because the charity itself is smaller!
Get training now!
Whoever you are and whatever your reasons for doing a charity trek in 2020, the time has come for you to look online and find a trek to support.
We have touched on just four of literally dozens of organisations running charity treks.
If you are living the sort of lifestyle where you might have to rely on one of those charities one day, this is particularly the case!