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Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

We're here to help

Below you'll find some of our most frequently asked questions from a variety of different topics. If you feel what you're looking for isn't here, send us an email or give us a call - we're always here to help! Use the side bar to quick-jump to a topic or use the search bar & Buttons below.

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Fundraising


Fundraising

Fundraising


Fundraising

Guidelines and questions on fundraising procedures


If you are having any questions or difficulties with your fundraising, you should contact your charity representative directly. They are the experts when it comes to hitting your target and will be able to help you by answering any questions that you may have, putting together a customized fundraising plan with you, or offering advice from previous experience. If you're looking for some inspiration, check out some of our blog posts below!

I am having issues with my fundraising, who should I contact?


All challenge places are confirmed 8 weeks before you travel so the deadline will be around this date. If you have any questions regarding your fundraising deadline, then you should contact your charity directly. 

When is my final fundraising target due?


Will I have to pay more if I don’t hit my fundraising target?

If you cancel your place throughout the year, then you will not be obliged to complete your fundraising target. This means that you will never be hit with a large bill for your minimum sponsorship target. If you would like to supplement your fundraising efforts personally then you are welcome to do so. 



What happens if I don’t hit my fundraising target?
 

If you don’t hit your minimum fundraising target, then you will not be able to travel on your original challenge. You do, however, have the option to defer to a trip leaving for the same challenge at a later date in order to give yourself more time to fundraise.  If you are interested in this option contact us at support@chooseachallenge.com 

If you are worried about hitting your target, then you should get in touch with your charity representative and they will be able to discuss all of the available options with you. 
 


Additional Resources:

Fundraising Testimonials

Read first hand how some of our trekkers not only reached their fundraising targets... but exceeded them!

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Hannah's Fundraising Story

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Andrew's Fundraising Story

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Megan's

 

Fundraising Story

Visit our Fundraising Tips Section

Still have a question?

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Support and Safety


TREK SAFETY

Support and Safety


TREK SAFETY

Your safety on our treks is our #1 Priority


 

What do you do to ensure that my challenge is safe?

 

 


We work closely will all of our partners in-country to ensure that all of your accommodation and transport is of a high standard. We also monitor the US State Department advice for all of the countries that we operate in to ensure that our information is up to date. You can find up to date travel advice from the USSD at their website.  

You can also refer to your Challenge Briefing Pack for additional advice on how to ensure you stay safe while you are away.  


Although there will not be a doctor taking part on your challenge, all guides are trained in emergency response and wilderness first aid. 

All of our guides also carry a comprehensive first aid kit at all times.
 


Will there be a doctor on my trek?


Yes - all of our main guides will be fluent in English

Will our guides speak English?


All of our support staff are paid a fair wage for their efforts. Nonetheless, they do work hard in challenging conditions so, if you feel that they have provided an excellent service, you may consider tipping them. Please refer to your Challenge Briefing Pack for recommended tipping amounts and procedures.

What about tipping?


How can I stay safe while I am abroad?

  • Avoid wearing flashy jewelry and keep your money and valuables well hidden.

  • Avoid external money pouches, dangling backpacks and camera bags.

  • When bargaining or discussing prices you should not do so with your money or wallet in your hands.

  • Don't wander around at night, always stay in a group and use a licensed taxi.

  • Be skeptical of any strangers who approach you asking if you remember them from the airport, hotel, etc. no matter how friendly the seem.

  • Keep your bags close to you at all times.

  • Only exchange money using authorized banks or moneychangers and always insist on a receipt.

  • Try to learn at least a few phrases in the local language - it will be appreciated.

  • Keep your money and passport safe at all times.

  • Don't become involved in drugs of any kind. The penalties for smuggling, possession and drug use are severe. Convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines, irrespective of nationality.  


Who can I contact in case of emergency?

If you have any emergencies during US office hours (9:00AM-5:00PM EST) then please call 646-568-9694

For emergencies outside of these hours then please call +44 208 798 0080 to reach our english-speaking 24/7-hour help line. 


What can I do to stay safe during my trek?

Always follow the advice of your guides; they are highly experienced and have been leading teams on all of our challenge for many years. 

Take everything nice and slowly. There is plenty of time on each given day to complete the required distance so there is no need to rush as this will tire you out more than necessary and increase the chance of injury or accident. 

If you have any questions or concerns do not be afraid to ask. There is no such thing as a stupid question and it is much harder to help if any potential issues go unnoticed. 
 

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Supplies and Gear


Supplies & 
Gear

Supplies and Gear


Supplies & 
Gear

what to bring and other important  questions


We have included a recommended list of supplies specific to each challenge in your challenge briefing pack. The information below, however, can be applied to all of our challenges. 

Where can I find a recommended supplies list?


You will need 3 types of bags for your challenge.

  • Firstly a large hiking pack which will carry all of your extra clothes/sleeping bag etc which your porter will carry.  This can be anywhere between 70-90 liters.
  • You will also need a smaller day bag/backpack which you will carry each day. This bag will be to hold the essential items that you will need on a day to day basis such as  your water, some snacks, sunscreen and valuables. We would recommend that this bag should be no bigger than 24-35 liters
  • You should bring also bring an empty, third bag to leave back at the hotel with any items that you won't need on the trekking element of your trip. 

What type of bag(s) do I need?
 


No, we will provide all of your camping equipment including your tent. For most of our challenges, however, you will need your own sleeping bag (season 4) and a roll mat for comfort if you prefer.

Please refer to the equipment & kit list in your Challenge Briefing Pack for a complete list of what you will need to bring with you or what can be rented in-country. 


Do I need my own camping equipment?


What type of boots will I need?

You will need a set of hiking boots, with good ankle support and a deep tread (remember to break these in before you travel). We would recommend talking to someone at a local outdoor specialist store if you are unsure.


How will I keep warm?

Keeping warm is all about using multiple layers instead of just wearing a large coat. You will stay much warmer by having 4-5 layers on since you trap in more air and insulate yourself against the cold.


What type of head lamp do I need?

An LED head lamp is vital for your trek. They are brighter and last much longer on their batteries than traditional torches - remember to bring plenty of spare batteries as well!


 

Can I bring electronic items?

Yes, however remember there will be limited - if any - opportunity to recharge them so make sure to bring spare batteries. Solar chargers can also be a useful alternative. Sleeping with your electronic items in your sleeping bag can help to keep them warm and preserve the battery life on cold nights.


You will need to drink roughly 5 liters (about a gallon and a half) per day - this is vital to remain hydrated and help your body acclimatize. You can carry your water in regular bottles or in a water bladder depending on your preference.

How should I carry my water?


While walking poles are not essential, they can be extremely helpful. They help keep you stable when you are tried. For anyone with knee issues, they can take up to 40% of the weight off of your legs. Walking poles are particularly useful when descending and are highly recommended!

Should I bring walking poles?


Although there will be no access to power on your trek, you will have the opportunity for a quick charge in the hotel before and after your trek, so make sure you bring along an appropriate adapter.

Do I need a travel adapter plug?


We recommend not bringing valuables with you on your trip at all. But if you must, please make sure to keep them secure and on you at all times.

What should I do with my valuables?


Firstly --We would definitely recommend asking around to friends/family to see if you are able to borrow any supplies that you feel that you may not use again! (sleeping bags, trekking poles, etc.)

If you would like to rent... then you can rent items of equipment locally from our overseas support staff upon arrival. We have highlighted the items that can be rented and their price in your Challenge Briefing Pack. 

Can I rent any supplies?


While you will want to ensure that you are nice and comfortable for your flight we would recommend wearing some of your trekking essentials while on your flight.
For example, wearing your boots will save weight and space in your bag and will mean that if, for any reason, your main bag is delayed in reaching your final destination you will still be able to start your trek with the rest of your group.

What should I wear to the airport?

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Flight Details


Flight Details

Flight Details


Flight Details

What you need to know before getting on the plane



You will need to ensure that the name you have registered with matches that on your passport exactly. You will need to make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months from your return date. 

If you have renewed your passport then you will need to provide us with your new passport number. You may also need to make sure you have the valid visa for the country you are travelling to. Please refer to your Briefing Pack or our visas FAQ for further information


Do I need to check my passport?
 



You will receive your flight details 7 weeks before departure. All of our international flights leave from a New York City based airport (Newark Liberty International or John F. Kennedy International) unless stated otherwise on your flight details. 


Where will I be flying from?
 



When do I need to get to the airport?
 


As a rule of thumb- whether you're traveling with us or are on your own personal travels in the future- it's always good arrive at the airport no later than 3 hours before an internatinal flight's departure. Make sure you check the flight status in case of changed departure times in the days leading up to your flight. 


 

Will I need a ticket?
 


You will not be issued with an airline ticket. You will be able to check in using your Passport and Airline Booking Reference number.


Please check with your airline regarding baggage weight restrictions.

What is my baggage allowance?
 


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Food and Drink


Food & Drink

Food and Drink


Food & Drink

All you need to know about food, water and any dietary needs along your trek


We can cater for the vast majority of dietary requirements (provided you let us know beforehand.)

You can update your dietary requirements by logging into your registration portal or by giving us a call in the office
 

I have dietary requirements, can you cater for me?



All your main meals and water will be provided on your challenge. Please refer to your Challenge Information Pack to see which meals are provided before and after your challenge. 
 

 

What food is included?


All of the water provided by us on your challenge is safe to drink. 

However, you may choose to treat your water with water purification tablets of filter it using special water bottles as a matter of personal preference.
 

Do I need to treat my water?


How much water should I be drinking per day?

You should aim to drink between 3 and 5 liters (at least a gallon) of water per day. We would recommend upping your intake of water in the weeks leading up to your challenge so that your body is used to drinking that much water by the time you are on your trek.


Why do I need to drink so much water while trekking?

Hydration is extremely important. Drinking plenty of water while trekking will replace the fluids lost through sweating, help your body to acclimatize to any effects of altitude and regulate the chemical balance in your body.


How should I carry my water?

It is a matter of personal preference as to how you would like to carry your water. 
Water bladders are convenient as they allow you to drink and walk at the same time but can be trickier to keep clean. Wide mouth or sports cap water bottles will also work fine. 
We would recommend carrying a combination of the two to carry up to at least 3 liters of water at once, and not having to refill often.


Always stick with bottled water rather than drinking from the tap. We would also recommend avoiding any ice in any drinks that you may have. 

We would advise avoiding alcoholic and highly caffeinated drinks before and during your challenge as they can dehydrate you and affect your sleeping patterns. 


What should I drink/not drink in-country?
 


Keeping energy levels up is extremely important on trekking days. Altitude can cause loss of appetite but it is important to eat at all mealtimes. Even if you are not feeling hungry or are nauseous, try and eat something; even if it’s a cereal bar!

Good snacks to eat include:

  • Dried fruit & nuts
  • Trail mix
  • Glucose tablets
  • Power bars
  • & many more

We'd recommend bringing some comfort snacks for if times get tough! 
 

Do I need to bring extra snacks with me?
 

Still have a question?

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Visas and Currencies


Visas and Currency

Visas and Currencies


Visas and Currency

Visa information for your specific challenge and protocol for handling money on your trek


American nationals do not need to apply for visas for travel in Peru before their arrival in Cusco

Will I need a visa for my Machu Picchu Challenge?
 


Visit the Embassy of Tanzania website for the most current visa information. Read the page on visas and immigration to ensure you will have the correct status during your visit to Tanzania.

You can find the step-by-step and checklist for applying for your visa here. We suggest applying for an ordinary tourist visa.


Will I need a visa for my Kilimanjaro Challenge?
 


Will I need a visa for my Everest Challenge?

You can apply for a visa in person or by mail, all of the information for which can be found here. We ask that you apply for a 30-day tourist visa



Will I be able to use a credit or debit card?
 

You will be able to use ATMs in major towns and airports while on your challenge - however you should not rely on your card as you might in the US. For the majority of your trip you will need to rely heavily on cash.  

It is always a good idea to inform your bank that you will be traveling abroad to ensure that your card will work. VISA is the most widely accepted form of credit or debit card. Some other cards may not be accepted. 


Will I be able to exchange money while I am away?

You will be able to change most major currencies in main towns and airports. You will most likely be able to withdraw local currency from local ATMs. We recommend withdrawing cash and making exchanges before you leave. If you are looking to use an ATM while you are away then we would recommend letting your bank know. 

NOTE: Only ever exchange money using authorized banks or money changers and always insist on - and check - receipts for your transactions.



What type of money should I take with me?
 

Please refer to your Challenge Briefing pack for for the local currency in the country that you will be traveling to. US Dollars are also widely accepted in the destinations that Choose a Challenge travels to.

If you are using US dollars abroad then please ensure that they are issued after 2001 and in reasonable condition to avoid any issues with them being accepted. 
 

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Health and Fitness


Health & Fitness

Health and Fitness


Health & Fitness

  Tips for preparing your body both mentally and physically for your challenge


When registering for your challenge, please indicate if you have a pre-existing condition and what this condition is. We always recommend you see your doctor and provide them with the itinerary of the trip so they can make an informed recommendation. Four months before your departure we send relevant medical declarations from registrations to our trip doctors who will also make recommendations as to the ability for a participant to continue with taking on our challenge. If your spot is cancelled on our trip because of pre-declared medical reasons, you will always receive a full refund of any fees paid regardless of the time of cancellation. 

What if I have a prexisting health condition?


 

How fit do I need to be to take on my challenge?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fitter you are the more you you will enjoy your challenge. It is very difficult for us to provide an exact fitness-training program as it very much depends upon your personal preferences. Any fitness training should incorporate the following:

Aerobic training: Jogging, walking, cycling, swimming and gym sessions will help to build your general level of fitness. Build up your schedule steadily with it peaking towards the time of your departure. Make sure that you wind down your training a couple of weeks before you travel so that your body has time to rest in preparation for your trek. 
Strength training: Weights are a good way to build strength in your legs to help you on the tough last days of your challenge. If you are a member of a gym then ask an instructor to help devise a program for you. 
Flexibility: This can be improved by a program of stretching exercises which will help to avoid any small injuries. For something different try Pilates or Yoga classes. Stretching in the morning before breakfast is a great way to start your day! 
Anaerobic training: High intensity interval training can really help to increase your strength and stamina. 

Getting a few long walks in as part of your training program is highly recommended. On these long walks make sure you break in the boots that you will be wearing on your challenge and get used to carrying a full daypack. 

Check out our Top 5 Tips on training for your trek here


On your challenge washing facilities will be very basic. For the most part you will have a bowl of warm water to wash up with in the morning. 

Please bring eco-friendly traveler's shampoo and soap and use them sparingly 

Generally there will not be toilets between campsites but please try and use the facilities provided as much as possible. 
 


What will the washing facilities be like?
 


Nothing ruins a trek like an upset stomach. In order to avoid becoming ill while you are away we would recommend following these simple steps:

  • Carry hand sanitizer at all times.
  • Be sure to clean your hands before all meal times. 
  • Keep an eye on the lids of your water containers. If they fall in the dirt then be sure to clean them with a sterile wipe. 


How can I avoid an upset stomach?


You may wish to consider the option of taking Diamox. However, you should speak to your doctor in order to fully understand the pros and cons of taking altitude medication. 

 

Is there anything I can take for altitude sickness?


How can I prepare my body for altitude?

  • Walk slowly. There is plenty of time within each day's schedule so there is no need to rush. Your guides will deliberately set a slow pace. 
  • Sleep as much as you can. Sleep is an important part of the acclimatization process allowing your body to adjust. Avoid coffee or alcohol and make sure that you have enough layers to be warm at night. Make sure that you have a comfortable sleeping mat and something to use as a pillow. 
  • Drink plenty of water. Adequate hydration is essential in allowing your body to regulate its chemical balance. 
  • Eat small amounts often - even if you don't feel hungry - in order to maintain your energy levels
  • Follow the advice of your guides. They are experienced professionals so they know what they’re doing. Feel free to ask any questions and get their advice along the way. Please also follow their advice when it comes to things such as food and medication

What are the effects of trekking at high altitude?

The most common effect of trekking at high altitudes is a headache. Other mild to severe symptoms can include nausea, lack of appetite, insomnia, vomiting and low energy levels. 


What should I do if I am feeling unwell on my challenge?

If you are feeling unwell at any point during your challenge, please inform one of the guides straight away - even if you think that is is something minor. 

We want to try and make sure that everyone remains fit and healthy while trekking and even minor ailments can become more severe if not dealt with quickly. 


Always refer to a doctor or travel nurse for advice on medical preparations. You can also refer to the Center for Disease Control website for an overview of what is suggested.

What vaccinations will I need?
 

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Responsible And Ethical Tourism


Responsible & Ethical Tourism

 

Responsible And Ethical Tourism


Responsible & Ethical Tourism

 

What you need to know about being in another country and respecting other cultures' values


Our policy is to carry out & throw away all non-biodegradable trash. Biodegradable trash should be left in the appropriate containers/bags. Please do not leave foods like apple cores and banana skins on the ground. 

While trekking, there are generally no toliets between camps, so please try and use official toilets where possible. If you are caught short then please dispose of any toilet tissues appropriately in containers or bags. 
 

What should I do with my litter?


Please do not hand out money to beggars. Giving to a local charity is far more effective and reduces expectations and reliance. 

What should I do if I encounter any beggars?


Can I haggle or bargain for goods?

Haggling is all part of the fun when buying souvenirs abroad but try not to be over-aggressive about prices which are relatively inexpensive. It may not seem much to you but it is someone else's living! Besides, a broad grin and a sense of humor are far more likely to get you the discount that you want. 



Can I bring home souvenirs?

If you would like to purchase any souvenirs then we suggest buying locally-made crafts that support local skills. Avoid buying items that exploit or threaten endangered wildlife species (e.g. ivory or "ancient artifacts".) These probably wouldn't be anywhere near as ancient as the vendor may imply.

Don't purchase any seashells or animal skins (e.g snake skins) as you will be stopped at the airport


Try not to damage any plants or trees that that you see along the route of your challenge. Any wild animals that you encounter should not be fed or disturbed.

How can I help protect local plants and wildlife?
 


Choose a Challenge is fully aware of the social and economic issues that can be associated with tourism in the developing countries our challenges take place. We only work with local ground operators who are ethically responsible and who support community tourism projects. Welfare of the porters is a top priority and our local partners are monitored to ensure standards are adhered to. 

What do you do to ensure porter welfare?


Still have a question?