In August, 100 brave HSBC employees will be trekking 100 kilometres across the Arctic to raise money for WaterAid. Before the trekkers embark on the ultimate Arctic challenge, they have been undertaking some serious training. Karolina Macner has given us an update on what the London team have been up to in order to prepare themselves, and some tips for other trekkers in training!

“We have only 4 months (125 days!) before our adventure starts, so it’s been a high time to test our fitness after training throughout the winter. Five of us trekkers based in London went on a weekend hiking trip to the Chilterns, a hilly area North West of London full of beautiful forests and trees.

Our weekend started with a theoretical session on what and how to pack, and we then went on a shorter 6 kilometre trek. The trek on Sunday was definitely more challenging; going almost 19km in the mud, up and down the hills has been really tough, but this are exactly the conditions we will have when we arrive in Greenland.

The trekkers on their training weekend, Karolina (far right), with Sophie, Amyn, Howard and Gary from the London office. Photo credit: Howard Clarke

Here are some of the lessons we learnt from the trip for anyone going on a trekking challenge!

1. Keep training! I’ve been training all winter with an average of over 35,000 steps daily, and after 19km with a heavy backpack going through the hills on a muddy trail I could really feel my feet. This was just one day! Load your backpack before going on walks to get used to what conditions will be like during the real thing.

2. Get comfortable with your equipment.  Getting used to your equipment is key – we have decided to go for at least one more trekking weekend to make sure we are comfortable with our poles and backpacks we have bought for the Arctic Challenge.

3. Reconsider what you really need. The weight and size of the backpack is more limited than you think, so think twice what you really need. As for me, I can live without my hairbrush and I will be trading the space in my bag the hairbrush took for a long lens for my camera.”

Karolina Macner

Over the past five years, WaterAid and HSBC have worked together to transform lives in six countries: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Ghana and Nigeria. Together, we have reached 1.65 million people with clean water and 2.5 million people with sanitation and hygiene. The work funded by HSBC Water Programme allows communities to build skills, increase their productivity and future-proof economies of the regions they live in. Find out more about WaterAid’s work in partnership with HSBC. 

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