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After trekking through the Alps to raise money for Cats Protection, Litza shares her advice for future fundraisers

Cat lover Litza Karatzoglou completed a three-day trekking challenge in the Alps in June, raising over £2,200 for Cats Protection.

Woman wearing yellow top, white cap and hiking backpack with mountains in the background

“In preparation for the challenge I was able to shift my mindset a bit towards becoming more active and healthier,” said Litza. “I was also able to sort out my lower back problem which was bothering me for over a year from sitting at a desk for too long.

“It was definitely a highlight for me this past year. I met such great people, made lasting friendships, challenged myself physically and mentally, saw such beautiful scenery and all in the name of helping Cats Protection. I couldn’t feel more proud.”

Litza was inspired to complete the trek by her own two rescue cats, Simba and Star.

a ginger cat and a white cat sitting on a cat tree

“I got both cats as three-month-old kittens from a rescue centre called Kitty & Puppy Haven in Johannesburg, South Africa. They had been found roaming the townships where most kittens are used as bait for dog fighting.

“Both are male and have just turned four years old. I immigrated from South Africa two years ago when they had just turned two and brought them with me to come live in London.

“I would have loved to have taken them with me on the trek but instead took two small toy cats as mascots and photographed them along the trek in various locations.”

a toy white cat and toy orange cat sat on a fence post with mountains in the background

After completing her challenge, Litza shared some advice for anyone planning to follow in her footsteps and take on the Alps trek in 2023.

Tips for trekking success

  1. Try and keep a consistent and achievable training schedule going for a while before the trek. Start training early and don’t try and cram in last minute training and arrive at your actual trek all tired and worn out before you have even started.
  2. Don’t walk/train on a straight, level road. Try and find a path along a river which is uneven, has gravel, stones and branches to step over. This way you get used to walking in these conditions.
  3. Consume the actual snacks/hydration drinks you will take with you on your trek while you are training so that you can see which ones work for you and which don’t agree with you. Some rehydration drinks/energy bars don’t taste nice and could possibly affect your stomach. You don’t want to be finding that out for the first time on your trek!
  4. Try and train with your backpack that you will use on the trek and fill it with the same weight you may end up carrying. This way you get used to the extra weight and most importantly know if you have the correct size backpack for the trip.
  5. Don’t use anything that is brand new on the trek. Make sure you have worn it/used it a couple of times before and are happy with it. For example, train with the sunglasses you will use on the trek to make sure they are comfortable and the correct fit on your face.
  6. Make sure you put blister plasters on the pressure points on your feet before you take your first step. These plasters will cushion your feet and prevent any blisters
  7. Don’t forget to put sunblock on your ears!
  8. Use a water bladder with a water pipe attached to the strap of your backpack. This will allow you a hands-free way of frequently taking sips of water to keep hydrated during the trek .
  9. Invest in good trekking socks even if they are expensive, because they are worth it.
  10. Make sure your backpack has little pockets on the straps or around your waist so that you don’t need to keep stopping to take your backpack off to get something you may need, like snacks, while trekking.
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