188 Hiking

Todd talks about his hiking trips in mountains of Japan.


Todd: Every year my company gives me three weeks holiday, in summer, in August, and usually I go home and I see my family, but two years ago, before I went home, I took a hiking trip in Japan and I went hiking across the "Minami Alps", uh, "Minami" means "south" so they're the Southern Alps in Japan. It was a really good hike. The hike took me five days. Before I went on the hike I needed to buy some gear so I bought a tent, a backpack, some hiking boots, and a good map of the area I was going to traverse. When I did the hike it was really, really hard. I was not prepared for how difficult it was going to be. Each day I had to hike about 12 hours, and the hardest part about each hike was having to carry lots and lots of water because you're walking all day, you have to drink lots of water or else you'll get dehydrated. The mountains were really steep, but once I got over the first mountain, it was just beautiful, really, really beautiful, and I met lots of really nice hikers, especially elderly hikers on the trail and I just had a great time. I just remember the beautiful views from the peaks and at night I could see the stars really clearly, probably more clearly than I ever had before. I was a really really good trip.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson


I decided to buy some gear.

"Gear" is equipment or accessories that you need to do something in particular.  Notice the following:

  1. Are you bringing rain gear with you?
  2. I want to look at the camping gear.


A good map of the area I was going to traverse.

To "traverse" a place is to pass or travel though it.  Notice the following:

  1. It was a very long walk traversing the desert.
  2. There are people that traverse this land every day just to buy milk or sugar at the store.

not prepared

I was not prepared for how difficult it was going to be.

If you are "not prepared" for something you are "not ready" for it.  It is possible to be not prepared mentally or physically.  Notice the following:

  1. We weren't prepared for it to be so sunny here.
  2. He was not prepared for all of the work he would have to do in university.

or else

Drink lots of water or else you'll get dehydrated.

In this sentence we can omit "or else" and just say "or you will get dehydrated."  We add "or else" when we want to emphasize that there is a cause and effect between the two situations.  Notice the following:

  1. You have to do all of your work on time or else you will fail.
  2. She needs to exercise more or else she will get fat.


I met lots of nice hikers, especially elderly hikers.

"Elderly" is a nice word for old people.  Notice the following:

  1. He volunteers with the elderly community members.
  2. After my grandfather died, my grandmother moved to a home for the elderly.


Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
Word 1 •Word 1 • Word 1
Word 1 • Word 1
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