How To Prepare Well Ahead For Hiking

Walking can seem to be a trivial activity. Indeed, every day, we walk several thousand meters without feeling the effort, and we would tend to believe that to go hiking, no need to prepare. For a simple walk of a few hours, yes! But when it comes to leaving several days, walking at least 20 kilometers daily with a bag on the back, and camping in the countryside, clearly there your body needs to be prepared!

Choosing the right equipment and asking the right questions:

Before you start shopping, it is essential to define what your needs are. the questions to answer are:

  • For how many days am I leaving?
  • What weather, what will be the temperatures?
  • Will I spend the night in a tent or bed?
  • How many days of food should I bring, or will I stock up?
  • How many liters of water will I have to carry to the maximum?
  • What kind of terrain will I walk on? What is the elevation of the land?
  • Am I alone or in a group? Can we share the equipment?
  • How many kilometers will I have to walk each day?

 Various ski equipment

The backpack

Your bag will become your traveling companion throughout your hike, you will share everything, and it is essential that you feel good with him/her! First of all the choice of volume: it depends of course what you have to wear (tent, sleeping bag, mattress, kitchen equipment, food, water, clothing …). In the case of a release in the autonomy of 3 to 4 days, we recommend a bag of about 50 to 60 liters.

To be sure of the final volume, the trick is to wait until you have bought the rest of your equipment before purchasing the fabulous bag. If you are not used to carrying a bag, then opt for one that will provide you with maximum comfort, that is to say with thick straps at the shoulders, of course, but also at the hips!

Also, remember to choose a model that ventilates your back if you are going to a destination where temperatures can be high. Regarding the size, the best thing is still to get help from a specialist seller. Also, pay attention to the weight of the bag; some ultralight bags are less than a kilo while the big “mountain bags” can reach more than 3 kilos.

The sleeping bag

You will face an outstanding choice as well as a fairly impressive price range for the sleeping bag. To begin, you know the lowest temperatures that you may experience at night  because it is this must be your first selection criterion

Then determine what volume in liters and what weight you want for your sleeping bag. You will be offered three types of the bag: synthetic, those with duck down or those with goose down inside. It can be considered that the synthetic offers kits at a lower cost, easier to maintain, but also bulkier. The duck down, it provides very comfortable bags at affordable prices with a high swelling capacity so small but beware of maintenance!

The mattress

To enjoy your day of walking, you must have rested at night and therefore having a comfortable bed, even for a hike, is merely essential. Your mattress here will have two main functions: the first to offer you comfort, the second thermally isolate you from the floor.

Because it is something that you do not necessarily think but your down will be crushed during the night (by the weight of your body), and it will not provide you with excellent thermal insulation … So a mattress is essential if you do not want to die of cold, or spend a terrible night! Once again, your choice will depend on weight, volume, and price.

The shoes

Here is equipment not to choose at random! This is your work tool, you will make thousands of steps with it, and the slightest discomfort or gene can turn into a real torture.

First, the most important, the choice of model: the specialized sellers will immediately offer hiking shoes, very stable, robust, often covered with a gore-tex so waterproof, and rising for proper support of the ankle. Very good, only they are heavy, hot and do not allow your foot to breathe

these shoes are recommended if you go hiking in the mountains, on rocky and rugged terrain, where the temperatures will not be too hot.

But more and more hikers opt for trail shoes, that is to say, boots dedicated to the race “all terrain.” These shoes are stable, comfortable, and exceptionally light, and in my opinion, the weight of your shoes must be a significant factor in the choice of these.

The water management

 Going autonomously on several days it also means having to take its “water at the source,” you will have to do with the means of the edge and the surrounding nature: stream, river, lake. Of course, to not get sick, you will also need to purify your water! The most economical and least bulky solution is tablets of purifying pills.

Cooking equipment

To go independently, you will need a “mop,” a fork, a small knife, and your cooking equipment. Choose a suitable volume: no need to take a 2 liter if you are alone, conversely a liter for two is a little fair.

For cooking there are many solutions, the best known is the gas cylinder on which you will come to connect your stove, convenient to leave a few days but cumbersome and difficult to find anywhere.

You also have stoves that run on gasoline or alcohol to burn that are, for once, fuels that are found almost everywhere and inexpensive. Or even stoves working with wood, practical because you do not have the fuel to carry on you, but you have to have time to go every evening in search of dry wood. The choice will also depend on what you want to do to eat.

Clothes

You go hiking for several days so that you will immerse yourself in the wilderness for a while. so, what you should put in mind is do not clutter casual clothes. Go with one pair of convertible shorts, one T-shirt (or two if you sweat a lot), two underwear and two pairs of socks. We also recommend synthetic materials or merino wool.

Other types of equipment that are not meant to forget are Navigation tools, a headlamp, fangs or flip-flops to aerate the feet at night, a watch, the pharmacy case, mosquito repellent if needed and especially the camera.

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