Gear up for adventure, what you need to go into the mountains safely
A hike in the mountains is not just about enjoying beautiful views and delicious things to eat.
What you carry in your backpack could save your life, or at least keep your body warm in difficult situations. This is our complete list of the mountain equipment you should carry with you at all times.
Don’t be that kind of person
You’ve probably been on an excursion where someone has shown up with only a plastic water bottle and skateboarding shoes. After a few kilometres, they suddenly realise that they’re hungry, cold and have sore feet. They have a terrible time, end up slowing down the group and are a danger to themselves and others. Don’t be that person!
With so many equipment options available, there’s no reason why your first (or fiftieth) mountain experience shouldn’t be as enjoyable as possible.
Rule number 1: dress in layers.
It is absolutely essential to dress in layers in the mountains, both because the weather changes rapidly and because your body temperature varies according to the activity you are doing (for example, when you stop to eat and then start again during a hike).
- Water bottle or backpack with 2 litres of water
Needless to say, it is one of the most important things to carry. Always carry more than you need, in case you get lost or someone in your group runs out of water. Bottle or backpack? It depends on what you prefer: Do some tests!
- Backpack 10 litres or more
A 20-30 litre backpack is usually sufficient for a day trip. It usually allows you to carry some water, some small snacks, a camera and a couple of layers. It really is all you need for a day trip.
- Trekking boots
A good pair of hiking boots is an absolute must. Get shoes with good cushioning and your joints will thank you for it. High ankle support will prevent you from spraining your ankle on uneven terrain. Lighter trail running shoes will save you energy, but will have less support.
To avoid blisters, it is essential that your boots fit well, but for extra security, also put some plasters or tape in your backpack.
Waterproof or Gore-Tex boots are a plus that will allow you to go anywhere and keep your feet dry at all times (don’t forget that water can get in through the upper leg anyway).
If you plan to walk on rocks and stones, look for thick rubber soles.
- Base layer
A good base layer, let’s call it “underwear”, is very important for your thermoregulation system. It should be a lightweight T-shirt, a long-sleeved top or a lightweight thermal layer to wear over the skin. It should be a thin, breathable material. Nowadays you can also find antibacterial liners, to the delight of those who will walk with you or those who will share the car journey home with you.
- Middle layer:
Depending on the season and weather forecast, you may need to carry an additional mid-layer. It is a small insulating layer to give a little extra warmth. In winter it can be a fleece or a thermal layer.
- Lightweight jacket
It’s a lightweight layer that’s easy to wear when the temperature drops or when we stop for a break. It is essential that you can pack it and compress it into a backpack. Jackets made of real down feather or synthetic down are often the best choice.
- Waterproof jacket
Packing an outer layer in your rucksack means you are guaranteed to be comfortable, whatever the weather. Hiking is often characterised by very variable weather and we find that it is better to be able to dress and undress easily than to wear a single layer. As for outer layers, there are many on the market, all of them very good. The important thing is that they properly keep water and wind at bay.
- Trekking socks
Not all socks are the same. Buying some “mountain socks” is absolutely a good investment. If you wear hiking boots, you should look for long, breathable socks.
- Cap to protect you from the sun
Nothing can end your day faster than heat stroke. A little is enough to cause dizziness and headaches. If the day is very hot, it is best to keep your head cool under a cap. Moreover, burning your scalp is an experience that is better not to experience.
- Shorts or long trousers?
Shorts or long trousers? There is no absolute advice here: it depends on how you are used to it and the temperatures. Zip-off trousers that convert into shorts are also a great idea. Simple leg warmers (such as cycling shorts) can also be useful to wear under shorts in case the weather turns bad.
- Solar protection.
This is a problem for everyone. Even if your skin is dark, you should still protect yourself from the sun’s rays in the mountains. Minimum protection 30!
- Trekking poles
Trekking poles are great if you have knee problems or want to prevent this problem. There are many on the market: if possible, it is better to use telescopic poles: Shorter on the way up, longer on the way down!
- Appropriate snacks for trekking
Energy bars, dried fruit, gels, sandwiches, bananas: everything is good. The important thing is not to go hungry because that would mean unnecessary suffering.
- Other accessories
Depending on the weather: gloves and scarf or warmers for the summit. Some people wear gloves and hand warmers on almost all excursions.
Headlamps are always a valuable aid to carry with you.
Sunglasses are great for a long day in the sun and are also a great windproof accessory.
Get equipped at Deporvillage.net