Regardless of its duration, a hike is carefully prepared.
This includes taking into account the people with whom we will share these moments, acquiring and preparing the equipment, planning the itinerary, organizing accommodation, food and water, and respecting the safety of the group. It is necessary to think about every aspect of the project, anticipate problems and plan for all contingencies, including the unexpected.
Set the outline and objective of the hike
To prepare your hike, start by giving yourself a precise objective: what is the purpose of this hike, what objectives will you need to achieve to be satisfied on the way back? For example, is your goal to see beautiful scenery, to recharge your batteries, to climb a given summit or to share highlights with friends? Of course, the place, duration and the people you are going to go with must be determined according to this objective. If one person is looking for relaxation, likes to take the time to stop and take pictures, chat and have a good time with friends while the others are looking to beat a speed record, the group may not work well! It’s good to know this before venturing out for several days together.
Ask and answer the right questions
Then ask yourself all the questions about your itinerary: the route, the difficulties, where you will sleep, what you will eat, what you will eat, the clothes you will wear, the hazards you are likely to face (weather, incidents, delays) and how you will deal with them, etc. We introduce several of these questions in this article. You should have answers to all the questions before you leave, even if not all of the proposed solutions are ideal.
Prepare yourself physically
Whether it is for a one-day walk or a multi-day trek, you need to prepare yourself physically. You may be walking 20 km a day with a 10 to 15 kg bag on your back and this requires some training.
Walk at least once a week to train or maintain your training. You need to work on your endurance by doing activities such as cycling, jogging, swimming or walking and by adopting an adapted diet.
Also remember to warm up before the activity and stretch on the way home, after showering or before going to bed.
hiking equipment bag shoes map
Your backpack should not weigh more than 20% of your body weight.
The equipment is essential for a successful hike. It must be complete, in good condition, reliable and transportable, therefore without superfluous. Once you have all the stuff together, ask yourself the question for each case: do I really need to take it with me? Is there a reason why I should take it?
Take only what you really need, i.e. what you will or could really use.
They must be comfortable. To buy them, try them at the end of the day, when your feet are a little swollen, or after an hour’s walk in the city. Test them with a pair of hiking socks similar to the ones you’ll be wearing to replicate the conditions you’ll be in when you go out.
Today’s footwear is lightweight, waterproof and made from breathable waterproof fabric. They are a good alternative to leather boots, which are also waterproof, solid and almost eternal, but heavier, longer to dry and more demanding in terms of maintenance. They also need to be softened after a few hours of walking to adapt to your feet.
Don’t leave with new shoes, but opt for second-hand shoes instead. Walk in them several times before you leave for the day. Also bring spare laces.
Bring flip-flops, fangs or sandals for walking in and around the gîte after the walk.
Today’s hiking socks are thin and light. They wick away perspiration.
They must be breathable and waterproof.
Opt for a strong, light and comfortable backpack. You’ll need to wear it for hours. Test it before you buy it. Some backpacks are heavy even when empty, which means more weight to carry or less stuff to carry.
There are still many things to bring along, such as a walking stick, a camping tent for overnight accommodation, water and food…