PACKING LIST FOR A HIKING TRIP
Do you always forget something when you go hiking? Then it is a good idea to draw up a packing list for yourself to ensure that you take everything you need with you. After all, you want to be well prepared and have peace of mind when hiking in the mountains. After all, it is mainly for the peace and quiet that you will set off to enjoy the breathtaking views. Walking along ravines, looking out over the high peaks and green valleys, every hike has its own charm. To enjoy it as much as possible, these 10 items should not be missing in your backpack.
1. Hiking gear
Before you throw your backpack around your shoulders and hit the road, you need to make sure you are well dressed for all those miles on foot. The most important thing is your hiking boots. Depending on the area and the difficulty of the hike, you should choose the right shoes. In short, the higher the mountains and rougher the terrain, the sturdier the shoes. When the terrain gets rougher, you often choose shoes with a sturdy shaft and sole. This ensures that your ankles get good support when they need it. Of course, personal preference also plays a part in choosing the best shoes.
Furthermore, take the appropriate clothing with you. Not too much of course, but the absolute necessities. Think in layers so that you are prepared for all weather types. So wear quick-drying underwear and t-shirts. In addition, the famous zip-off trousers (not sexy but practical) are very nice in this case, because they are just two trousers in one. Also think of good socks, a mackintosh and trousers and fleece for when it gets colder. And don’t forget your sunglasses!
Finally, of course, the backpack itself. Before you start packing, it is a good idea to take a look at the backpack itself. Because you need a different type of backpack for different trips. If you take a backpack that is too big, you will automatically be carrying too much stuff with you. After all, it fits in there. If you are going on a hiking trip, it is wise to take a smaller backpack, because you will not need a tent or a sleeping bag. A smaller backpack helps you to limit the number of things you take with you and therefore the weight you carry.
Also think about the protection of the backpack from the weather. Is it waterproof or do you need a rain cover to protect it from heavy rain? And check whether it has straps to tie your walking poles to. Because you’ll be able to use those too. Lightweight and you never know when they might come in handy.
2. Eating, eating and more eating
In ‘normal’ life, we have become used to always having everything available around us. There is always the opportunity to snack, eat or drink somewhere. Therefore, we are no longer used to preparing for the scarcity of these things. However, on a trek through the mountains, you will have to prepare for some scarcity. Even though you will come across mountain huts or small villages along the way where you can buy something. Nevertheless, it is wise to always take more food with you than you think you will need when you are out in the wilderness. No matter how often you have the opportunity to buy something along the way, there is always a chance that you will end up empty-handed. Therefore, take a good look at your route and see if you can use a food supply.
But what do you take as a reserve? Take at least (depending on the route) two litres of water in a drink or thermos bottle. Bring some isotonic powder to quickly replenish the nutrients in your body when needed. Furthermore, take things with you that are light, nutritious and can easily last a little longer. Such as nuts, (dried) fruit, bars and chocolate (but not for hot days of course ;). Put everything in a lunch bag or drum.
Now that your hiking equipment is complete and you’ve brought enough food to survive, you can start your mountain adventure. Or wait… you need to know where you’re going, of course. Planning the route is an important part of your preparation, you can use online tools to do this. I like to use the German app Komoot to plan all my hikes. After all, walking in the mountains on your own sounds cool but is usually not such a good idea. So make sure that your route is loaded into a navigation system, for example a Garmin system.
But remember that the batteries of a navigation system can run out and you don’t want to be dependent on it. So always take the old-fashioned map and compass with you. They can be a matter of life and death.
4. Think about your safety
When you are on the road, anything can happen. Often, help and facilities are far away and you want to be able to help yourself. Therefore, take the necessary precautions so that you are not caught unaware in case of an accident. Take materials with you that can help you out, but that you hopefully will never need.
Start with a first-aid kit that contains different types of plasters, bandages and other items to help you deal with minor injuries. A rescue blanket to keep yourself or a travelling companion warm after an accident. But also more specific attributes such as blister plasters that you will definitely need on a hike of several days. A pair of pliers and a deet to protect you against any vermin you might come across on your way. And sports tape that can prevent injuries or reduce their impact.
But think about your safety also to the functioning of all materials that you bring, if something breaks it is very useful to have attributes with which you can make small repairs. So take some tie-wraps and duct tape with you so that you always have a temporary solution and can continue hiking, even if your equipment is a little rusty.
5. Take good care of yourself during the trip
Those who set off into the countryside for several days have a little less reason to value their personal hygiene. Nevertheless, it is nice to leave the mountain hut refreshed every day and to be able to start your tour fresh and ready for the next day. Therefore, think of everything you need for your personal hygiene during your trip. This list should contain everything that you normally put in your toiletry bag, but with a few extras. For example, a roll of toilet paper that can come in handy when you need it in the middle of the wilderness, or some sun cream to protect your skin when it is exposed to the sun all day.
6. Extra energy is always welcome
A hut trip is a whole experience in which you make new memories at every moment. Views that you will never forget and efforts that you can always relive. But you don’t want to stop there, the memories are even more vivid when they can be captured, so bring your camera. And make sure it always has a full battery by using a powerbank that always provides you with a little extra energy. By the way, also in case your mobile phone could use some power. You can read more information about my camera setup in another blog.
7. Identify yourself
To be able to start your hike, it is very useful if you can also arrive at the starting point of your hike. You will often be travelling abroad on a trek of several days, so you should not forget your identification. Take your passport with you and make a copy of it just to be sure. Also remember your driving licence in case you need to drive a car to the starting point of your trek. And remember your health insurance and vaccination card. And if you’re going to be really exotic, you will of course need a visa for your adventure!
8. Be able to pay in several ways
Nowadays you pay almost always and everywhere with your credit or debit card, but on an adventure in the mountains you might only be able to get by with contact money. Think about using your credit card before you leave so you can always pay for extra food on the way.
9. What do you need for your overnight stay?
On a multi-day hut trek through the mountains, your accommodation is fixed in advance. You stay in a hut in the mountains, usually in a dormitory with several people. But mountain huts are not hotels, so you need to take some things with you to prepare for your overnight stay and you can’t just expect everything to be there. Bedding is one of the things that won’t always be there, so take a sleeping bag, sheet bag, travel pillow and pillowcase yourself. This will ensure that you can have comfortable nights in between strenuous hiking days, as rest is very important.
Because you will be staying in a dormitory with several people, it is wise to bring some attributes that will help you with the rules of conduct during your stay. Think of a headlamp or torch, with which you can make a little light when you are the first to leave early, but you will not wake up the others. Or things that can make your stay more pleasant, such as earplugs, which help you fall asleep when a roommate snores. Furthermore, it is nice to have clothes with you to sleep in and you can take a rubbish bag with you for when you want to separate dirty clothes from your clean ones.
10. There is always something extra
You can always use more things during a hut trip. But some things you only put in your backpack at the very last moment, things that are ‘nice to have’ but are not on top of your packing list. Stuff you can use well but will not easily miss. Binoculars can be nice to have but you don’t necessarily miss them if they are left at home. Just like, for example, a seat cover, which can be replaced by your rain jacket.
THE PACKING LIST
- Backpack 20 to 40 litres (incl. rain cover)
- Mountain shoes: shoes in category A, B, BC, C depending on the severity of the tour and your preference.
- Spare laces
- Walking sticks (telescopic)
- Sunglasses (category 3 or 4)
- Clothing (layers)
- Rain jacket or hardshell
- Rain trousers
- Water (at least 2 litres)
- Drink or thermos flask (or hydration bag)
- Isotonic powder bags
- Energy bars (or other sports foods rich in carbohydrates)
- Dried fruit and nuts
- Lunch (in durable lunch bag or box)
- Spork (fork and spoon in one)
- First aid kit
- Rescue blanket
- Blister plasters
- Tick tweezers
- Sports tape
- Tie-wraps and Duct tape (for any emergency repairs)
- List of phone numbers of family and rescue services (ICE numbers) in your phone
- GPX file on your walking computer or telephone (not instead of map and compass)
- Watch with altimeter
- Topographical map 1 on 25:000
- Shoes or slippers
- Sleeping bag or sheet
- Headlamp or torch
- Small towel (ideal microfibre cloth: small, light and dries quickly)
- Rubbish bag
- Clothing to sleep in
- Valid passport, ID or driving licence
- Copy of passport, ID or driving licence
- Visa (if required)
- Medication or vaccination passport
- Health insurance certificate
- Travel insurance (for mountain activities)
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- Shaving kit
- Glasses or contact lenses with liquid
- Toilet paper
- Sanitary towels
- Tampons (for ladies)
- Sunscreen factor 30 or 50
- Lip balm
- Hand gel
- Bank card and/or Credit card
- Matches or a lighter
- Water filter
- Pocket knife
- Seat cover