Golden rules for a fantastic hike
Before setting off :
– Check the weather before each outing, and do not hesitate to postpone a hike if the forecast is poor.
– Choose a trail adapted to your physical abilities.
– Notify people, of your itinerary, and your expected date and time of return.
– Avoid going alone.
What to take with you :
– Your backpack : if you are going for a day hike, a capacity of less than 50 litres will suffice.
– Things to pack : warm clothes and a poncho (to shelter both yourself and the backpack), in case the weather gets bad.
– Take water, carry several water bottles (1.5 litres minimum for a day hike). Beware of water from streams and rivers, as even at high altitudes, it can be unfit for consumption.
– For longer hikes, pack a detailed map (1:25.000 scale) and a compass. (e.g.: IGN map) as well as a survival blanket, a whistle and a headlamp.
– For sun protection, wear a hat or cap, sunglasses, and use high SPF sunscreen (Warning: sunburn occurs quickly at altitude, even in cloudy skies).
– Footwear: ensure you wear quality, high-cut hiking boots, with good grip and shock absorbing soles. Choose footwear that is at least half a size bigger than your everyday shoes. Why ? Feet swell while walking, leading to compression if the shoes are too tight.
– Trousers are better than shorts to avoid scratches and sunburn.
– Carry binoculars to observe animals without disturbing them
Tip : the weight of your backpack must not exceed 10% of your body weight.