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Passende Wanderschuhe sind beim Wandern das A und O, Bild: lzf / shutterstock

Hiking in the mountains: What things should not be missing?

Hiking combines exercise and nature. If you go hiking, you should make sure that you have the right equipment with you. This is especially true for hiking tours in the mountains. In addition to food and drink, suitable clothing, suitable footwear and hiking poles are mandatory.

On the move: This is part of the hiking equipment

Many people have rediscovered hiking for themselves. While some take it easy, others test their limits and embark on a multi-day tour through the mountains. Ambitious hikers and pilgrims experience many exciting things on their long excursions, which are often completely unexpected.

Before every hiking tour, there is therefore thorough preparation and associated consideration of which things should be included in the hiking holiday. What should not be forgotten on any hike is the right equipment. In order not to overlook anything, it is advisable to create a packing list beforehand on which all important things are noted.

1. The hiking boots

Hiking boots come in many styles, from mid-high shoes to mountain boots. For hikes in the mountains, shoes that reach above the ankle are recommended. In this way, they give the wearer a secure footing and protect their ankles from stones. When it comes to hiking boots, the right fit is also important. They should fit comfortably and well, as they will be worn for several hours (on rough surfaces). It is also important to take care of your hiking boots. These should be cleaned intensively after each hike with suitable care products. Cleaning should only be done by hand to protect the material.

2. Hiking clothing

The right hiking clothing is the be-all and end-all when hiking. This should be breathable. That’s why many hiking fans now swear by sports underwear and functional shirts. Since the weather can change quickly, especially in the mountains, a softshell jacket, a windbreaker or a rain jacket should not be missing in your luggage. Suitable hiking pants are also important. There is a choice of shorts and long trousers. Trouser models are particularly practical, in which the long legs can be removed if necessary.

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Headgear, sun protection & Co.

Every skier knows that UV radiation is stronger at high altitudes. Hikers should also take this to heart and protect themselves accordingly with suitable headgear (for example a cap), sunglasses and sunscreen.

4. Hiking poles

Not every hiker attaches importance to hiking poles. However, if you hike in the mountains, you should not do without the practical helpers. The steeper the paths, the more useful the poles become. They relieve the legs, as the arms are additionally used, and thus help with the ascent. You can usually notice the difference the next day, when the sore muscles are not too severe.

5. Food and drink

On longer hikes, nutrition is extremely important to keep the body hydrated and energized. Snacks such as trail mix and muesli bars are suitable for a little refreshment in between. After the hiking tour, it can then be a hearty snack so that the body can replenish its energy stores.

Water should always be available in sufficient quantities on hikes. If you attach great importance to sustainability and want to do without bottles and waste, you can use a special hydration system. This is a bag with an integrated tube. The tube then protrudes from the backpack and can be attached to the side. This allows the hiker to drink water if necessary without having to take off the hiking backpack.

6. Hiking backpack

Of course, a good hiking backpack should not be missing on a hiking tour. For a day trip, a backpack with a volume of between ten and 30 liters is sufficient. For hikes lasting several days, larger models should be chosen so that there is enough space for provisions and spare clothes.

The construction of a hiking backpack varies depending on the manufacturer and model. Some models are equipped with a practical mesh back. A mesh cover ensures good ventilation of the back and prevents sweating. There are also some differences in the equipment. Most hiking backpacks have numerous compartments in which water bottles, smartphone, wallet and other utensils can be stowed.

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7. Sleeping bag

If you are going on a hiking trip lasting several days, you are well advised to take a sleeping bag with you. The sleeping places in mountain huts are usually quite well equipped. Nevertheless, it is advisable to find out in advance what the bedding looks like. If no bed linen is available, the hiker can fall back on his sleeping bag.

8. Emergency kits

Something can always happen when hiking. That’s why when it comes to security, more is actually more here. If you are on the road for several days, you should have the following things with you, among others:

  • First aid kit
  • Blister plasters
  • Microfiber cloth or towel
  • Headlamp
  • Power bank for the smartphone
  • Neoprene gloves

If necessary, a rain cover for the backpack can also prove useful, especially if it rains frequently in the respective region.

What else do you need to consider when hiking?

Hiking rediscovered
Many people have rediscovered hiking in nature, Image: Dmitry Molchanov / shutterstock

Whether in Europe, America, Asia or Africa – anyone who goes on a hiking tour must adhere to the rules applicable in the respective country in order to protect nature, other people and themselves. In addition, the following applies:

If you have never been in the mountains before, you should start with small tours to test your own fitness. Inexperienced hikers will quickly notice the difference between a hike in the plain and in the Alps. Gradually, the length of the tours can be increased. The altitude also plays a role. It is better not to start too high up. For the first hikes, up to 1,500 meters above sea level are recommended. This way, the body gets used to the differences in altitude better.

Overall, everyone should be careful not to overstrain their body when hiking. Sweating is normal and part of it. However, if you experience pain while walking, it is better to hike more slowly or take a break. One rule says the following: If you can talk to someone without any problems while hiking, you walk at the ideal hiking pace.