How to dress and what to put in your backpack
Getting ready for your mountain experience
The question I get asked most is “Can I hike with my running shoes?” As many hiking trips take place on dirt roads, scree, mule trails, Alpine meadows and rough terrain, shoes play a key role for our safety. That’s why my answer can only be negative.
There are a lot of hiking shoes on the market for specific activities and terrain. Good hiking shoes have in common a slip-resistant sole giving grip and wrapping your feet.
High or low hiking shoes? Low hiking shoes are recommended on beaten tracks, dirt roads and meadows of easy/medium difficulty level. Hiking boots are recommended on more challenging tracks like unbeaten tracks, sharp slopes and rocky terrain where a firmer sole gives you more grip. Moreover, hiking boots wrap and protect your ankle.
I always rely on the Fitwell brand: the result of a continuous exchange between the feedback of experts from the outdoor world and the know-how of a company that has been working in the footwear industry for 40 years. Performance and quality blend, creating a product satisfying all my needs.
Another question I get asked most is “What should I wear?”. There are many variables affecting the choice of mountain wear that you should wear while hiking.
Weather suddenly changes and mountain wear play a key role to keep a constant body temperature. Wearing several layers of clothing helps you hiking, putting light technical clothes in your backpack. A technical shirt, a pile sweater or a wind screen jacket and a light down jacket allow you to stay warm and dry throughout your hiking tour. Technical or cotton pants/shorts? Shorts are recommended for hot days. You should not wear them if you are going to hike in an environment where you can injure yourself like forests, rocky terrain and scree. Pants should be light and well performing without restricting your movements. They should provide safety due to their wind and rain screen.
Furthermore, there are several types of socks with strengthening stitching on the most sensitive points of your feet, avoiding uncomfortable blisters that could negatively affect your hike. A hat can play a key role in hot days preventing sunstrokes, protecting your face skin and your eyes from sunlight, and sweating. On the contrary, it can protect your head and ears from the winter wind. Sunglasses play a major role in protecting your eyes from sunlight and reflection.
The best hiker’s travelling companion is his backpack. There are several types of backpack for every activity among walks, one-day or miltiple-day hiking trips.
A light backpack with a sufficient capacity is the ideal backpack if you are planning to have a walk. The best backpack for a daily trip should have 20/30 litres capacity. It should be comfortable and have side strengthening and an antiperspirant membrane for your back, shoulder straps and a waistline and breast belt. The side pockets are useful to store what we use more. The best backpack for a several-days trip is similar to the latest one but it should have 30/40 litres capacity.
Last but not least: “What should I put in my backpack?” You should take water, hiking maps, compass, sun cream, technical clothes, rain screen pants, first aid kit, mineral salts and backpack cover. It is also very important to have a copy of your ID and health card with you. The smartphone is certainly a useful tool to map and be located; having a power bank in your backpack also guarantees the battery’s battery life.
Do not put unnecessary stuff in your backpack overloading your back and shoulders undergoing to pointless strains while facing a physical activity.