You don’t wake up one morning thinking, “Hey, let’s go for a little hike in the middle of nature for, say, a day or two, without any preparation! “. Unless of course we want to end up in a ditch after being bitten by a viper, having to drink our urine like Bear Grylls, waiting for a better prepared walker to come to our rescue. Because yes, a hike needs to be prepared!
1. Plan your itinerary well
It’s kind of the basics: knowing where you’re going. In short, set a goal. It does not matter whether he is ambitious or modest. In this, it is advisable to obtain a guide, maps indicating the paths to take with all the useful information. A route that is planned upstream, on the internet, where you can also consult the opinions of people who have already trudged in the area.
2. Take something to find your bearings
Unless you can steer yourself by the tilt of the sun or the position of the stars. Otherwise, a hiking GPS can be useful, as well as the traditional compass and of course a good up-to-date map. Thus, there is no longer any need to fear the absence of a mobile network.
3. Prepare for possible difficulties on the course
Because if you arrive in front of a somewhat difficult section without having seen it coming, it can end badly. You might as well be aware of what will happen on the course.
4. Equip yourself with good shoes
It’s up to everyone to see, but great hikes in tap shoes or sneakers rarely end well. The goal is to be able to count on good shoes so as not to suffer during the journey and end up on the first evening with bloody feet.
This is especially valid if the planned hike is a bit of a challenge. In other words, someone who has never hiked is not likely to embark on a week-long journey on the GR 20 in Corsica. It would be a bit like starting the climb with Mont Blanc.
6. Plan to eat
Not necessarily a cassoulet in a tupperware but cereal bars, dried fruit and of course drinks. Water eh, not Pastis or beer.
7. Have the right clothes
No, jogging is not ideal for hiking. Neither are the tank tops and denim shorts. An outfit to prepare well according to the season and the climate that reigns in the region concerned. Generally, we recommend opting for a 3-layer outfit. One close to the body, one thermal layer and one protective layer. And if it has to rain, don’t forget the right clothes.
8. A well-stocked but not too heavy backpack
Therein lies the difficulty: choosing the perfect backpack to both carry all the things you may need during a hike, but not to load too much either. There are excellent bags on the market, specially designed for hiking. The important thing is therefore to opt for a relevant model, which is very comfortable. No one wants to saw off their shoulders with the straps of a bag that’s not at all cut out for hiking.
9. Plan to take care of and protect yourself
And we’re not talking about a big gun, a crossbow or some Walking Dead thing, but a medicine kit, painkiller, disinfectant, sunscreen, a device to filter the water possibly, a cap or a bucket hat (if you want to look classy), sunglasses and, super important, a tablet of tablets to cut short any explosive diarrhea .
10. Notify loved ones
One last point that is particularly valid if you are going alone. We never know. It’s always good to tell your loved ones where you’re going and how long you’re leaving.