Tips to go on a hiking trip

Good selection of your hiking shoes

For hiking, the essential point is to find a shoe that will fit your feet. Essential elements to check are the ground adhesion, the support of the feet, the impermeability, the comfort, the shock absorbance. And of course, the first thing is to define what use you are going to make out of it.
For a small hiking or a chill walk, you have to focus on comfort. Generally made of a strong cloth cover, advised shoes are pretty light and with a low/middle upper.
For rough terrains (treks, uneven grounds), you should privilege middle upper shoes with a rubber sole. They offer a better support for the feet and a better shock absorbance. Also, they allow a good breathability.
Eventually for mountain hiking, when there is snow or humidity you should take high uppers and very good impermeability.
When you go to buy new shoes, try them rather at night when your feet are a bit more tired and sensitive than usual (what they will be like while hiking!).



Pick the right socks

Walking with the wrong socks may encourage the appearance of rubs and blisters. Avoid low-quality sports socks without performed based on acrylic. The mix of cotton and polyester fibers, or wool and polyester fibers make a good compromise.

If your hike runs for a few days, obviously bring with you more than one pair. A pretty useful tip would be to sleep at night with the socks you are going to wear on the next day, they will then be warm and dry for the beginning of the day.

Bring the adequate clothing

Hiking professionals advice to wear 3 different layers of clothes on the upper body part:
An “underwear”, close from the skin, like a tee-shirt or a shirt with synthetic fiber. The objective is to absorb and eliminate the sweat. So avoid cotton.
A 2nd layer to keep the warmth: a jumper, sweater, polar jacket… Polar fibers allow the body to breath more effectively and are lighter to wear than the wool.
Impermeable clothes. Forget about the traditional windproof top, not very breathable and not staying dry. The ideal thing would be to equip yourself with a GoreTex® jacket or similar material (a bit more expensive than normal windproof clothes but also more effective).
Trousers. Jeans are to be banished, think about using trousers or three-quarter pants in elastane, water repellent and reinforced on the bottom part.

Carry on a backpack

The first question to ask yourself is the volume that you should get. It’s not useful to lift more weight by taking a larger bag.
Backpacks with a capacity of up to 30 or 40 liters are ideal for a short hike (one day or half a day). For longer journeys ( a few days), you should better carry a bag of up to 50/70 liters capacity.
If you leave with a small bag, check that he is equipped with padded straps to avoid pain. Bags of more than 35 liters capacity are all equipped with such type of this type of straps. Generally, the height of the back can be adjusted.
Then, up to you to pick the best storage option: lateral pockets, ventral pockets or external compartments…
Regarding the weight that a hiker can carry, we estimate that generally, the maximum amount should not reach more than 20% of the total weight of the carrier.



Plan drinks and food

While doing a physical effort, our organism takes a lot of resources. So it is very important to recharge your body with fluids. Don’t hesitate to take breaks during the hike in order to eat or drink something.
For that purpose, put in your bag some cereal bars, some fruit spread, sugar or condensed milk, or even dry fruits.
Of course, your body will also need to be hydrated. The ideal thing is to drink at least 500 ml per hour and this regularly every 20 minutes. You can switch between water and energy drink. However, you should avoid frozen water which can hurt your belly.

Take walking sticks with you

More and more walkers bring walking sticks with them. What are their advantages? How to pick them?
Walking sticks can find their usefulness on uneven terrains. While on a downshift, they help the hiker to relieve their knees. While climbing, they help to support the weight of the backpack, to spread its load. It is advised to carry two sticks and not one, to have a better balance and avoid back pain.
On an even terrain, sticks are not as useful. Also, they help to get your superior members to work (arms, chest…)
However can appear to be cumbersome when you are going to places where you need your hands to climb. So it is really important to pick retractable or foldable sticks that you can put back into your backpack.
To choose the length of your sticks, it’s a quite easy task: your height x 0.7. Regarding their composition, the ideal material would be carbon. Negative point: it’s pretty expensive. Fiberglass can be a good compromise between quality and price.
Eventually, when you buy your sticks, make sure that the handle is well adapted to your hand. Look for a rubber handle or a mixture of cork and rubber for more comfort. Avoid plastic which makes you sweat.

Bring tools to locate yourself

With a map or a compass, no risk to get lost… or almost! Baseplate compass always has to be positioned directly on the map. Their reading is always helped with a magnifying glass incorporated.
This instrument can’t replace a good map but it is still very useful. A GPS (Global Positioning System) exchange radio signals with at least 3 satellites dedicated to the system. The location data is measured using the distance that separates the signals from more than 10 satellites at a time.



Constitute a first aid kit

In case of an incident, it might be useful to carry a first aid kit. The essential items to have with you are a disinfectant, a few plasters and bandages, some eosin, a pair of scissors, tweezers, some ointment for insects pittings, some arnica cream and some analgesic (painkillers).
Furthermore, people who follow a specific treatment, asthmatics, diabetics or those who have allergies have to bring their usual medicine. You can also bring a survival blanket.

To put in your bag

Create a checklist a few hours or days before the beginning of the hike. This will help you to avoid forgetting something.
To leave peacefully on a one day trip, check that you thought about putting all those items in your bag (and print this list) :

– sunglasses;

– a cap or a hat;

– a hiking water bottle;

– solar cream;

– a raincoat;

– a polar sweater;

– cereal bars or dry fruits;

– a bin bag;

– at least 1.5L of water;

– walking sticks;

– a map and a compass;

– a mobile phone;

– a knife;

– a flashlight with battery;

– a first aid kit;

– some paper and a pen;

– extra shoelaces in the case;

– toilet-paper / tissues;

– a camera ( for memories! ).

If your hike last for a few days, think about that as well:

– a tent, a sleeping bag, and a mattress;

– spare socks and clothes;

– food for a few days;

– a camping stove;

– a lighter or matches;

– a toilet bag.

Last checkings

Check your insurance

Every year, rescue team have to respond hundreds of times for injuries occurring during hikes. Nobody can totally be sure to avoid them. Before leaving, you should check that your insurance also takes in charge medical fees in the case of hike injuries.

Check the weather forecast

Hiking can easily turn to be a nightmare in case of bad weather. Thunder, heavy raining, fog etc… To know what will it be like in advance, think about checking them on the internet or by calling before you go.

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Indulge yourself in a holiday to Paris during summer!

Paris is empty, especially in August! You won’t have any issues to find a place to stay, neither to park or to visit… August is surely the ideal month to discover Paris with all its advantages (monuments, quais de Seine, parks, terraces…) but without all the drawbacks (much traffic, busy public transportations…). That is why also the prices are the lowest: as an example, the weekend offers “train+hotel” from the countryside cost 200€ less than in July compared to June, you save around 10 to 30 euros per day on your hotel room. Continue reading “Useful tips for your next trip to Paris”