Irrespective of the type of trip you have planned, it is important to think through where and when you are going, and what type of weather you might meet. Remember that even in the middle of summer, you may experience sleet and snow in the mountains, and weather conditions can change rapidly. This is why it is important to have a change of warm and waterproof clothes.
One good rule is to wear layers of clothing so you can take off and put on layers depending on the weather and how active you are throughout the day. Depending on what you are wearing when you leave, you should have the following in your backpack:
- Waterproof and windproof pants and jacket with hood, preferably in a material with good wicking.
- Thin underwear made from wool/wool mix, and an extra pair of woolen socks.
- An insulating layer: fleece, technical wool or a thin down jacket.
- A hat or cap.
- Gloves/mittens that keep you warm when wet.
- Gaiters (to protect your legs from bushes and scrub, or snow and water if you are wearing boots with a lower ankle).
- A waterproof bag that fits inside your sack or a rain cover to protect your sack.
- First-aid equipment: sports tape, plasters and compression bandage are a minimum. You can always make up your own first-aid kit at home. Just make sure it is in a waterproof container.
- Some toilet paper in a bag.
- Shades and sun cream.
- Mosquito repellent.
- A small knife/multi-tool.
- Waterproof matches/lighter.
- It may be practical to bring a light-weight survival bag.
- Plenty of food and drink for the day. Preferably a hot drink in a thermos. Check in advance whether you will be able to refill your water bottle during the trip.
- Some sweets or chocolate are always good for keeping you motivated and happy!
Always bring a map, compass and map case. Do not pack your map in your backpack. Keep it in a map case so it is easily accessible. Maps are a source of both entertainment and security.
Remember always to take any waste etc. back home with you.
Have a great trip!