«Let’s go hiking in the mountains for a couple of days!» – how often do you make such an attractive offer and hear “no”? Those who love comfort start to imagine blisters, tiredness, night chill and insects. All these inconveniences can be avoided though, if you prepare well. We will tell you how to do it.

First of all, if this is your first time, we advise you to order a hike from a touring agency – Feel Ukraine touring company organizes hikes from one to three days in duration – then you won’t have to deal with topographic maps and route planning. When you go on a hike with a group of tourists, you’ll have an experienced instructor who knows the locality well and is responsible for your health and safety.

Nothing redundant

“Everything I have I carry with me”. On my own back, to be exact. Think of your back and don’t take those two dresses and that volume of a favourite writer with you. Everything you have in your hiking backpack needs to have tree qualities: utility, light weight and ability to dry fast. Additional advantage – multifunctionality.

For example, socks (clean socks, of course) are a perfect container for groats: they don’t tear because of pressure or blows, unlike cellophane bags. And this will save you space in the backpack. Soda crystals will help you deal with heartburn, calm the itch, and easily wash away pine resin from your body. You can use trash bags for raincoats, vessels for salting fish and even for an improvised shower.

Getting the backpack ready

For one-day touristic hike a small backpack of 30-40 litres will be enough. If there will be nights out, you’ll need a backpack of 50 litres and more – to carry a tent, a sleeping bag, a roll mat etc. besides clothes and food.

The best type of a backpack is “cucumber” – tall and narrow, a bit narrower than your shoulders. High quality backpack is ergonomic, lightweight and enduring. Don’t spare money for such things, your comfort during the ascent depends on it.

There are many situations when the backpack can become wet: rain, fall into the river etc. To protect your stuff from getting wet, put one or two 120 l trash bags into the backpack. When you put your baggage inside, tie the bags tightly.

Put the sleeping bag onto the bottom of the backpack, then the main stuff on it. The heaviest things have to be on the level of your shoulder blades.

If you do everything right, the backpack will fit closely to your back and you won’t feel any inconveniences. We also advise you to take a small water-tight bag for small but important things: the torchlight, the camera, the phone, money, snacks etc.

Clothes and shoes

Shoes or sneakers for the hike have to be comfortable and not new (a bit loosened from frequent usage). They have to protect you from cuts and injury, moist and cold, bites of insects and burns from poisonous plants. The shoes mustn’t be too tight or too loose. Good shoes for the hike have ventilation and fixate your ankle. They need to have thick corrugated soles that do not slip easily. You should take a spare pair of shoes with you.

Take some warm clothes of different thickness with you. In the mountains, nights are cold even in summer, and there’s always chilly wind on the peaks. To protect yourself from the cold, it’s better to put on a couple of thin shirts, sweaters or jackets than a thick one.

To avoid mites, wear clothes of light colours: on light colour, the mites are more visible, and also, they prefer deep dark tones. The cuffs have to fit your wrists tightly, the trousers are better tucked into shoes and the sweater – into the trousers.

Food

The food you put in your backpack has to last for a couple of days, be lightweight and don’t smear everything around it. For snacks, take dried fruit, nuts and chocolate – they have high energy value.

Take care of the menu for every day of the hike beforehand. You should take canned food and groats, take rusk instead of bread. Don’t forget about spices, salt and pepper.

Decide what to do with water for cooking: if there’s no river or spring in your destination point, you’ll have to carry it with you.

First aid kit

If you go on a hike with an instructor, he or she will have a collective first aid kit for the group. So, you’ll need to take your own medicine only in case of some individual needs – e. g. a chronic disease.

Make a list of necessary things

Or use our generalized list. For a one-day hike you’ll need:
- A small (30-40 litres) backpack
- A good raincoat
- A pair of tough shoes or sneakers with high ankles and corrugated soles – a pair you already used
- A jacket to protect you from winds – warm or lighter, depending on the season
- In spring, take warm gloves and a cap
- A T-shirt, trousers, a sweater
- Spare clothes in case of rain; they will be kept in the bus
- A bottle of water (1 -1,5 l)
- Hygiene products
- Documents, money, a cell phone
- Individual medication, if needed

Active tourism and comfort are completely compatible – you’ll just have to make necessary preparations.