Hiking checklist and how best to pack

14 Oct 2016

Articles

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Your hike is planned, your training is done and your courage is peaking; now all that’s left is to get packed. Beside energy and conditions, the success of your hike will be determined by what you’re taking and how you pack it. Use our checklist to ensure your hike goes off without a hitch.

Packing essentials…

HYDRATION

To stay well, fit and at the top of your game, hydration is key. You can picture yourself now, hiking into the wilderness needing to keep yourself topped up with the right amount of water to last the duration of the hike. Remember you’ll be sweating whilst you’re hiking so you’ll need more water than you would normally. Equally, if you’ve meticulously planned a route close to a good water source, be careful about what you drink. Take some purification tablets to make sure what you’re drinking won’t have any ill effects, ruining the rest of the hike.

CLOTHING

It goes without saying that you’ll need to be equipped against the elements; it’s called the wilderness for a reason. All sorts will hit you when Mother Nature is involved and you need to be prepared. Heading off on a hike in the bright sunshine is just how we picture it, with the sun on your face and your legs feeling good. However it’s easy to forget how important the clothes you choose are and the impact those choices make on the enjoyment of any hike. Odlo ambassador Ingalena Heuck say’s ‘warm feet and no blisters as well as being able to feel free in your movements are very important to have a hike with comfort’, so the essentials in her bag are a good pair of socks and a comfy sports bra.

You’ll need a T-shirt that will keep you cool in the heat but will dry quickly once you’ve worked up a sweat. The Odlo TEBE Shirt for women and RAPTOR Shirt for men manage the moisture excellently with its F-Dry technology to keep you cool in the heat and dry once the temperature drops. Ingalena ‘loves’ wearing a TEBE T-shirt as a baselayer, ‘it keeps my upper body warm and dry, but gives me the freedom to move my arms comfortably. If it’s windy on a hike, the front is warm but the material still helps my body transpire.’ The VIRGO ½ zip men’s T-shirt’s special body mapping construction ensures comfort and protection and will also channel away sweat as it occurs.

Whilst clocking up the miles in your legs, the Fall/Winter chill will be unavoidable, giving you the perfect excuse to pull on an Odlo VERSILIA ½ zip for women. This fantastic midlayer will not only provide you with a quick drying performance for when you’re working up a sweat, but will also trap in air for some added insulation to keep you warm whilst on the move.

During the hike it’s easy to be fooled by the weather conditions, despite the sun shining bright, it can still be cold so, it’s vital that you keep yourself wrapped up. The Odlo SILLIAN Hoody’s fast drying material will prevent any unwanted dampness but will protect you from the sun with up to factor 50 UV protection. So whilst you’re hiking across ridges, through mountain passes and up to summits, you’ll stay warm, dry and clear of any sunburn.

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NUTRITION

After a morning’s climb up to a local beauty spot, you’ll be running low on fuel. To keep yourself going, what food you put in your bag will define how long you last. On a hike, you need food that will provide you with a lot of energy. Think fruit, granola, peanut butter, nuts, beef jerky and some energy bars; these will all give you a kick throughout the day and keep you going for the duration of the hike. For the mornings, take grains, i.e. porridge to get fuelled for the day. Take more than you anticipate, just in case your trip lasts longer than expected.

FIRST-AID KIT

You never know when something unexpected may take place on a hike and if it does, you need to be prepared. Take a basic first-aid kit and read up beforehand to make sure you’re in the know of how to handle basic injuries.

A LIGHT (OR A WAY TO MAKE SOME)

Once you’ve set up camp and have nothing but the moon and stars to illuminate it, it’s vital to get some of your own light onto the site. Either a torch or a way of starting a fire will not only provide you with warmth and light, it will also give your camp a homelier feel which is not to be underestimated in the wild. Make sure you pack a torch and some spare batteries as well as a pack of waterproof matches, you will be grateful after a long day on your feet.

CAMERA

With simple planning, you’re guaranteed some amazing views and experiences on your hike, so you want to be able to capture them. Take a camera and get snapping because once you’re back into your 9-5, you’ll be wishing you were still in the middle of nowhere and those photos may just take you part of the way there.

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How to get packed up…

Packing your backpack is a fine art, a skill that you’ll refine with practice. Here are some top tips to ensure you aren’t carrying any unnecessary baggage.

SHARING IS GOOD

Spread the weight and don’t all take one of each, speak with your group and decide who’s taking what, there’s no point everyone taking the same stuff.

LIGHTEN THE LOAD

There’s no need to over pack with Odlo gear. Effect by Odlo technology uses silver ions to naturally prevent unpleasant odours and ensures lasting freshness; therefore take less clothing and use that extra space wisely.

PACK BIG FIRST

Getting the bigger things in first will mean the weight is more balanced and will allow you to pack the smaller bits around them. Keeping the weight spread evenly will enable easier transportation and prevent any injuries too.

ROLL, DON’T FOLD

If your clothes are all ironed nicely, then apologies, but rolling them will compress the clothes and help you pack far more efficiently and save space.

IMPORTANT THINGS ON TOP

Put the things you may need to grab in a hurry in last so they are at the top of your bag. If someone needs a plaster, you don’t want to be rummaging in the bottom of your bag to get the first-aid kit.

AWKWARD STUFF STAYS OUT

If you have awkward shaped items that are difficult to get packed, use straps and cords to attach them to the outside of your bag. Keeping them in your sack will take up some all-important space and could get uncomfortable.