To make the most out of the event, I suggest a few helpful hiking hacks that should be considered prior to heading out.
(1)You want shoes that support and fit well, (2) clothing and gear to keep you warm and dry, (3) food for energy to keep going and to add a little extra to rests or when you stop to take in the view, (4) the mindset to endure and enjoy the experienceof being far away from civilization and of course (5) the company to enjoy and share the adventure with.
Since you will be hiking 8 or more hours a day you want your feet to be comfortable and supported. Trekking (or hiking) shoes do that the best, as they normally come with a thicker sole and enough stability to support your feet while taking step after step with a little more weight on your shoulders. I took the risk and got a new pair of boots just before the trek (usually, you should break them in prior to a trip). But I just found the right size from Hanwag and chose the Tatra light, I took it as recommended on size bigger than I usually use, and used double merino socks, one liner and one thicker. This helps to reduce friction inside the boots and avoids blisters. While hiking I was just watching out for any signs of friction on my feet and adjusted the stripes when needed, it worked out fine and I made it through without any blisters. I packed four pairs of socks in total, two pair of liners and two pair of thicker socks. So, I could always dry one set and change it when needed. But no need to bring more than two sets.
CLOTHING & GEAR
You want to keep your packing weight low, so select your gear with purpose. For this five-day trek, I packed: two pair of double socks, two sets of underwear, one long underwear, one pair of shorts, one pair of pants, one rain pant, two merino t-shirts, one merino longsleeve shirt, one hiking fleece, one down jacket, one rain jacket, gloves, a cap, a beanie and a headlamp. Believe it or not, that’s all you need in terms of clothing.
In addition to clothing, you will need a small stove with a pot (0,6 litre or so) a knife and a spoon. If you want to be fancy and enjoy being a hero, bring a stove with a coffee press 😊 like the Primus Lite Plus. Then of course you will want a lightweight tent, sleeping mattress and a down sleeping bag should all fit in a 50L backpack. All in all, aim to stay under 15kg, including food.
Talking food, you will get freeze-dried food when you trek Classic. Note, just pack as much as you need to get to the next refill point, it all adds up in weight. The lightweight meals work fine but it of you not used to them, just remind yourself it is the energy you need to move on. You can always bring some fresh ingredients you can add. An apple added to a breakfast dish can do wonders. If you have more room in your backpack and can handle a bit more weight, bring some goodies like bars, nuts, and maybe even cheese. These snacks can be a real treat in the evening after a looong day of hiking.
Hiking 20-30 kms for five straight days will bring your body to some state you may not have experience before. You might start feeling little pains in places you are not used to. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask, people on the trail are very helpful and everyone is looking out for each other. If you are a little tired, try to keep pushing, step-by-step each small step brings you closer to the finish line, and eventually if you don’t quit you will arrive. It might sound silly, but it is as simple as that.
This journey takes 5 days, through amazing and mind-blowing scenery, offering a lot of time to think and time to share this deep experience with nature with friends (old and new). From getting up in the morning and sharing morning coffee and breakfast, to taking care of sore feet, to helping each other put on backpacks, or sitting down to enjoy the evening meal after a long day-it will be those moments; you will always remember. Outin the middle of nowhere, far away from civilization, experiencing all that nature has to offer.
Manuel Durmoser - Head of marketing
February 07 2022