Good Preparation is the Key!
Good prep is the key, especially when hiking in the mountains. It's better always to be overprepared. Please, do it for your safety and also for the safety of others. Simply when you roll your ankle, you can’t continue walking or slowly only. The weather could change quickly, even if a sunny day was forecasted. Sometimes obstacles appear, and a hike takes much longer than daylight is available.
I live close to the mountains, and I have already seen lots of rescues. Don't underestimate trail conditions, especially not during snow and ice. If we think it is too risky, we turn around.
I got a passion for hiking and the mountains from my father. In the 70's he didn't return from a mountain tour in the evening. This was a terrible situation I will never forget. Luckily, he was found by a helicopter the next day. My mother had known which mountain he had wanted to climb. He couldn't move forward or backwards because of freezing rain and a blizzard at the end of the summer. He spent the entire night in the cold.
I think I am still influenced by this experience when I was four years old. Therefore, I like to share the essentials in my backpack with you.
- My mobile with a mapping app like Gaia or Locus Pro, and I never get lost.
- In case of an emergency, changeable weather, an accident, or simply the trail takes longer than expected - I always carry a headlamp in my backpack.
- Protect your head in the summer or if poor weather comes up. For these situations, I always have a buff in my backpack, often even two, to protect my neck in strong wind.
- If you are sensitive to sunlight and have a disposition for white cancer like me, I recommend a special sunscreen fluid with a very high protection SPF 50+.
- We have a little bag - our First Aid Kit.
- Multi-tool knife for unforeseen events or just for cutting an apple.
- A lightweight first aid blanket which we luckily never needed so far.
- Additional high energy bar
- Always more water than needed, or I know where to refill my bottle.
- I am freezing pretty fast, the reason I always carry an extra lightweight x-warm layer or Icebreaker merino wool in my backpack. It is quite often a “lifesaver” for me.