- Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter's Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle
I’ve done a fair few multi-day hikes (I come from New Zealand where there is an incredible network of tracks and huts which are owned by the Department of Conservation and open to anyone for a pretty minimal fee – the huts are basic but provide shelter, bunks, cold running water, basic toilets and usually a fire of some sort) and have learned a few things over the years:
– layers of clothing will be your friend. I usually take two sets of thermals (long sleeved top and pants), two wicking tops, a merino jumper, a polar fleece, one pair of wicking shorts and a good raincoat. Plus woollen hat and gloves and a sun hat. That way you can add or subtract layers as you need to, and if you have two sets of thermals you’ll have a dry set to put on once you’re done walking for the day. Take enough socks (preferably wool) to have a clean pair each day, particularly if you’re likely to get wet feet on the hike. Putting wet socks back on is no fun. I should say that the hikes I’ve done always involve being up in the mountains where the weather can be incredibly unpredictable so all the warm stuff is absolutely necessary to take even if you don’t end up using it. Might be different where you are!
– make sure your shoes/boots are broken in and fit you properly! Blisters are miserable.
– in terms of food, we usually take the “boil in the bag” style meals. That way you don’t end up with a messy pot that you have to clean – just a pot full of boiled water which can be useful depending on the cleanliness of your water supply, or just make tea/coffee with it!
– put all your clothes (and sleeping bag) inside a garbage bag within your pack. That way if it rains, your stuff is still dry.
– a few plastic bags weigh nothing and take up almost no space but are super useful! Wet clothes, trash, a million other things you may find you need them for.
– a pack of cards, pen and paper is always a good thing to have
– don’t forget your flip flops for in camp – once you’ve taken your boots off after six hours walking you don’t want to put them back on! I usually run my pack side straps through mine so they’re on the outside of the pack and not taking up space.
– keep your matches (if you have to take them) in a sealed plastic bag. I’ve seen people learn that the hard way.
– above all, have a great time! Because I can, I’m going to leave you with the best photo from my last hiking trip (in March) which was with my husband and Mum (who is in her 60s and still fighting fit) – hubs took the photo, obviously Mum is closer to the camera! This was our second morning, in the Ada Valley, South Island, New Zealand.