These days, many of us have been bitten by the hiking bug, more often than ever before. Many have turned to mother nature in these exceptional times, which is why you may now be in perfect shape for your (first) hiking holiday!
But, what should you consider packing for such a holiday?
What you want to take with you on a hiking trip depends on various factors.
First there is the climate at your destination, season and weather forecast to consider: will you be traveling to the mountains or the coast? In summer or in winter time? To the North or the South of Portugal?
Secondly, it all depends on what type of hike you will be making: a one-day hike or a multiple day hiking holiday? Along easy trails with villages on the way? Or, will you be facing more challenging paths in remote areas?
Thirdly, the size of your backpack will greatly differ depending on your choice of accommodation along the way: will you be camping or staying overnight in a more comfortable hotel?
And last but not least, it is important to decide if you want to carry your complete luggage when going on a multiple day hike or if you prefer to make circular hikes which take you back to your starting point. If not, you can also opt for arranged luggage transfers between stages from one hotel to the next. That way you can hike from A tot B to C and only carry a day pack.
In general, the following check-list can be useful. Always try to travel as light as possible. Especially when you are planning a multiple day hike, you will want to limit the weight as much as you can, without leaving any important stuff out. First there is the question of what to wear during this type of holiday.
What to wear?
Do not worry, there will be no fashion police and you don’t need to be a fashionista to go hiking. However, this a very important item on the list. Always make sure to take appropriate clothing and shoes for your specific hiking plans. No matter which season you travel in or where you are going, it is always a good idea to dress in layers when you plan a hike.
All dressed? Let’s have a look at what you may want to put in your day pack.
Useful items to put into your day pack:
Enough water and food/snacks for the whole day. Even if there are restaurants or bars along the trail this is a good idea because nobody ever plans to get lost. Also, you may drink more than you expected due the heat or you could be more hungry than normal because of the exercise. It is important to stay hydrated and to eat before you get really hungry.
A refillable water bottle.
Something to put your garbage in so that you can take it with you if there is no bin.
An extra pair of socks in case your feet do get wet
Sun tan lotion and/or mosquito spray
A first aid medical kit and enough bandages for blisters, scratches,…
A map (when available), compass and GPS tracks
Phone numbers of local authorities and of the local contact person mentioned in your route notes, when booking your holiday with us.
Emergency phone number 112
An extra battery and charger for your phone, camera…
A dry bag to protect your electronics
Towel and bathing suit
A hat against the sun or a scarf or buff when you expect cold wind