By Julie Bitz-Thorsen
You always learn something new when going on adventure and you get to know how to make the trip better from hike to hike. When going on adventure there are many things to remember. I’ve tried to sum up some of the musts you need to bring when hiking in cold environments. Here’s my list:
1# Warm enough sleeping gear
It is essential to have an isolating sleeping pad and a good sleeping bag that will keep you warm during the cold nights. Investing in good equipment is expensive but is so worth it – both for the enjoyment during the hike but also in the long run. You will have your good gear for years! And most importantly, with a good night’s sleep, you wake up well rested and with a positive mind.
In order to get a good night’s sleep, you want to stay warm. A lot of your body heat (40-45%) is actually lost from the top of your head. To keep your body from spending too much energy on keeping warm because of great heat loss, it really helps sleeping with a hat on.
This is definitely not essential for everybody. But I find the greatest relief in letting my toes and heels breath after an “all-day-stock-in-boot”. And also, if you need to go pee during the night it is really nice to quickly slip into your slippers and not tie some big boots. I am a huge fan of H2Os because they are very durable and have a good supportive sole!
4# Two water bottles
I always bring two water bottles to make sure I never run out of water. Some places there is easy access to water from flowing mountain streams, but other times you will need to boil water before you can drink it. Therefore it is always good to have enough containers for water so you never run empty. Also, you need to drink quite a lot of water during a hiking trip because you are active and your body is sweating even in cold surroundings. Stay hydrated! Also, if you pour hot water into one of your bottles you can use it to preheat your sleeping bag or even sleep with it. And you still have your second for water. I really like my Nalgene bottles.
5# A solid breakfast
Bring a good breakfast. Start the day by having a nice cup of something hot to drink and a proper, filling breakfast. A good hike starts on a full stomach. It is a bit contrary because most people find it uncomfortable to be active on a full stomach, but a good breakfast is the building blocks for your energy level for the entire day. At first, it is awkward to tighten the backpack around your hips and a full stomach, but quickly that will be forgotten, your mind will be set and your legs will not feel so heavy.
Coffee and oatmeal with morning hand-picked blueberries. This was just the first round of breakfast!
Other good advice:
Keeping things dry. Bringing warm clothes and good sleeping gear will not help you get a good hike if everything gets wet. So make sure to have a cover against rain for your backpack and maybe even a waterproof bag (I use Asivik drybags) for your clothes and sleeping bag to make sure it will keep dry.
Snacks! They can get rid of any negative thoughts and give you a smile on your face. And make sure that you take off your bag and sit down when enjoying the snack.
My final advice and probably the most important. Don’t rush, take your time, enjoy the walk and have some breaks during the day to sit and take in the nature around you.
About the blogger:
My name is Julie, I am in my late twenties and I am a biologist. I have lived most of my adult life in Copenhagen but has recently moved to Tromsø for work. I love being outdoors and I love hiking! When living in Copenhagen, I went on hiking trips to get new experiences and to see new countries, but also to get some quiet from the busy city. Now I have moved to a place, where raw nature is right in my backyard. I love the mountains and can’t wait to explore them!