Travel

Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - Contents - BY RICHARD MEL­LOR

What to pack on a hik­ing trip

HEAD­ING OFF ON A HIK­ING TRIP?

Along with ob­vi­ous items such as wa­ter­proofs, boots and maps, don’t for­get these in­valu­able es­sen­tials.

LAY­ERS AND MERINO WOOL

Walk­ers of­ten en­dure strange fluc­tu­a­tions in tem­per­a­ture: it might be bone-chill­ingly cold, but plod­ding up that steep hill is still go­ing to cause per­spi­ra­tion. The an­swer is eas­ily dis­pens­able lay­ers. Fleeces and merino wool jumpers are es­pe­cially good bets for the outer gar­ment, as both are light­weight and un­likely to take up much room in your pack.

SUN PRO­TEC­TION

UV pro­tec­tion is vital; by walk­ing all day and in open, ex­posed spa­ces, trekkers are

es­pe­cially prone to sun­stroke and sun­burn. Re-ap­ply it ev­ery two hours.

SPARE SOCKS

No one likes hav­ing wet feet, and even the best wa­ter­proof boots can strug­gle to keep out wa­ter from bogs and swamps. The so­lu­tion is to carry a spare pair of socks. Merino wool is rec­om­mended: in sock form, it can be worn for sev­eral days with­out get­ting smelly or blis­ter-happy.

SMARTER CLOTHES

Will you be eat­ing out dur­ing the evenings? Mud-splashed trousers and boots might not be the most suit­able at­tire. Be sure to have a few shirts or skirts plus a pair of nicer shoes should you need to scrub up.

PLAS­TIC BAGS

These ful­fil two func­tions. Firstly, as ‘stuff bags’, they can be used to com­press air from cloth­ing and other items, free­ing up pack­ing space. The other role in­volves a more tra­di­tional use: a seg­re­gated space for dirty undies. Bring a garbage bag, too, as a last re­sort against rain.

HAT AND GLOVES

Ba­sics, right? You’d be sur­prised how many peo­ple for­get these when head­ing to a mostly balmy coun­try, and thereby risk freez­ing on high-alti­tude or sea­side sec­tions. Fin­ger-grip wind­stop­per gloves al­low you to still use GPS de­vices or turn map pages with­out re­moval, while a beanie hat is the eas­i­est head­gear to pack.

STOMACH SUP­PLIES

Wa­ter bot­tles are a must, while muesli bars and nuts help keep up en­ergy. The wis­est walk­ers also bring a daily chocolate bar – at times when fa­tigue is set­ting in, a sugar jolt can work won­ders.

EMER­GENCY KIT

Head and hand torches (plus bat­ter­ies), a whis­tle and a penknife all make sen­si­ble ad­di­tions. Bet­ter still is a bivouac shel­ter, in case you get badly lost and must sleep al-fresco. Most vital, how­ever, is a first-aid kit to treat cuts, plant stings and blis­ters.

Be­ing pre­pared for the un­ex­pected can make all the dif­fer­ence while trekking

Plan and pack well to max­imise the re­wards of a walk­ing hol­i­day

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