Tips for your first mountain hike

mountain hike
Written by team

You can’t love to hate what you need to know for a beginner who is going on a mountain hike.

With mountain hike trips, as well as with trekking, my relationship somehow did not work out. Even though, as a child, I spent a lot of time in nature, tent camps, and mountains, for some reason, I never fell in love with hiking. Or rather, I love the mountains, the landscapes, the fresh air, and the feeling that you have conquered the world and are standing on top. That is, the final result,

But I wouldn’t say I like the process of mountain hike and climbing, setting up tents, and descending. Therefore, in my arsenal, there are no sensible tips and personal recommendations for those who are going on a hike.

More backpacks – more unnecessary :

The backpack’s volume is selected depending on the duration and seasonality of the trip (in summer, there are fewer things, and they are more compact). For a summer hike for 2-3 days, a backpack of 40-50 liters will be enough for you (personally, 26 is enough for me, but here I already have to screw something on top). For 4-7 days, 50-75 liters is enough. The larger the backpack, the more likely you will put something unnecessary in it.

On my first “adult” trip to the Carpathians for ten days, I had a backpack of 90 liters. There was a large make-up bag, a bunch of clothes I had never worn, and an old film camcorder. 

Consider your mountain hike clothes :


The basic principle of choosing things is to be convenient and easy. We do not take T-shirts – the backpack straps will rub bare shoulders, only T-shirts. We do not take woolen sweaters. We replace them with fleece. Wear only thick socks with a high top. It is better to buy unique trekking socks. No knitted pants and shorts, especially jeans, only things made of synthetic materials. All these things dry easier and faster, while modern fabrics are as breathable as natural ones. Thermal underwear on a hike is a must-have, I take it even on summer hikes, as the weather is changeable, and it is always cool in the evening. Girls, no thongs and lace panties, only cotton. Instead of a bra, a sports top is better.

trekking shoes for mountain hike :

You will need your legs on a hike, so take care of them;). Urban trendy sneakers, sneakers, moccasins, and slip-one will not work. They do not fix the leg; on the stones, such shoes slip, and you can easily twist your ankle. Running shoes and models with soft foam soles are also not suitable. Hiking shoes should have good soles with a tread. But what to choose: trekking boots or sneakers is a moot point. I like sneakers much more for summer hiking – they are lighter and not so hot, so my feet feel more comfortable.

No need to endure and wait until the “smoke break.” Just felt that the shoes began to rub somewhere – immediately stop and seal the problem area. This must be done before dropsy appears there. For example, I know my problem points on my legs and seal them up immediately before going out. If water callus still appears – wash your feet, disinfect the needle and the blister itself, pierce it, release the liquid and seal it with adhesive tape (bactericidal, not just tape). It is better to do this in the evening parking lot, but if time ends and the group is waiting, you can do it right away.

Vaseline is your friend. Do not laugh. After walking Camino (300 km on foot), I realized how magical it is for the legs. Just rub the ointment into the clean skin of the feet and all fingers, and put on socks and shoes. And no dropsies.

A yoga mat:

Karen, also known as a tourist rug, can be made of polyurethane foam and inflatable. Classic foam mats are more voluminous but lighter in weight and unpretentious. You can lie on it near the fire, on stones and pine needles. Inflatable ones are softer and warmer but a little heavier. It would help if you were careful with them: do not put them on the ground (so as not to pierce them), and even more near the fire.

Take small packages for mountain hike :

No need to take cosmetics in full-size jars with you. Take shampoo sachets (in sachets) or 50-100 ml bottles. The cream should also be put aside from the main pot into jars of 10 g or taken into samplers. The same goes for dishwashing detergent. Buy mini toothpaste up to 50g or take a half-empty tube.

Don’t forget the lip balm. Men also take hygiene (of any level of brutality) – lips become weathered very quickly during hikes.

Take a thread and a needle with you :

Situations are different – the straps of backpacks, tents, shoes, and clothes are torn. It is best to take a gypsy needle. The usual one will not always cope with a thick fabric. The thread should be as tight as possible.

Pack your backpack correctly:

The meaning is this – all the heaviest should be closer to the back. Placing heavy things far from the back shifts the center of gravity, which means walking will be more difficult. The backpack should be packed as tightly as possible, do not allow empty seats. Above should be something you may need at any time – a raincoat, a flashlight, a first aid kit (or at least a band-aid), a map, and cookies.

Protect things from the rain :

A cape on a backpack saves only from slight rain, but, alas, not from a prolonged downpour. Therefore, ALL things inside the gear should be packed in bags (divided into 2-3 bags and packed compactly). But the most important thing is a sleeping bag. A wet sleeping bag is one of the most unpleasant incidents on a hike. Documents, money, phones, and other gadgets must be packed in zip packages.

Important! Don’t forget to pack matches and toilet paper. If you smoke, then cigarettes too. However, it is better to refuse matches in favor of a lighter or flint.

Do not take extra food in your mountain hike

Just think about the ratio of food you take to the number of days. If you are only going for 3-4 days and planning a maximum of 8 “tea parties,” maybe you shouldn’t pull a pound of sugar? Just take the number of sticks you need, likewise with salt. Think about how many meals you cook and how many teaspoons of salt you need. Pour into a plastic jar.

The same applies to other foods: cereals, pasta, canned food, etc. The menu is prepared in advance, the rate per person (and, accordingly, the company) is calculated, and all the food is packaged. That way, you don’t carry extra. It is convenient to pack everything loose in plastic bottles of 0.5-0.7 liters.

Only practical utensils :

The main utensils for a trip: are a deep plate, a mug, a spoon, and a bowler hat. Camping utensils can only be metal, plastic, or silicone. No glass. No forks. One large knife (10-15 cm) per group is needed. There is no need for absolutely every participant to carry their own. But you can take small multi-tools with a knife about 5 cm.

Useful little things:

Be sure to bring SPF 50 sunscreen with you. It burns out very quickly on a mountain hike. Think about a hat with a brim or at least a cap.

Do not take terry towels, even small ones. Microfiber travel analogs are best (dry faster, weigh less).

Scotch tape and trash bags helped us on every hike.

One more thing. Take care of nature :

I assume you are a conscious person who does not leave garbage in the forest and does not set fire to dry grass, but I have to remind you. Everything you brought should go with you: plastic bottles, bags, canned food cans, and other garbage. Use organic, biodegradable chemicals whenever possible. Take care of nature. You still want to admire it.

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