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Prepare your hike - weather photo

CAREFULLY STUDY THE WEATHER

Before each outing in the mountains, it is important to study the weather in detail. Bright sun at the start can mask damper weather on the route.~To complete the basic weather and temperature data (rain, mist, wind, etc), check the times of sun rise and sun set.

From the end of August, days shorten rapidly and night falls faster than you might expect, it is therefore essential to plan a route that will enable you to be back before nightfall or be equipped for it.~So even if you intend to get home before sunset, always have a head lamp in your bag.

CHOOSE THE CORRECT ROUTE ...FOR YOU!

Following friends' advice, why not, but be careful,  check that your friends' fitness is similar to yours or you may find yourself in difficulty.~- Before leaving, carefully assess the difficulty of the route, looking at the distance to be covered, the steepness, the altitude, any difficult passages.~- Also check their difficulty to hike at your level.~- Similarly, plan breaks, refuges, halts etc... where you can stay a few hours or the night depending on what you need.~By anticipating their location on your route, you will be able to better manage your effort.

- Are you hiking with children? Do not overlook the fact that until adolescence, children have trouble managing their effort. They are therefore likely to tire quickly and to be less cooperative on the way back. Make sure that they have regular breaks and adapt the duration of the hike to the youngest.

Preparing your hike - route

More than the distance, the steepness is crucial to the difficulty of a hike.~A long hike on flat terrain will be less difficult than a shorter hike on very steep terrain, so be careful, the shortest route is not always the easiest.~If you intend to hike over several days and sleep in a refuge, a halt or a campsite, make sure that they are still open. Moreover, some refuges are quite basic once the summer season ends and will require you to have your own equipment, which is why it is important to find out more before you leave.

~Finally, if you are hiking with children, prefer terrain that is not too slippery or rough. Think of the woods, which will enable you to be less exposed to rain and fill your mushroom basket as well!

preparing your hike - sleeping
compass hiking banner

BE EQUIPPED

Never leave without at least a map and a compass, especially as in the autumn and winter, the signposting isn't always in good condition and rain and mist can hide it. Also, an IGN map, topoguide, GPS or hike tracking application on your smartphone must be part of your equipment.

Here are two articles that should be of interest if you are not sure to be able to read an IGN map or do not know how to use a compass.

As for your equipment, it must be suitable for the weather forecast and location of the hike. You will sometimes be confronted to damp terrain and rain.~Prefer shoes with ridged soles for better grip. You will also need breathable, warm clothes and something to cover yourself in bad weather. ~A pair of poles can also be useful, to help you to keep your balance on slippery terrain or to sound marshy terrain.

preparing your hike - shoes

Finally, also remember to take: a lamp, a survival blanket, water and cereal bars to never be without.~Read our article on the items you need in your bag to be sure to not forget anything.~And of course if you take a short break, make sure you leave no trace of your presence. The next hikers will also be able to enjoy the beauty of the location and animals will not be disturbed by materials that are not part of their environment.

Getting ready for your hike: our advice before departure

To make sure they're well kitted out:

Getting ready for your hike: our advice before departure