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Packing well is half the journey

Your water bottle goes in your backpack, and you’ve got an app for navigation. What else should you take? Our tips for a light backpack and a relaxing outdoor experience.

Anita Suter

(© Adrian Brand)

Backpack

Whatever you choose to bring – it goes into your backpack. Your backpack should be light and stable, ideally with rain protection. An open outer compartment for a water bottle is especially practical.

Water

Whether you’re walking in bright sunshine, up steep hills or at a leisurely pace along the river – hiking makes you thirsty. That means you should take enough water with you.

Snacks

Granola bars and trail mixes are great sources of energy, an apple can be eaten while walking and a piece of chocolate will help you enjoy every summit you conquer just a little bit more.

Pocket knife

A pocket knife can be used for a lot more than cutting bread and sharpening branches. The tweezers help with skewers, and fancier models even boast a compass.

Rain and sun protection

Blue skies? Excellent hiking weather! But whether you’re in the mountains or the lowlands: headgear, sunglasses and sunscreen are essential.
In the mountains, the weather can also change quickly – rain protection is always sensible and is also ideal for sitting on.

Plasters

What should you do when your shoe suddenly starts rubbing your heel and you feel a blister coming on? One or two plasters can help – so make sure you pack them, as they hardly take up any space.

Tissues

Tissues are useful for all occasions – for blowing your nose, cleaning dirty hands and mouths or stopping the bleeding if you get any scratches in the countryside.

App on the hike (©Claudia Langenegger)

Smartphones and apps

Smartphones are essential for so much more than just taking a photo once you’ve reached your destination. Don’t forget to charge your phone before your hike. Once loaded with the right apps, it will help you with planning, provide you with useful information when you’re out and about, and prove useful in an emergency.

  • SwitzerlandMobility: This app offers maps of the entire sign-posted hiking trail network with route suggestions, information on huts, public transport stops with links to SBB timetables, and much more.
  • MeteoSwiss: This app helps you decide whether you’d be better off wearing long sleeves or shorts for your hike.
  • SBB Mobile and PostBus App: Anyone who hikes will usually arrive at their starting point by train and Postbus. These apps will make it easy for you to find out which type of public transport to use and when.
  • In the bergfex Touren & GPS Tracking app (Google Play / App Store) you can find 70,000 tours from all over Europe. The app is equipped with a compass, indicates the exact longitude and latitude of your current position, knows the altitude and gradient of a slope, contains emergency numbers and can also be used as an activity and fitness tracker.
  • Say goodbye to guessing which mountain you’re looking at: with PeakFinder, every peak can be easily identified. Simply point the camera at the mountain panorama, and the app will tell you the names and heights of the mountain peaks.
  • Thanks to PlantNet,  you can identify plants as well as mountains. Simply upload an image, and the app will instantly compare your picture with its database.
  • In case of emergency, there are several apps that will help you, and you should be sure to have at least one of them on your mobile phone: Echo112 (App Store / Google Play), the Rega app App Store / Google Play or the Uepaa app (App Store / Google Play). All the apps are very easy to use. Rega and Echo112 can forward your GPS location in Switzerland or abroad to the local rescue services; Uepaa uses peer-to-peer technology developed by ETH Zurich for this service.

written by

Anita Suter

Logistics market and innovation