Hike it till you like it: long-distance hiking in Austria

NAKED Optics

How about a little hike? And instead of just going on day trips, for example, go on a long-distance hike or go straight through Austria. The latter is what I, Laura, did. In the first Corona year 2020 I went with Jules from Lake Neusiedl to the summit of the Großglockner and in 2021 from the other direction, i.e. from Lake Constance to the highest mountain in Austria  On the second trip, however, after the first third - due to injury - I continued on my own. What you should watch out for when hiking long distances and what you need and don't need, I'll tell you here.

Clothing: what can you bring?

  • 3 shirts. Not more. Two of them for walking during the day and one for those evening activities when you don't want to wear a shirt that has sweat on it from the last 5 days. Pro tip: invest in merino shirts. These are odorless and particularly comfortable to wear.
  • Pants. One pair of shorts and one pair of long pants.
  • Socks. Two pairs. One for walking, the other for the evening. It is best to take an airtight, sealable bag with you where the “walking socks” can sleep. Safety first ;)
  • Underwear. You shouldn't save in that case.
  • Sports Tops: The same principle applies here as for T-shirts and socks.
  • Mid Layers. A hoody, preferably with a zipper. A small pack size is an advantage.
  • Depending on where you are traveling, you may or may not need a down/Primaloft jacket. If you will be going much more than 2000hm, or you want to sleep outside, this is definitely an advantage.
  • Rain jacket. We recommend one with a GoreTex® membrane, which keeps you dry best.

Which hygiene products should I pack?

Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel, sunscreen, nail clippers and a small microfiber towel. Those are the essentials. Everything else is luxury and therefore excess baggage. Pro tip: shampoo and shower gel are also available in solid form, these cannot leak and are a bit lighter.
Last but not least: the first aid kit (with lots of blister plasters and lots of tape).

What equipment does long-distance hiking include?

The two most important pieces of equipment are the shoes and the backpack. When buying shoes, make sure they fit you really well. In a pinch, it is always better to choose one size larger. They also shouldn't have cushioning that's too soft, because that way it's easy - I speak from experience - for your arch to suffer. Above all, the backpack must have a good carrying system that fits your body size and it should not be too big. Depending on whether you want to take a tent and a camping stove with you, 45 liters or 55 liters will easily suffice. The smaller the backpack, the less you can fit in it and the lighter your luggage will be. So better choose a smaller one.

Regardless of whether you want to sleep in a tent or not, the sleeping bag is a must, because you urgently need it in the huts. Make sure the sleeping bag packs small too. Another It-Peace (or not) are the hiking sticks. Young people in particular often refuse to use them (as did I in 2020). "Only the old and unfit need them." However, once you've tried them out and noticed how helpful they are, you won't want to give them away. Keep in mind that you are 10-15 kilograms heavier with the backpack. Especially when going downhill and when the day comes to an end, the poles make your life easier.

What I can't do without are good sunglasses . Because the sun is known to be even stronger on the mountain. The perfect companion for me: The HAWK. With the interchangeable lenses, I was well prepared for any weather, because not only were the sun's rays filtered out, but the sometimes aggressive raindrops were also successfully repelled.

How do I pack my backpack for long-distance hiking?

What is the best way to pack my backpack?

Here is the most important pro tip: put everything in an extra (cloth) bag. One for clothes, one for underwear, one for small items and one for food (important!!) etc. This keeps everything tidy. Yes, of course, the bags weigh something and also need space, but it's always worth it. Also make sure that you get everything in the backpack and that you don't have to hang anything on the outside, as this hanger will quickly start to wobble. Then sort it out again.

If you needed everything on your trip except the first aid kit, you did everything right. Happy hiking!

PS: You are welcome to follow my and our experiences at @ge.mmm.a. Have fun!

Credits: Markus Trattner , ge.mmm.a

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