Following a long-distance hike (GR) requires an equipment adapted for the long distances. First of all, we invite you to read our page “Useful & Advice” which lists the indispensable equipment for all your hikes in medium-altitude mountain. Then read our pieces of advice here, about the equipment on long-distance paths.
Do not use brand new shoes, prefer shoes that you’ve already wore, light, watertight but draining off the sweat, outside grooved soles. Prefer an inside sole that efficiently absorbs the vibrations. Think of a second pair of light and comfortable socks for the evening.
Do not neglect the kind of socks you’ll take. Prefer some with synthetic fibers that well drain off the sweat. Avoid the seams, patterns or twists, prefer the lining (toes, heel and malleolus). Carry at least 3 pair of socks for your hiking trips.
Choose your backpack
A backpack is chosen according to the length of the walk, the morphology and the porterage capacities. The rucksack (capacity between 50 and 60 liters) has to include:
- Wide shoulder straps,
- An adjustable hipbelt which lightens the effort of the shoulders and stabilizes the backpack.
- A fast access to the bottom of the backpack that may be really useful!
The equipment on GR: inside the backpack
The weight of your rucksack has to be from 10 to 12 kg for a man and from 8 to 10 kg for a woman.
It will contain your picnic for the stages as well as a flask (maximum 2). The fountains exist, yet, make sure to have disinfectant pastilles which make the water drinkable.
Carry with you a raincoat and a windbreaker (poncho) which will also protect you backpack! A cap is also mandatory.
Make sure you have a warm cloth (even during summer), light outfits, underwear, trousers and/or short, tee-shirt (avoid the ones in cotton which badly drain off the sweat and badly dry).
For some sanitary questions, equip yourself with a sleeping bag liner. For the personal care, make sure you have a toilet set as well as toilet paper.
A little bit of comfort…
With the weight of the backpack, some walking poles can be really appreciated during your long-distance hikes, as well as for the uphill slopes as for the descents. Prefer the 3 sections telescopic poles (less cumbersome) with a comfortable grip and strap.
Less essential… maybe? Some earplugs, sunglasses, a compass, some gaiters, a lighter, a GPS… but be careful with the weight!!