Trekking is a form of long-distance walking, usually on footpaths and/or mountainous terrain. Such walks last at least two days and are also known as trekking. A characteristic of a trekking trip is that you are usually a bit further away from "civilisation". As a result, you need to carry a lot of gear with you. Think tent and sleeping gear, but also cooking equipment and food.
Of course, there are many variations in the types of treks possible with major implications for what equipment you need to carry. For instance, on a (well-prepared) hut tour, you no longer need to bring a tent. Also, on some treks you will regularly pass a village with shops so you don't need to carry food for a whole week continuously.
The basics: shoes, clothes and a backpack
Whatever your trek looks like exactly, you will always need a few things. These basics consist of a pair of good hiking boots, a roomy backpack and sufficient clothing. Comfortable hiking boots are essential for an enjoyable trekking experience. Since you will often carry quite a lot of luggage, we always recommend shoes that provide ankle support. Will your trek also cross glaciers? Then also make sure that your shoes are crampon-friendly.
When choosing a suitable backpack, we recommend paying attention to a few things. First of all, it is important that the backpack has enough space (at least a volume of 30 litres). In addition, high comfort and therefore a good carrying system is very important. Some protection against precipitation - depending on your destination - is also important. And all this with the lowest possible weight.
Of course, it is important that you have enough clothing with you. Preferably, you want to be prepared for as many weather conditions as possible with as few garments as possible. How do you do that? We explain that in our blog on the 3-layer system.
When it comes to clothing, don't forget the details. Hiking socks, a cap, a neck warmer and/or sunglasses can greatly increase the comfort of your trek - depending on the destination.
We also count trekking poles among the basic arsenal for a long-distance hike. The combination of ample luggage and the often uneven, hilly terrain means you can use all the extra support you can get. Trekking poles provide this and also allow you to use upper body strength and reduce the strain on your knees.
Accommodation: in a hut or your own tent?
Your trek will largely determine what you need. Are you going to do a hut tour? Then you probably won't need a tent. Some huts also provide blankets (and of course a mattress) and a sheet bag will suffice. Before leaving, check carefully whether this also applies to the huts you will visit during your trek.
Are you not spending the night in a hut or similar? Then you will need a good trekking tent, a sleeping mat, a sleeping bag and possibly a pillow. A headlamp is then also part of your desired equipment.
Food & drink
Do you eat in a hut every morning, afternoon and evening? Then as far as food is concerned, you don't need to bring a whole lot with you except for some snacks or an emergency pack. However, chances are you will have to rely on yourself several times during the trip. In that case, you will soon need to look at everything that goes with making your own food. A burner, pans, crockery, fuel and, of course, the food itself. Your options here are endless. From a burner of less than 100 grams, a 100-gram gas can, a small pan, a spoon and freeze-dried food to a slightly more culinary setting that, however, weighs significantly more and takes up more space. The choice is vast and very much depends on your own preferences.
As for your water supply, it is very important where your trek takes place. Do you have constant access to clean drinking water during your trek. Then one or two drinking bottles or a hydration system will suffice. Do you not have this access? Then you need to look at other solutions. A water filter could be a good solution for you.
Navigation and safety
Before you hit the road, it is also good to think about your safety. A first aid kit is therefore an absolute must. Depending on your trek, it might also be a good idea to take a compass or a watch with a navigation function.