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Hiking in full autonomy or semi-autonomy

Who has not dreamed of hiking the mountains in complete freedom with his backpack and his tent? Apart from the feeling of loneliness and freedom, wild camping has many advantages. No reservations to be expected and therefore no reason to hurry. You are free to go at your own pace, off the beaten track. And in addition, autonomy in hiking is pretty inexpensive.

However, when one makes the choice to leave for a hike in autonomy or semi-autonomy, the main difficulty encountered is that of the weight. This will be the determining factor in what you will have to take away.

So if for example you wonder what sleeping bag, tent or little equipment to take for your next two-week hike in the Dolomites, you might like this article!


Of course you will need to carry all or most of your own food. For information, a hiker will consume at least 3000 to 4000 calories per day. The mountain needs are higher than elsewhere and you will spend a lot of calories during the effort or to warm up during the nights outdoors.

Bear in mind that cooking often requires a lot of water and water is heavy. In addition, the longer the food takes to cook, the more it will consume gas, which you will also have to carry.

Think about dehydrated dishes, they have many advantages:

– They take up little space

– The food is already precooked so it only takes 2 minutes to warm up

– It saves your gas consumption

– No need for dishes or soap so less weight!

Today, several brands propose good dehydrated dishes, such as Trek’n eat, Voyager or MX3 aventure

Regarding the water problem, we can only advise you to buy a filtering gourd such as those proposed by Katadyn, Lifestraw or water-to-go. These gourds have a powerful filter system for water filtration in hiking, mountain and travel. These filters have a filtering capacity of about 0.1 micron, which eliminates microorganisms, bacteria and protozoa (does not remove viruses).

As for snacks, energy bars are very effective because they are very caloric. There are a whole bunch of different brands with very different tastes, it’s up to you to find the ones that suit you the most. Dried fruits are also highly recommended: nuts, dried apricots, almonds etc. They combine in a small volume all the nutritional principles of fresh fruit. Rich in carbohydrates and vitamins of group B, they contain many minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron). Dried fruits provide 3 to 5 times more minerals than fresh fruits.

Of course, do not forget your dishes with lid and your cutlery. Be careful, always move away from the waterways to do laundry and dishes (at least 100m). People can drink the water lower.

Camping equipment: lightness first and foremost

Apart from food, you will have to pack a lot of essential materials. Here again, it is a question of favoring a lightest possible equipment while not forgetting about security. Of course this depends on who is carrying the backpack, where you plan to go and during which season. Here is a quick list :

– Backpack 50L minimum. The more things you carry, the more solid your bag will be, with frames and therefore heavy. It’s up to you to find your balance!

– Sunglasses, sunscreen, lip stick

Never forget that due to the altitude, the amount of UV increases by 4% every 300 m. In addition, the reverberation of the sun on the snow intensifies the radiation up to 90%. Finally, the cold makes you forget the presence of the sun so it is essential to protect yourself from the sun.

– Flash light

– Map

– Lighter

– Solar Charger

– Garbage bag

– Pharmacy kit (anti-pain, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, medical tape, bandages, sterile compresses)

– Toilet paper

– Microfiber towel

– Clothing adapted to the season

Last but not least: the sleeping, which must be choosen the lightest and most compact possible, without forgetting to adapt to the season and expected weather.

Tent :

Be careful, very often, the lighter the tent, the more likely it is to be less resistant and less comfortable.

The setup time is a false debate because even if the first few times may seem complicated, once you get used to it, it will only take a few minutes. Practice first at home if necessary. There 3 types of tent : dome tents, tunnel tents and geodesic tents. These last ones have a better wind resistance and a large interior space.

Sleeping bag and mattress :

As for your sleeping bag, it’s up to you to set the comfort temperature you want but in general the sleeping bags around 0 ° C are the most effective.

The mattress will isolate you from the cold and bring you extra comfort. It will necessarily be self-inflating. Do not forget the repair kit that accompanies it to prevent any punctures.

This article was only intended to give you some basics for hiking and camping in autonomy. The choice of the best tent, backpack or sleeping bag would require in depth dedicated articles. Bear in mind that wild camping is not authorized everywhere and that you should keep yourself aware of local regulations.

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