The preparation of the "equipment" before an excursion is a particularly important moment for the success of a trip or to make it more enjoyable. It is usual to think that for "walks" or outings in the mountains of a day it is not necessary to bring anything special with you but that it is enough to wear a pair of sneakers or trekking shoes to reach any destination. In participating in an excursion it can happen to get caught up in enthusiasm underestimating some aspects and overestimating one's abilities. As for the skills and the degree of difficulty of a route, please refer to the appropriate section, while we want to focus here on issues related to the preparation of the equipment.
For those who usually face mountain trails, with journeys that last several hours or days, the following may be trivial (even if a review of already known concepts never hurts); For those who approach this "experience" for the first time or are a bit rusty, it may be useful to proceed with the reading. This brief note certainly does not want to be an excerpt of a mountaineering manual in which notions, techniques and equipment for climbing peaks or slopes are reported but only provide some useful suggestions to be suitably prepared to face an environment, that of the mountain, which is different from the urban and home one and therefore requires a little preparation and modest equipment to be able to fully enjoy it. For example, mention has been made of footwear aspects; To face the proposed excursions it is necessary to have a comfortable mountain or trekking boot, in good condition and possibly impermeable to water.
The adjective convenient may be obvious but unfortunately our experience in the field shows that nothing is so obvious and obvious. Using shoes that have not been worn for a long time or even new can create serious difficulties already in the very first moments of an excursion. Blisters and small cuts can occur even after a few minutes, making it almost impossible to continue the journey. It is therefore advisable to use a boot "already tested in the field recently"; For new footwear, try first for small stretches or short walks in order to check their ergonomics.
It is also necessary to check the state of wear of the shoe because using comfortable footwear that has been worn "forever" but which have now lost their functional characteristics can even be dangerous. For example, a boot that has the grip (commonly called tank) completely worn, does not guarantee good grip with the ground and can cause falls even with serious consequences. A quick check of the shoes will make you aware of the state of seams, strings, loops, insole etc. Finally, it is advisable to have a shoe capable of having a certain degree of impermeability in order to avoid that, crossing a meadow with wet grass (perhaps at the beginning of the journey), the boot gets soaked, consequently moistening the foot. For those who do not have them or need to change them, there are different types of boots on the market with extremely varied characteristics and costs; You can equip yourself with a good product even without spending large amounts. It is advisable to contact a specialized store where professionals in the sector will be able to show you the shoe that best suits your needs.
Obviously, clothing is also an important aspect to make the excursion more enjoyable. It is recommended to use comfortable clothing that does not impede or hinder movements and that avoids rubbing on the body, possibly of breathable material. Obviously the type of clothing to choose depends not only on the season in which the excursion takes place but also on the altitude that is expected to reach and obviously on the expected weather conditions. The advice in any case is to dress in "onion" in order to lighten or weigh down your coverage depending on the situation. For example, it could happen that even on a day a bit "cold" after a few minutes of walking, with the heating, you may feel the need to take off some garments or to cover yourself with an additional jacket or windstopper as a breeze grows. It is difficult to indicate a basic clothing for an excursion also because it depends a lot on the perception of the temperature of each one, but in any case inside the backpack there must be a windstopper jacket (literally wind stop) of different weight depending on the season. Windstopper and a garment to cover in case of rain (k-way or poncho) must always be present in the backpack whatever the expected weather forecast also because, especially in the mountains and in the summer season, thunderstorms can occur unexpectedly; It may also be useful to bring a folding umbrella with you (avoid those with an iron tip of which it is not recommended in any case the use in the presence of thunderstorms with lightning especially at high altitude).
We then came to the preparation of the backpack; It is obvious that the capacity and its content are variable depending on the type of route and the duration of the same (a few hours or more days). In order not to weigh down the reading, we want to dwell here on providing some useful indications for backpack preparation for excursions that take place over a day even if they can also be valid for the others and referring to the specifications indicated in the cards of the individual trekking for the preparation of the backpack for multi-day trips. The backpack is a personal effect that every participant in the excursion should wear and inside which all the personal equipment to be used in case of need must be placed Personal because, even if you move in a group, the needs that may arise in facing a long or short journey can be different from person to person and everyone must be aware of the equipment they have. Experience has taught us that the preparation of a backpack belonging to two or more people often leads to a lack of essential equipment and you get to hear the usual phrase "... I thought you had put it in your backpack."
You do not want to be too strict but it is evident that if you forget for example sunscreen or sunglasses on a high-altitude excursion on a sunny day in the middle of summer, the consequences can be extremely serious both for personal safety as well as potentially ruining the day for the other participants in the group (due to an early return or a reduction of the route).
For the one-day excursion, the size of the backpack must be approximately between 30 and 40 liters, taking care to equip yourself with a comfortable model, with padded backrest and shoulder straps and ventilation structure to sweat less. It is good to remember that there are specific models for men, women and children and most quality backpacks allow the adjustment of the backrest according to your size while others are adjustable according to the height of the hiker. The adjustment must be performed with the backpack loaded and modified also on the basis of the clothing you plan to wear (eg winter jacket or summer t-shirt). It should also be remembered that, for greater comfort, it is necessary to pay particular attention to the correct distribution of loads not only on the shoulders but also in the lumbar band.
Inside, in addition to the equipment mentioned above (waterproof cape, windstopper jacket, sunglasses and sunscreen) should find place: a water reserve (water bottle or thermos) with variable capacity depending on the availability of water present during the route, a cap for sun protection and / or a wool hat to protect yourself from the cold, windbreaker (depending on expected temperatures), gloves, paper tissues, rain backpack covers, a sweet snack, packed lunch if provided.
We also recommend the following accessories: telescopic poles, binoculars, camera, headlamp (for night excursions), spare undershirt, first aid kit, emergency thermal sheet, multipurpose knife and notebook for notes.
For any doubts or concerns about the equipment needed for an excursion, do not hesitate to contact the tour manager who will give you all the necessary information.