Equipment and physical preparation
Equipment, clothing, food and drink
Shoes: to perform all activities, hiking boots with non-slip sole are required to prevent slips and possible falls. When you book the excursion you will be informed if the difficulty of the excursion requires warmer and more protective boots. With regard to snowshoeing, it is appropriate to wear hiking boots preferably made of waterproof material. It is also possible to wear après-ski boots, with the exception of Moon Boot, since they are too bulky. It can be useful to wear gaiters with fresh snow, not to get wet. Choose comfortable thermal socks, especially if you want to snowshoe at night, considering the cold temperatures of winter months reaching –15/-20°C. If you have to buy a new pair of hiking boots, we suggest you to try and use them before the hike, in order to avoid annoying blisters… Please don’t choose a shoe size too small, since your feet will tend to swell during the excursion.
Snowshoes and poles: snowshoes and poles are provided for free. The sticks help you keep your balance and make the progression easier. On request, we can also provide snowshoes for kids, at the cost of 10 euros. If you want to use your equipment, feel free to do so, but rates will not change.
Clothing: people new to mountain hiking generally tend to overdress. I suggest you wear several different layers, so that you can put on and take off the different items of your clothing during the hike. As a general rule, you take off clothes when you hike uphill and put them on downhill. For this reason, I suggest you to carry a small backpack (30l capacity is enough for daily hikes), where you can put food and drinks, water bottles, wool hats, gloves, sunscreen, sunglasses, scarves. Whatever the weather, bring with you a waterproof jacket, gloves, a wool hat and a pair of sunglasses. Don’t forget the sunscreen and in spring/summer a cap/bandana. You should also take a spare base layer to wear at the end of the hike: if possible, choose one made of technical fabric which let the sweat evaporate and does not soak it like cotton does!
Equipment to sleep: in summer, a simple sleeping bag liner is enough since mountain huts provide wool blankets. A sleeping liner has the advantage of being lighter than a traditional sleeping bag. In case of overnight in a bivouac, you should take a sleeping bag and a mat.
For a weekend in a hut you should add: a sleeping bag liner, some spare clothes (shorts + trousers + t-shirts + thermal long sleeved t-shirts + a wind stopper), a rain cape and a backpack rain cover, a headlamp and items of personal care, a travel pharmacy kit and a multipurpose boxcutter. The backpack must be bigger (40l capacity), but not exceeding a weight of 8-9 kg, if possible.
For an evening snowshoe hike you should add: tights, a headlamp, 2 pairs of gloves and 2 pairs of socks.
Fitness and food
Your physical condition: most of our tours let you discover mountains calmly and joyfully and therefore do not require anything but a regular physical activity during the week, as most of us do.
A lack of exercise can compromise the hike, so it essential to adapt the excursion to your physical ability… Look at the subsection Technical difficulties on this site.
Food and hydration: they are the fuel of your “engine” which can work at its best performance if we feed it correctly. Since the hike is basically a duration effort, you should take complex sugars that are slowly assimilated (pasta, rice, potatoes, bread…) the day before and simple sugars which are fast assimilated (chocolate, dried fruits, energy bars) during the excursion. You should stay regularly hydrated: drink in small quantities before you feel thirsty, about every half an hour; you will benefit from a better recovery and will avoid annoying cramps; without drinking, you can lose up to 40% of your potential endurance. This is why you should carry in the backpack 1 litre of water and a bottle to fill up during the excursion.
..there’s a whole valley to discover between you and me!