Mountains in autumn – what to wear, how to pack
The following list of equipment was created by OM editors in cooperation with friendly mountain guides and instructors, with a view to autumn trips to the lower mountains of Poland (does not apply to the higher parts of the Tatra Mountains). At this time of year, conditions in the mountains can be extreme, so remember to always check the current forecast for the region you are going – adjust your equipment accordingly.
Well-chosen clothing and a completely packed backpack are important elements of proper performance in the mountains. And don’t forget to plan your trip, book shelters and choose your route taking into account current weather forecasts and your condition.
pic. MG / outdoormagazine.en
- Sweatshirt – thin second layer, with hood, lightweight and small when folded,
- T-shirt – wool or other technical – sweat-wicking, soft, not too warm,
- Underwear – “breathable” and without chafing,
- Trekking pants – lightweight, “breathable” and quick-drying,
- soft socks – they should cushion, but not warm up,
- Boots for the mountains – low (below the ankle) in normal conditions, high in difficult ones (or according to individual preference / with habitual ankle injuries),
- lightweight backpack.
- Rain jacket – small, lightweight, reliable,
- jacket (thin “down” or “synthetic”)/ softshsell – warming layer, depending on the conditions and individual preferences, you can also pack both things (giving up or not the thin sweatshirt from the first list),
- hat, buff, gloves, spare socks,
- Provisions and water (in reusable containers), thermos,
- headlamp and spare batteries,
- first aid kit, NRC film,
- tissues or toilet paper (natural, without scent or color),
- pocket knife/tool for eating,
- Charged phone with preloaded offline maps / GPS / compass,
- Powerbank (clovers by GPS navigation),
- paper map at a scale of 1:25,000 max or more accurate (preferably laminated),
- trekking poles (optional),
- Crampons (if icing is possible),
- sunglasses (not only for the sun, they will also protect against strong winds, stuttering rain),
- Waterless sunscreen (will protect facial skin from sun, wind and frost).
Plus – if you plan to cook:
- tourist stove/jetboil,
- Menasks and utensils, knife, spoon , coffee maker (for coffee lovers),
- freeze-dried foods/ingredients, coffee, tea, sugar, salt, lemon, isotonics.
In addition – if we plan to stay overnight in a hostel:
- A minimalist toiletry bag,
- A sleeping bag (unless there is bedding in the shelter),
- Dry and clean clothes for sleeping,
- if you want to sleep on the floor: a carrimata, a self-inflating mat or a tourist inflatable mattress (the best solution in this situation).
If you are going not to the mountains, but to the forest and plan to camp alone, here is our guide and list of equipment:
photo. MG / outdoormagazine.en
- If you are not planning to stay overnight 25-35L,
- If we are planning a 45-55 l overnight stay,
- The longer the route we plan to walk, the lighter the backpack should be,
- A larger backpack (with extra straps, pockets, features) will be heavier,
- The backpack needs to be well packed and adjusted,
- During the march, you can gently change positions from time to time to relieve pressure on sensitive areas,
- in the mountains, it’s always a good idea to have an extra waterproof cover with you.
How to pack a backpack
Just as in the case of simple trekking in the woods and short routes – excursions whose goal is to camp, we can talk about two approaches to packing – minimalist and comfortable (we take more things that increase our comfort), so in the mountains there is basically no discussion. Let’s always try to pack as lightly as possible – not only our comfort and enjoyment of the march will depend on it, but also safety, for which the efficiency of movement in difficult terrain, the least possible muscle fatigue is often crucial. A heavy backpack increases the risk of injury and prolongs walking time.
Laying things out on the floor, let’s reconsider whether we have everything we need? Are any of these items unnecessary ballast? Ok, now it’s time to pack it in your backpack.
The right arrangement of things in your backpack is crucial for comfort on the trail. The basic rule of thumb is that you pack heavy items rather low and close to your back, and the higher you go the lighter you go. On the other hand, some things we want to have on hand at all times. We can usually adopt these guidelines:
- Bottom. Here we pack things that are heavy, large in volume, and things that we will need only in the evening. This is a good place for a sleeping bag. We can fill the gaps with underwear for sleeping and spare clothes.
- Measure. Close to the back and in the middle is best to locate the heaviest items (e.g. Water bottles, food, stove. On the outside you can still fit extra clothes.
- Top. This is where we pack lightweight items, as well as those that we will reach for often or those that need to be on hand. These will include a first aid kit, NRC film, snacks, rain jacket and a small water bottle (“camelbak” or a bottle pocket on the shoulder strap of the backpack, solve this problem),
- Top pocket. Small things like: map, phone, knife, spoon, tissues, headlamp.
- Inner pocket: Moth-proofed car keys and wallet.
We hope you find our tips helpful. However, remember that the best teacher is practice. After returning from the trip, think about whether you took any unnecessary things with you? Or maybe you were missing something? This is the only way you will get to perfection.
fot. MG / outdoormagazine.pl