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France is home to a wide variety of beautiful landscapes, so there are plenty of hiking opportunities in the European country.
You could hike through picturesque villages in the Luberon mountains of Provence, go on a gentle hike at the Cirque de Gavarnie in the French Pyrenees, or try a more challenging hike, such as one of the trails of Mont Blanc.
But before you start hiking in France, it is important that you pack all the essentials you could need. So, here are the things you need to ensure you do not forget.
Ideal Packing List for Hiking In France
Hiking Shoes That Are Suitable for the Terrain
One of the most important items you need to pack is a good pair of hiking shoes.
You need to ensure your shoes have a good grip, good support, and a high level of comfort.
But you should also assess the kind of terrain you will be hiking ahead of time to ensure you pick the right pair of hiking shoes or boots for the job.
Trail runner shoes can be fine for smooth trails, for instance, but for rugged and rocky terrain, you will want to find hiking boots that are sturdier and provide more support.
The Right Clothing
It is imperative that you pack the right clothing for your hiking trip. That includes packing a variety of clothing so that you are prepared for any weather changes.
It is a good idea to pack thick socks so that your feet do not get blisters, a long-sleeved shirt to protect you from the sun and bugs, and a lightweight fleece for when it gets cold.
You should also look at packing moisture-wicking underwear and T-shirts, and quick-drying pants or shorts.
Make sure you check the weather forecast the day before your hike so that you can dress appropriately.
Plenty of Water and Snacks
Water is an essential you need to take on any hike, as you need to stay hydrated when exercising.
Around two liters per person per day is recommended, but the exact amount of water you take with you should be determined by the length and difficulty of the hike, as well as your age, sweat rate, and body type.
Make sure you take high-energy snacks with you too, such as nuts, jerky, and energy bars. You may need to take a packed lunch with you, as well.
A First Aid Kit
You should always be prepared for worst-case scenarios when hiking in France, especially if you are hiking in rural areas where there are few people around.
So, make sure you pack a first aid kit.
Your kit should contain essentials like band-aids, bandages, antiseptic ointment, medical adhesive tape, tweezers, and more.
You should also pack emergency items in case you run into trouble on your hike, such as a lighter, fire starters, and a whistle.
A French Dictionary or a Language App
If you need assistance when hiking in France, it will be helpful to be able to speak a little of the local language. So, make sure you learn some of the basics before you head off. And remember to take a French dictionary with you, or have a language app on your phone.
Thankfully, in this digital day and age, it has never been easier to start French lessons. You can get started by looking at Lingoda’s language course, where online classes with professional teachers are available 24/7.
A Suitable Backpack
You will need a good backpack to carry things like spare clothes, snacks and water, a first aid kit, and a French dictionary.
For short and simple hikes, a backpack that can hold up to twenty liters of gear will be suitable, but for bigger treks, you may need a bag with more capacity.
Make sure the backpack you choose is waterproof and sturdy, too.