- Use hi-tech fabrics which are light, breathe well, and - most important of all - dry
NO: sweatshirts, cotton t-shirts, cotton trousers, jeans, cotton socks,
cotton underwear and thick towels.
- Micro-fiber underpants and t-shirts
- Several layers of thermals (the warmest include wool)
- Quality trekking socks
- Silk sock linings
- Polyester trousers (the elasic include polyamide)
- Microfiber towels
- To dry your laundry faster, roll each item in a towel and squeeze it, before hanging for the
- When you wear bright colors (red, yellow, orange), you are seen from afar. It is efficient
when you lag behind, or when people are looking for you, and it comes out great
- When climbing to a cold place without all the equipment (such as to Poon Hill in the
Annapurna trek, or to Gokyo Ri and Kala Patthar in the Everest trek): in addition
to the thermal underwear layers on top, bottom, head, hands and feet, put on the
gaiters, which block the wind between the shoes and the pants. In addition, empty
the backpack and put inside only the down sleeping bag, folded (not squeezed).
Your backpack will protect your back.
- To those who suffer from cold (like me): a down sleeping bag is the lightest, most
compressible and offers ultimate insulation.
- It is much warmer to sleep naked inside a good insulating sleeping bag. You can also
use a silk lining inside the sleeping bag, which improves the isolation, and is easy
- At cold nights, insert the bottle with hot water inside the sleeping bag, close to your feet, together with the camera and extra batteries. Insert also your underwear inside the sleeping bag, so it will be warm and
comfortable to wear in the morning.
- Do not dry clean your down sleeping bag and coat, as it will ruin the waterproof cover. Avoid washing, and clean the cover with a wet cloth. If the coat or the sleeping bag are really dirty, wash it and dry well.
- Get a fleece bag, insert clothing inside it at night, and use it as a pillow.
- When you have a problem to use a toilet at night, use a plastic jar or a bottle.
- Use a backpack which fits your body. A misfitting backpack will press and disturb you.
When a pack fits well you can comfortably carry extra weight, because it
transfers the weight through the skeletal system rather than forcing your muscles
to carry the load.
- Boots fitted size: With the boot fully unlaced, move your foot as far forward in the boot as possible. If the boot is the proper size for your feet, you should be able to slip your index finger down inside the boot at the back of the ankle.
- Maintain your feet: rinse your feet with soap every day; keep your feet dry; use clean socks; while walking there is no need to smear the feet in ointments, the body keeps suitable fattiness naturally; cover blisters in a designated bandaid as early as possible.
- Get a water purifier,
and you will not need to buy mineral water along your trip.
- Take with you a small transparent bottle to the airport, empty it before the hand luggage security check, and refill it in the gates' hall.
- Before flights and long journeys, secure the flashlight in the "off" position.
- Fly with your trekking boots on. In case your luggage does not arrive, you can manage
gathering equipment – buying, renting, sharing with your friends, etc. The probability
to find shoes in your size is low, and start trekking with new shoes is not
recommended. In addition, your backpack will be lighter.
- When using local transportation, put your backpack inside a waterproof bag, so it
will not get dirty or wet (e.g. when the backpack is tied on the bus rooftop,
together with chickens, or when it rains).
- When the equipment is carried by beasts and there is a chance for rain, put your equipment into sealed plastic bags,
and insert a thick plastic bag into the equipment bag, and close inside all items.
- Keep in your purse laminated Emergency Card, with medical details such as medications, allergies, medical insurance information and who to call.
- Put all your documents in a dry bag, and carry them with you at all times.
- Take a back belt for horseback ridings and snowmobiles.
- Keep it light! Think carefully about the items you take along, given the type of trip and
the expected weather.
To improve communication when you are abroad, make your personal information
available to access from Internet Café.
- Address book: Export your contacts from your home email account
(e.g. Outlook Client), and import it to the email you intend to use when you are
- Favorite links: Import your favorite list to your bookmarks (I use Internet Explorer, as
it is the commonly installed browser in Internet Cafés, and use Google Toolbar to import my Bookmarks
and to use them).
- Send to yourself important documents (such as a scan of your passport main page, which
you will need when approaching your consulate, after losing your passport).
- Communicate: Open Skype or
messenger account (e.g. ICQ, Yahoo
Messenger, MSN Messenger),
and give those you love your ID code. Almost every Internet Café is equipped with a
camera and a headset, and it is nice to chat and see the ones you love while
you are far away.
- Learn to read and pronounce the numbers in the local language.
- During the trip wear or use a local item. The locals appreciate the gesture, and acknowledge that this is a sign of respect for their local cultures and customs.
- Smile a lot, talk to strangers, accept all invitations, and eat everything you’re offered.
- Carry with you a small photo album with photos of your family, so you can share your life with the locals who share their life with you.
- Bring presents for hosting families in remote places (not as beggary, but in return to warm hospitality); small, light and useful items:
- Kids love stationeries like small booklets, pens, pencils, erasers, sharpeners and crayons.
- Small led flashlights.
- It is possible to acquire very inexpensive air tickets on the internet.
The inexpensive tickets cease quickly, and therefore advisable to
order a number of months in advance. Search in Google for
Cheap Flights, and obtain many comparison sites.
- It is advised to buy a local SIM card, so the locals can contact you easily. Before you leave your country,
make sure your handset is SIM Free.
- Take small bills of dollars or euros, to change a small amount at the airport, and just in case for use in
unexpected events in remote places.
- Check the weather forecast, and get updated again every evening before
departing into the field. I go hiking when the temperature is expected to be less than 28 Celsius degrees.
When driving - I change the route when rain or snow are expected.
- Learn about Altitude or Mountain Sickness.
- If you encounter a medical problem in an undeveloped area, you may want to turn to the most expensive hotel in the area,
and in remote places - to the nearest missionary, where you can find help.
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- Joe Simpson, Touching The Void, 1988
- Rita Golden Gelman, Tales of a Female Nomad, 2002
- Xue Xinran, Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet, 2005
- Robyn Davidson, Tracks, 1995
- Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster, 1997
- Jon Krakauer, Into The Wild, 1997
- Sebastian Junger, The Perfect Storm, 1998
- Aron Ralston, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, 2004
- Ernest Shackleton, South: The Endurance Expedition, 1999