The miller’s delight is to wander…
Just under half of the Swiss population report that they go hiking as a hobby. Knowing how to best prepare for hiking vacations and what to look out for on long walks is helpful in planning a happy hiking experience.
The right equipment can make the difference
Unless you want to out yourself as a city kid, you should definitely have the proper equipment. Sneakers and skimpy tops don’t belong
The basis of any hike starts with hiking shoes from specialist stores and with a good sole. Always wear new shoes at home for a few hours to find any pressure points. Rub a cream on areas prone to blisters before a hike – such as a cream that contains zinc – to avoid sore, exudating skin.
Choosing the right socksis also important. They should absorb sweat without forming wrinkles to prevent the formation of blisters (or ‘bullae’ in medical terminology). If blisters form regardless, it is important to treat red, wetting skin areas immediately with a dry spray such as SilverSpray Medinova®.
The layered look is especially ideal in the mountains. If the mornings are still cool, it is recommended to wear several layers of clothing made from different types of fabric. When you find yourself on a breezy mountaintop, you can peel off the softshell jacket and the sweater one by one and quickly put your windproof jacket back on. Clothing with zippers is practical, allowing you to air out briefly without having to take everything off. Breathable and moisture-absorbing materials are also recommended, such as merino wool or special functional textiles. Any functional clothing that is in direct contact with the body should be breathable and well-fitting in order to avoid skin chafing.
That freebie gym bag from the last unofficial tournament is certainly casual, but unsuitable as a hiking backpack. Something with breathable and lightweight material, high quality and strong, well-made seams and zippers is needed here. A hip belt and padding that ventilates the back as much as possible are also recommended – especially on longer hikes. Definitely try on your fully packed backpack at home and wear it for a while before taking it on a hike. The hiking backpack must fit well so the carrying straps don’t rub and irritate the skin. Friction can quickly cause sore, wetting skin that is painful and bothersome. SilverSpray Medinova® can also be used here to encourage wound healing.
What belongs in a hiking backpack?
- Snacks such as dried fruits, nuts, muesli bars, etc.
- Sun protection (sun glasses, cream, cap)
- Hiking map, GPS device (cell phone map only if reception is available everywhere)
- Rain jacket
- Pocket knife (with tweezers)
- Spare hiking socks
- First aid kit with
- bandages, (blister) plasters, disposable gloves
- SilverSpray Medinova® for small-surface wounds such as burns, abrasions or wetting skin areas
- Single-dose packages of saline solution for rinsing foreign matter from eyes or wounds. (dirt, dust, etc.)
- Personal medications
Study the route ahead of time
The route should be precisely planned in advance as well. It is better to read official hiking descriptions from local tourist offices than reports from individuals. Saving maps on your phone in offline mode ahead of time and noting the most important waypoints can help you find your way if the official trail marker is out of sight. An honest self-assessment benefits everyone involved, and above all, it should be fun.
If your skin chafes anyway
Even if you are wearing high-quality materials, red, wetting skins areas can develop in skin folds or between the thighs. Skin chafing (or ‘intertrigo’) can occur whenever skin rubs against skin, or when moisture softens the skin (skin maceration), making it more susceptible to injury. SilverSpray Medinova® absorbs wound secretions (wetting) and encourages wound healing. The dry spray also forms a protective film to prevent infections while supporting the natural self-healing process of damaged tissues.
Let’s get moving!
Only go out in stable weather to help prevent wet or even dangerous surprises. Follow local instructions and listen to advice from locals. For longer hikes, it’s best to regularly check in with someone. This way, if something goes wrong during the hike, your absence will be noticed and help can be sent, if necessary. Respect for the environment and nature is important. Friendly behaviour and taking your trash with you is mandatory.
With these tips, hiking is not just the miller’s delight. With much joy, C. Müller