Your shopping guide to mountain hiking apparel and equipment

The family by Lago Chamolé in Pila, Aosta Valley. Your shopping guide to mountain hiking apparel and equipment.

Your shopping guide to mountain hiking apparel and equipment

Now is the time to start dreaming of the great outdoors. Travel will not be as usual for the time being, but we still can get out. Trends are showing that people will prefer staycations or driving rather than flying. You can drive from home for your holidays. We can use this time to prepare our kit for this trip. This made me think of putting together a shopping list for your next hiking trip. Here it is:

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Too tired to hike. Going up to see the Monte Cervino in Cervinia. Your shopping guide to mountain hiking apparel and equipment.
Too tired to hike. Going up to see the Monte Cervino in Cervinia. Your shopping guide to mountain hiking apparel and equipment.

Hiking shoes:

You need shoes to be comfortable. The shoes have a denser footbed and a harder tip than normal shoes to avoid hurting your toes. Shoes need to hug your feet well and leave space for your toes to wiggle. I have bought some low ankle hiking shoes but realised afterwards that a higher boot is better. I have weak ankles that tend to twist a lot, and the high ankle boot avoids me doing that. Here are my suggestion for hiking boots for male, women and kids:

Hiking shoes


Hiking socks:

You want to have a good pair of socks when going hiking. Do not go hiking with some socks with holes- your feet will be sorry for it! I like merino socks, they are a bit more expensive but worth it in any climate. Merino is a great fabric that is very soft and lightweight, wickers moisture fast and keep your feet dry. Merino keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer and is breathable and antimicrobial. This allows your feet odours to be at bay. Here are my suggestion of hiking socks.

Hiking socks – Hiking Mountain Apparel and Equipment.

 

Hiking pants:

Pants need to be lightweight, breathable and of a quick-drying material. This prevents you staying wet if you cross a stream or get drench after a shower. You have the options of pants with zip that can convert into shorts. I prefer pants if walking through a wood with high grass, as you never know what you might encounter. Depending the climate, it might be snakes, ticks and all kind of bugs. You don’t want your hike to ruin your day because of this! I have learnt my lesson of long pants when growing up in Argentina and going horseback riding. When you go to ranches, you see the ‘gauchos’ always with what we call ‘bombachas de campo’. These are some sort of pantaloon that is wider at the tights and skinnier by the ankle. They allow freedom of movement when mounting horses. Plus they avoid anything creeping from the ankle up. When horseback riding, sometimes you go through tall grass. Thistles could catch and prickle your skin. This is the same concept with hiking pants, you don’t want your skin exposed!
 

Hiking pants: Hiking Mountain Apparel and Equipment.

 

Hiking shorts

Sometimes it is too hot for pants and you will walk in rocky paths, with the absence of long grass. Shorts would be a great option for those hot days. On top, while you hike you can gain a tan! The same principle applies here: to be of a light material that dries fast and wickers moisture out.
 

Hiking shorts: Hiking Mountain Apparel and Equipment.

Hiking tops

 
If you can afford purchasing Merino, go for it! You will not stink to the rest of the group! If not get any light material that wicks moisture out and dries fast if wet!
 

Hiking tops: Hiking Mountain Apparel and Equipment.

 

Hiking fleece

It is good to take one, at least in your backpack, as you never know how weather will pan out. I like having some light fleeces. They dry if they get wet very fast.
 

Hiking fleeces: Hiking Mountain Apparel and Equipment.

 

Hiking Jackets

 
Always take a light raincoat. You can fold it into a small pouch and take it out if it rains. Some new materials are pretty good and allow moisture to evaporate.
 

Hiking Jackets: Hiking Mountain Apparel and Equipment.



Water bottle/carrier

 
Always carry some water for everyone. If you are going with kids, make them carry water and snacks in a small backpack. I used to have a camelback, that was useful while skiing or hiking. It is a small backpack with a pouch of water inside and a pipe for you to sip when needed. Lots of people love it and I loved the idea and used them a lot. I only find the water has taste and nowadays I prefer to have my own water bottle. There are some nice stainless steel bottles in the market. Beware if they fall, they do squash, and even I had one that got perforated! So you need to handle with care.

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A Must-Read Guide to Summer in South Tyrol

Copyright: IDM South Tyrol / Valentin Pardeller. The Dolomites are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rose garden glows impressively in the evening glow on the horizon of the regional capital of Bozen.A Must-Read Guide to Summer in South Tyrol.

A Must-Read Guide to Summer in South Tyrol – Sudtirol.

South Tyrol (or Sudtirol) is open for visitors this summer. On June 3rd, borders will start opening for regional tourism within the EU and Schengen countries (all depending on Covid-19 cases keep on being down), so, I’ve thought I could put together a Must-Read Guide to Summer in South Tyrol.

A classic South Tyrolean village with the impressive Dolomites in its backdrop. Photo: © IDM Südtirol. A Must-Read Guide to Summer in South Tyrol.
A classic South Tyrolean village with the impressive Dolomites in its backdrop. Photo: © IDM Südtirol. A Must-Read Guide to Summer in South Tyrol.

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

South Tyrol is the northernmost province in Italy, bordering the Tirol and Östirol regions in Austria. Actually, it used to be part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire as part of the Tirol region (it was actually called Mittletirol). It changed hands to Italy after the defeat of the central powers on WWI in 1918.

How to get to South Tyrol

Fly to Innsbruck in Austria or Verona in Italy. If not, you have the options of Bozen/Bolzano airport, that is a smaller regional airport, or Bergamo, Venezia, Milano Linate, Milano Malpensa or Munich.

Copyright: IDM South Tyrol / Harald Wisthaler. Rowing boats at the Lago di Braies Nature Park, one of the most beautiful lakes I've seen in my life, worth a visit and a walk around the lake, which is easy for anybody! A Must-Read Guide to Summer in South Tyrol.
.Copyright: IDM South Tyrol / Harald Wisthaler. Rowing boats at the Lago di Braies Nature Park, one of the most beautiful lakes I’ve seen in my life, worth a visit and a walk around the lake, which is easy for anybody! A Must-Read Guide to Summer in South Tyrol.

Driving to South Tyrol

 

Coming from Austria, just pass Innsbruck and take the Brenner Pass, and you’ll be there. From Verona, go up the Brenner Motorway (A22 Autostrada del Brennero) and drive north. South Tyrol is part of the Trentino Alto Adige province, located in the northern side (the Alto Adige side).

Copyright: IDM South Tyrol / Clemens Zahn. From St. Zyprian in Eggental there is an impressive view of the rose garden, here against a clear blue sky. A Must-Read Guide to Summer in South Tyrol.
Copyright: IDM South Tyrol / Clemens Zahn. From St. Zyprian in Eggental there is an impressive view of the rose garden, here against a clear blue sky. A Must-Read Guide to Summer in South Tyrol.

Languages in South Tyrol

70% German, 25% Italian and 5% Ladin. The Ladin is a mountain language, what is considered a Romansh language spoken in the Dolomite valleys of Val Gardena and Alta Badia.

Photo: IDM South Tyrol / Clemens Zahn. Autumn is colorful in the Meraner Land, like here at Lebenberg Castle above Tscherms, where thanksgiving is celebrated. A Must-Read Guide to Summer in South Tyrol.
Photo: IDM South Tyrol / Clemens Zahn. Autumn is colorful in the Meraner Land, like here at Lebenberg Castle above Tscherms, where thanksgiving is celebrated. A Must-Read Guide to Summer in South Tyrol.

What to do in South Tyrol in the Summer.

Go to the area of Kronplatz and Brunico.

 

Kronplatz is a mountain in the border of what is Dolomites and Alps. The mountain itself has a shape of a Panettone with a punch in the middle. It is a very interesting mountain, which is connected with four villages around and lifts to each one on each sides.

Kronplatz in the summer. Photo: Kronplatz. A Must-Read Guide to Summer in South Tyrol.
Kronplatz in the summer. Photo: Kronplatz. A Must-Read Guide to Summer in South Tyrol.

Kronplatz is not only interesting for skiing in winter or hiking and mountain biking in the summerr. There is a good reason to go to the top of the mountain all year round, even if you don’t ski, ride, hike or bike! It is the only mountain, that I know of, with two really grand museums on its peak! These museums are Lumen Museum and MMM Corones.

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Cliffhanging restaurant opens for the season in Switzerland: Äscher Mountain Restaurant

Äscher Mountain Restaurant. Photo: Switzerland Tourism. Cliffhanging restaurant opens for the season in Switzerland: Äscher Mountain Restaurant.

Cliffhanging restaurant opens for the season in Switzerland: Äscher Mountain Restaurant

This summer the Äscher mountain restaurant had a weather delay that did not allow it to open in time. This restaurant is a bucket list place to go – nested by a cliff. One of the hiking routes up to the restaurant via the Blättli and Alp Bommen, are still closed due to high avalanche risk.

There are other paths to reach the restaurant that are still covered with snow. You should get the latest route information before venturing to the restaurant.

The restaurant is now under new management, because the people taking care of it until last year decided to cease their work there as the hotel had become victim of its own success, not being able to cope with soaring visitors’ numbers.

Cliffhanging restaurant opens for the season in Switzerland: Äscher Mountain Restaurant.
Cliffhanging restaurant opens for the season in Switzerland: Äscher Mountain Restaurant. Instagram photo.

The hotel is an Instagram sensation, and you can see by watching the pictures why. But it also got very well-known thanks to be named one of the world’s five most

The Äscher came to prominence in 2014 when it was named one of the five most interesting restaurants in the world in the Huffington Post.

Also, National Geographic featured it in the “Destinations of a Lifetime’ special. To reach the restaurant, you need to take a cable car and a short walk from Wasserauen in the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden.

The foundation that owns the restaurant said last year that they were working on improving the establishment.

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