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Alexandra Lapointe Turcotte's Essentials for a Successful Hike

In recent months, hiking has become a fashion. However, this activity has existed since the dawn of time. It has quite simply been demoted to the last ranks in the last decades giving way to more extravagant activities. 


Today, many of us reconnect with this activity and we are grateful to have a province that has so much to offer us. 


Although going on a hike may seem like a project in itself and preparation can demotivate more than one, many of us have been sharing the leads since the pandemic. Now that you are enjoying this activity, how can you improve your experience? 


I thought I'd share my essentials with you. I don’t pretend to say that I am an expert in this area, far from it, but over the hikes I have perfected my toolbox. So this is the first avenue to explore if this is new to you.


Importantly, the essentials will vary depending on the distance to be traveled and the temperature. The following lines will be devoted to a typical hike on a Saturday afternoon in sunny / cloudy weather in winter. Tse to give you a comparable ah! 


Beyond the hiking boot and the water bottle is how to dress. For my part, I have always opted for the multilayer being bipolar of the body. I was hot for a while, two minutes later I was cold ... So I apply this technique also called the onion peel technique. It consists of superimposing a base layer, an intermediate layer and a shell. 


Base Layer = This layer should be glued directly to the body, it should be in a fabric that dries quickly, absorbs moisture and ultimately pushes moisture out. For my part, I still have a merino wool base. As much for the upper body as for the lower body and the feet. 


Ps. I always have a spare for my upper body and feet to carry. Never underestimate this spare. I often change a piece at the top of the mountain. 


Mid Layer = This layer traps heat while also expelling moisture. Most of the time I go for a thriller. Give news, this site just sells! I say that, I say nothing, but I have a few in my sports wardrobe! 


The shell = It protects against the elements. You must therefore adapt it according to the weather. Again, this layer must allow moisture to pass through. 

Also, I always go with my crampons. I shunned them for a long time, until one day they became essential for my winter hikes. 


The snack. Because I'm always hungry. I always have a homemade snack with me. Yes you can go for the hiker mix. Having said that, I always get more satisfaction from eating my homemade snack. This is one of my favorite recipes. (Recipe inspired by Dinette magazine)


375 ml (1 ½ cups) large oatmeal

375 ml (1 ½ cups) puffed quinoa

125 ml (½ cup) crunchy salted soy beans

45 ml (3 tbsp.) Chia seeds

45 ml (3 tbsp.) Flax seeds

125 ml (½ cup) dried fruit

1 pinch of fleur de sel

85 ml (1/3 cup) raw virgin coconut oil

85 ml (1/3 cup) creamy honey

85 ml (1/3 cup) peanut butter

85 ml (1/3 cup) dark chocolate chips


Not very complicated. 

  1. Line a pan with parchment paper. 
  2. Combine all the ingredients except coconut oil, honey and peanut butter in a bowl.  
  3. In another microwave-safe bowl, place coconut oil, honey and peanut butter. Heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds to soften everything. When the mixture is soft, stir well.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix again.   
  5. Place the mixture in the mold and crush the preparation well.
  6. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before cutting the bars. 

Finally the pinnacle of my essentials. Coffee my friend. The cafe at the top of the mountain. I think I'm going on a hike just for that. The soft warmth of the coffee that contrasts with the cold wind that settles on my cheeks. Happiness. Good old-fashioned filter coffee that warms you up while looking at the horizon. No coffee tastes better.


To make it even more wonderful, you have to do it at the top. I offer you this simple, compact and inexpensive way to equip yourself. 


You will need:

1 thermos that keeps the water hot

1 filter holder 

(example : https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5050-845/Porte-filtre-pliable?colour=BL000)

Coffee filters

Coffee

Mugs (You can find some on the site elsewhere!)


Place a coffee filter in the filter holder. Add the quantity of ground coffee (according to your tastes, if you prefer a milder, full-bodied coffee…) The grind of the bean must be quite coarse. Pour in a little water to moisten the beans and wait a few seconds. Then pour the water in a circular motion until your cup is full. Wait until the water has drained from the filter. Breathe and taste! You will give me the news. You don't even need milk. 


Remember to bring a small airtight container to put your used filters in order to throw them away at the end of the hike! 


Have a good hike!

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