5 things you need to know before heading out to spend a night in the mountains
Oh, the mountains. These colossal guardians of our land. Sleeping under their watchful eye is an experience like no other, but it also comes with its own rules, principles and challenges. So before you head up there with your new tent and sleeping bag from ZAJO, here are 5 things you need to know before your adventure. May you enjoy that sleep under a million stars to the fullest.
1. Choose your spot carefully
After long hours of walking with a loaded pack, you're naturally tempted to fold up at the nearest spot that seems like a good fit. Alternatively, you'll be tempted by the scenery and the view.
However, choosing a campsite is just as important for a good night's sleep as choosing good gear. Neither the best tent in the world nor the best sleeping bag in the world will guarantee you a comfortable night out there if you put them in the wrong place.
Choose a spot that's flat, sheltered from the wind, and far enough away from water if there's a water source nearby. And remember, higher isn't always better, nor is lower always better. Elevation meters can make a big difference in temperature, but cold valleys won't be the best place either.
2. Layers. Layers. Layers.
Mountains are the master of surprises, especially when we're talking about the weather. Even the warmest days can turn into really cold nights. That's why you need layers. Choose a good base layer that wicks sweat away effectively, add some of that insulating mid-layer, and finish it off with an outer layer that will serve as your barrier against rain and wind. If it happens to be surprisingly warm, you'll easily adapt to the current conditions.
And since the details often make all the difference, a soft hat, gloves or warm socks can come in handy at night. Your fingers will thank you.
3. Drink and eat. And drink.
Mountain air can energize and refresh us all, so we rarely realize that mountain air is actually super dry. Keep a water bottle or hydration pack handy at all times and keep hydrating.
When it comes to food, energy-dense meals are the ideal choice. Foods like pasta, rice or potatoes will be your best friend. And if you think you need to prepare it all in advance, take a look at our camping cooking gear to take your experience of nights in the great outdoors up a level.
4. Leave no trace
Mountains are generous hosts, it is therefore our duty to be good guests. What you bring to the mountains, take with you. And what you have found in the mountains, leave there. Leave no trace behind, figuratively but also literally. Use biodegradable soap, don't start new campfires, pack out all your trash. Keep the mountains pristine for generations to come to enjoy.
5. Enjoy the silence
A symphony of silence such as only the mountains can perform, that must be earned by the metres climbed and the kilometres walked. But once you're up there, wrapped in a warm sleeping bag, enjoy it. Listen to the whisper of the wind, the rustle of the leaves, the distant sounds of the wilderness. You won't find a better reminder that life is really about the small pleasures and all the seemingly big problems are really trivial in reality.
A night in nature is a balm for the soul with a truly therapeutic effect. With good gear, quality clothing, plenty of food and a heart open to silence, it's an experience that will last and that you'll carry with you long after you've descended back down into civilization.
So don't wait, answer that call that comes whenever you feel like you've had too much at work. Sweet dreams, adventurer!