Summer season

How to prepare for a hike?

Published February 17, 2023

The main activity in the summer in the mountains is without a doubt hiking. This physical and sporting activity is accessible to everyone but is not to be taken lightly. Before leaving for the hiking trails, we advise you to prepare yourself well. The big advantage of our establishments in Tignes, Val Thorens and Les Menuires is that they are located at the foot of the slopes. The summits are waiting for you!

Get the best equipment

If it is true that the hike requires very little equipment, it is still necessary to bring a few things before attacking the climb to the summits. This also depends on the route taken and the difficulty of the chosen hike.

Here are the essential equipments:

  • A backpack or camel back with water for hydration
  • Sunscreen to avoid sunburn at altitude
  • Something to eat in case of hunger
  • A hat or cap and sunglasses to protect you from the sun
  • A windbreaker or a fleece, the weather is sometimes capricious in the mountains and gets cold very quickly
  • Good shoes
  • A map with your route or your phone with an application such as Wikiloc, Visorando or IGNrando
  • A small pharmacy to treat blisters quickly, bandages and disinfectant
  • Optional: binoculars or a telescope to observe chamois, marmots and other small animals of the mountain
The oxygenation stays with Montagnettes
Credit: Nicolas Raybaud

The basis of your equipment remains good waterproof shoes. You can't go hiking in the same pair of sneakers you wear to work every day. If you're going for a walk or a short hike, look for low to mid-top shoes.

For longer distances and unevenness, we recommend shoes with a high shaft to support the ankle. The soles should be notched for better grip and to prevent slipping. Finally, the best advice is to wear comfortable shoes! A bad shoe can really spoil your hike.

Preparing physically

If hiking remains a very accessible activity to practice with family or friends during your stay in our establishments, it is necessary to prepare a little. To avoid minor injuries, a few small warm-ups are highly recommended before starting.

Simply rotate your ankle in a circular motion for a few seconds for each ankle. Then rotate your head in one direction and then in the other while keeping the rest of your body straight but relaxed. Finally, make small, quick circles with your shoulders forward and then backward.

This may not seem like a big deal, but minor injuries can be avoided by warming up a little. If you wish to do this step, your body may not be ready for the next step.

Get informed

The weather in the mountains tends to be very changeable. If the sun is present in the morning, the sky can quickly become cloudy and dark. Before you leave, find out what weather conditions are expected at higher elevations. Also, study your itinerary in advance to see if there are any difficulties along the way and to see if the route you have chosen is suitable for your level.

If you are a novice, do not attempt the big climb right away. Evaluate your level on shorter hikes with less difference in altitude. The easiest way is to go to the tourist offices, which will be able to advise you on itineraries according to your level and your desires.

Credit : Tignes Développement


If you are hiking with your family and children, you will need to pace yourself according to the children's pace. We advise you to stop every 10 to 15 minutes during the activity and to take a longer break for lunch. Children do not recover like adults. Don't go on long hikes every day with them and don't force them. This could put them off hiking. Vacations are mostly about having fun, so do your hikes while singing or playing games. The mountains are an incredible playground for children to observe the fauna and flora.

If you are not confident, don't hesitate to ask for a guide. When you book a stay in Val Thorens and Les Menuires, we offer you 3 half days of hiking with the guides of the Belleville guide bureau.

Eat well and stay hydrated

Even the simplest and smallest hikes require effort and burn a lot of calories. Before the hike, eat light and preferably starchy foods that allow you to build up glycogen reserves. Absolutely avoid fast sugars which will lower your blood sugar and your energy.

A good fat intake is necessary to help you sustain your effort. Don't hesitate to take snacks with you such as almonds, cashews, dried fruit, almond paste or cereal bars. During the activity, eat regularly and lightly. In the evening, you can have a well-deserved hearty meal when you return.

Don't forget to stay hydrated during your effort! For a half-day hike, you should plan to drink at least 1.5L of water per person.

Credit : OT Menuires

Are we hiking this summer?

Whether in Tignes, Val Thorens or Les Menuires, there is no shortage of hiking opportunities. The establishments of Montagnettes are ideally located on the hiking trails which allows you to go directly to the adventure. You just have to follow our advices to spend unforgettable moments in the summits with your family, friends or couple.

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