WHAT IS SPEED HIKING?
So, what is speed hiking anyway?
Speed hiking is fastpacking or rapid hiking. Covering longer distances over technical, rocky terrain, both on and off trail while moving fast and light. Think backpacking, only faster. Think alpine hiking meets trail running.
What’s so good about it?
Speed hiking means getting more out of your day. Moving faster and using your mountain skills to access remoter trails and wilder areas. Seeing how far you can go at your own pace. When the terrain gets steep, fast-walking power and endurance are the name of the game.
Where do I start?
Speed hiking doesn’t have to involve extensive journeys or an overnight stay. You don’t need go far to find wilderness, beauty and simplicity. Your next adventure could start straight after work or from your front doorstep. Be creative. Keep it simple.
At first, it might be a good idea to pick shorter trails that head out and back – to build up your distances gradually and test out your kit.
WHAT SPEED HIKING MEANS TO US
Speed hiking: rapid hiking, moving quickly for long distances over technical, rocky terrain both on and off trail means improved physical fitness, increased energy, and inspiration for living a healthier life. Travelling fast means that you can cover greater distances and see more the same time period. It’s all about the inherent joys and freedoms of going fast and light and broadening your horizons. The Dolomites, with their majestic summits and beautiful valleys are an amazing environment to train in. They inspire us to produce the highest performing products.
Speed hiking footwear is built for fast-paced, rapid activities. Their lightweight designs mean that there is less weight to for your legs to lift, but they still offer good grip, traction and support. Along with footwear, a comfortable pack is your most important kit choice. The lower the volume and the less it weighs before you put your kit in it, the better. Our speed hiking packs are built with split shoulder straps and ventilated carry systems to keep your back dry. Exploring new trails, training for winter or just getting out there to see how far you can go means that you need lightweight breathable clothing and sufficient weather protection. Our speed hiking styles are engineered for dynamic movement to support you when you are moving fast. They feature wicking fabrics and active insulation making them ideal for highly aerobic done-in-a-day activities, even in bad weather.
EQUIPMENT TO HIKE FAST AND LIGHT
PURE MOUNTAIN BLOG
MERANO: FROM TRADITION TO PASSION
After a day of work, to help his friend Daniel engaged in the harvesting, Aaron has found time for a hike and fly in his home mountains, taking advantage of the last remnants of the day. Down, at the bottom of the valley, the fruit trees unwind into neat lines. "No, I would not want to belong anywhere else", Aaron murmurs to himself, while he flies towards home.
WHAT ARE THE BEST HIKING SHOES FOR ME?
Quality hiking boots are designed and constructed to meet the specific needs of various forms of hiking. For example, day hiking boots, such as Salewa’s Mountain Trainers, are generally lighter and more flexible than trekking or mountaineering boots, whereas backpacking/trekking boots are generally constructed with highly supportive ankle shafts and stiffer midsoles that help distribute the extra weight of a loaded backpack.
WHAT KIND OF EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
What kind of shoes do I need?
Make sure you have a pair of quality speed hiking shoes. Forget your heavy hiking boots: clunky footwear never helped anybody move faster.
- Lightweight design = less weight for your legs
- Low-cut or ankle-high or more support
- Good overall flexibility
- Good support at heel and forefoot
- Big cushioning & high heel to toe 'drop' = easier on your calf muscles
- Rugged tread for secure grip and traction
- If you plan to be out in bad weather, a Gore-Tex® membrane is generally a good idea
What kind of backpack do I need?
Alongside your footwear, your pack is your most important kit choice. The lower the volume the better. The less it weighs before you put your kit in it the better too. 25 litres is definitely the absolute limit – any bigger and you’re backpacking...
Look for a pack that is comfortable and offers good ventilation and moisture transport at the back and shoulders to help deal with sweating and prevent undercooling in windy, exposed areas.
Do I need poles?
Yes. Poles are an absolute must for speed hiking.
Why? Because they help you to provide stability in technical terrain, move faster uphill and take the strain off your joints downhill, by distributing the weight. Poles with wrist straps promote better walking technique.
What do I pack?
Your kit choices will obviously depend on how far you’re planning to go, on the season, and on what the conditions are like. The most important factor to covering bigger distances in less time is simply to travel lighter. Carrying less than 5 kilos can make a massive difference. Don’t forget: fluids, sun protection and energy snacks.
What do I wear?
Go for versatile, lightweight layers that will protect you from the weather and help you regulate temperature. Zip off sleeves add extra versatility. Shorts or a skort are the speed hikers’ legwear of choice. They’re super breathable, allow you to move freely and dry fast after a downpour. Throw in a pair of close-fitting, but stretchy pants or tights for more protection. Softshells are great – they’re water-resistant, but vent sweat. Hardshells are often excessive for speed hiking. Think carefully about spare clothes.
What do you really need?
Travelling light in the mountains obviously comes with certain risks, so think in advance about scenarios you may encounter. What will you do if an unexpected storm comes in? Can you shorten your route if you need to? Go prepared.
Never stop learning…
Experiment with your gear. See what works for you. Ask your friends what they pack. See what pro athletes and ultra-runners take with them. Having said all this… speed hiking might be all about lightweight kit, but don’t get too obsessed about saving weight.
Travel lighter. Keep it simple. At the end of the day, it’s about getting the most out your time in the mountains. And remember, it’s not the destination that counts, but the amount of fun you have on the way.
OUR LATEST RELEASE
EFFECTIVE ALL MOUNTAIN TERRAIN GRIP FROM MICHELIN® ULTRA TRAIN TECHNICAL SOLE
FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
ENHANCING DOWNHILL MOTION COMFORT FLEX COLLAR
FOOTSHAPE ADJUSTABLE 3F FIT SYSTEM