Hiking is one of the most straightforward and rewarding outdoor activities people can engage with, allowing them to escape their comfort zone and enjoy the outdoors while improving their fitness at the same time. Vasyl Nikitash is a lover and advocate of everything hiking has to offer, and this is why they started their website TopTravelPoint to provide hikers of all levels with valuable information on the best gear to make their adventure more comfortable and enjoyable.
Vasyl kindly answered some questions about their hiking expertise.
What are some of your favorite hiking locations?
There are many beautiful and interesting places to go hiking. As a rule, I try to go to different places to see new things. But, as experience has shown, the weather is always different, and the same route can be beautiful and attractive in different ways.
In the US, I would recommend walking along:
- South Rim Trail, Grand Canyon National Park
- Grinnell Glacier Trail, Glacier National Park
- Upper Emerald Pool Trail, Zion National Park
- Half Dome Day Hike, Yosemite National Park
I remember these routes very much, so I recommend everyone to walk along with them and to admire the beauty of nature.
If we talk about Europe, I would recommend walking along:
- Chamonix to Zermatt’ Trekkers Haute Route’
- Mont Blanc Rambler
- Via Ferrata Guided Walk
For more experienced hikers, I also recommend going to the Himalayas, Nepal. There are many beautiful places with very high mountain views.
What are your favorite pieces of camping cookware?
Now there is a large number of quality cookware from various global brands. It all depends on the difficulty of hiking or camping. I really like the lines of such brands as MSR and Sea to Summit.
Actually, I have different brands of cookware, but probably I use MSR and Sea to Summit most often.
When it comes to functionality, I always choose lighter cookware and ones that can keep warm longer.
A lot of people pack snacks for hiking, what are the benefits of sitting down to cook with portable cookware?
I’ve always taken small snacks with me, as a rule, these are bars, nuts, sweets, dried fruits. This is a good snack when you have a short break and need to recharge.
Usually, such food is high in calories, and it can very quickly replenish the lack of energy and strength. Moreover, the plus is that you do not need to take out the ware for cooking, but you can immediately have a snack and replenish your strength on the ground. Therefore, I recommend to everyone: if you go camping, take small snacks with you.
If we are talking about the advantages of portable cookware, then there are a lot of them. It is generally lightweight, compact, and it heats up quickly when exposed to fire. In short, this is all that is needed in bad conditions.
This cookware is usually used 3 times a day: in the morning, at lunchtime, and in the evening. It is no longer used, and snacks and other food help to replenish strength in these intervals.
How long does it usually take you to prepare a buying guide?
It all depends on the volume and complexity of the article.
For example, if we take 5 items and test each of them on hiking or camping, find useful information from manufacturers, take high-quality photos, and form everything into an article, then it takes 4-7 days. During this time, we get a completed article.
But we, as a rule, do it differently. When someone from TopTravelPoint goes on a hike or rests while camping, he is engaged in content (takes a photo, forms information about a product, etc.). In fact, this is how we form a content base, which we take and form into a full-fledged article in this case.
After the article is ready, we publish it on the website. This process takes about 3 hours. After this time, the article is published on the website and available to users.
This process never stops but goes on constantly.
What are the most important bits of hiking gear that people sometimes forget about?
As a rule, before going out hiking, make sure the necessary equipment is checked, according to your checklist (which should also be packed). If a person forgets something, then it is usually an insignificant thing, and friends will likely have it with them.
Once I was going on a small hike for 2 days, prepared very quickly, and forgot cookware (bowl, spoon, fork, and cup). Thankfully, my good friend shared with me, and we just ate in turn from the same ware.
People can usually forget, as I wrote above, things like cookware, personal hygiene items, towels, water bottles.
What’s your #1 tip for first-time hikers?
Don’t take a high bar right away, just start with something small. You need to always be in harmony with your body—just listen to how it behaves and constantly learn. Hiking, mountains are interesting, amazing, inspiring, and the journey is in itself enlightening, but sometimes there are times when it can potentially be very dangerous if you push too far.