If you plan on doing any serious hiking in Switzerland, a pair of rugged hiking boots are essential. Switzerland's mountain trails and rocky environs will easily make short work of most hiking or trail shoes, so plan ahead and pack a real pair of hiking boots, with heavy-duty soles, leather uppers and good ankle support. Make sure to break them in before your trip and pack plenty of socks. If you are visiting Switzerland primarily to hike, there is no reason why these boots cannot be your primary or only pair of footwear.
Summer is Switzerland's prime hiking season, as the winter months are often prohibitively cold. However, many visitors are not prepared for how cold Switzerland can get during the summer as well. Because of the mountain altitude, as well as proximity to lakes that generate chilling winds, Switzerland can often feel much colder than it is. Although summer temperatures often seem reasonable on paper, they feel much less so in person. If you plan to hike in Switzerland, particularly in the mountains, pack several warm layers, including a windbreaker and thermal underwear.
Sun Protection Essentials
Between the high altitude and the abundance of reflective surfaces such as glaciers, lakes and snow, sunburn is a constant risk. Bring sunscreen cream with an SPF of 30 minimum, but if you can bring SPF 50, so much the better. A strong SPF chapstick should also be packed and applied often. Finally, a good pair of sunglasses that are made to for snow or water reflections will make your hikes more comfortable. The mountainous nature of Switzerland means many visitors skip on sun protection, but this is a mistake.
Article Written By Beau Prichard
Beau Prichard has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He specializes in fiction, travel and writing coaching. He has traveled in the United Kingdom, Europe, Mexico and Australia. Prichard grew up in New Zealand and holds a Bachelor of Arts in writing from George Fox University.