Over the years, I have developed my morning routine while hiking – especially on the multi-day hikes:
- Wake up – the start of my morning routine. I usually go to bed early (see my full evening routine) and set my alarm rather early, usually matching the civil twilight – the limit at which twilight illumination is sufficient, under good weather conditions, for terrestrial objects to be clearly distinguished. That is enough to be able to cook and maximizes my time on the trail.
- Body check. I run through every part of my body as a routine check. How do I feel overall? How do my feet feel? My ankles? My calves? My knee? My upper leg, etcetera, etcetera. And then I especially check things that hurt the last day of hiking. How’s my sore knee doing, etcetera. Apply care when needed.
- Get warm. Get some clothes to keep me warm during breakfast.
- Check the weather. A quick look outside – how’s the weather. Check available apps, sites or other sources that will tell me what the day will look like (e.g. see my post on checking the weather for the Jordan Trail).
- Food. I cook my warm water for my breakfast and lunch (I store leftover cooked water in a thermos bottle) – see my separate posts on my favorite food on the trail and my food preparation routine and have my breakfast. I only use my pots for warming water, so I don’t have to clean them and I will wrap my trash in a trash compression bag.
- This day. While eating breakfast, I usually contemplate on the day ahead, as part of my morning routine. I take out maps and my notes I made beforehand (the day planning of the Jordan Trail gives quite a good impression of how I plan my days). How far will I be hiking? Will there be difficult parts because of navigation (no signage, difficult GPS, etc), terrain (steep climbs, difficult terrain) or other? Will I be able to reach my family at home? Are there resupply places for water or food? Etcetera.
- Hygiene routine. Embracing the stink is part of multi-day hikes, but I try to keep to my rigid hygiene routine, depending on the facilities near my camp.
- I’ll brush my teeth.
- Use special body wipes to freshen up or use available water nearby (or take a shower/bath in the rare circumstance there is one).
- When using the toilet (if there isn’t one available), I will dig a hole away from water sources and the trail (and snakes), drop my stuff and pack my paper/wipes in my trash compression bag.
- Nope, no number four. No deodorant, hair gels or waxing. You’re on the trail, silly.
- Pack my tent. I make sure my tent is packed first, ideally with as little sand/dirt as possible and dry – if not, I’ll pack it any way and pack it in a waterproof compression bag to keep the rest of my gear dry.
- Pack my gear. Pack my last pieces of gear:
- Repack my snacks, power gels, etcetera for the day so I can access them easily.
- Double check if I have enough water and if not, refill or plan on refilling later on the day (e.g. see my water planning for my Jordan Trail hike).
- Double check if the battery of my key electronics (GPS, phone, Garmin InReach Mini) are still ok and if not, recharge them in the first kilometer of my hike with my battery pack.
- Check in with my family. After issues I had with my connectivity on the Laugavegur trail (and my family was rather worried), I bought a Garmin InReach Mini and I prepared a standard message for when I would start hiking on a specific day. It sends my location and time of start, so they know I’m alright.
- Head out on the trail. Off for another great day on the trail.
That’s my morning routine. Are you missing something? Things you do on the trail?