B

eware of the wind-chill factor when walking in France. Although you may be walking in southern France, don’t assume it never gets cold. With the exception of the Garrigues and the Mediterranean, you’ll be walking in a Continental climate. That means it can be quite cold early morning and when the sun goes down.

Here we outline the recommended 3-layers’ rule:


• First Layer – underwear, socks, t-shirt or shirt. They are next to your skin and so must dry quickly and evacuate humidity through your other layers. Cotton is to be avoided and replaced by polyester or mixed fibres.


• Second Layer – a good sweat shirt insulates you from the cold (and possibly wind) and allows your body to breath. Thickness used is a factor of anticipated temperatures for the day.


• Third Layer – waterproof jacket, with wind protection and breathability is the ideal balance.

Your Backpack

The size of your backpack will depend on the type of hiking in France you plan to do. A 20 to 35 litre pack is sufficient for your day-walking needs if on one of our France hiking tours which feature short, half-day hikes.

On the other hand, you should double this capacity for a full-day hike; especially where backpacking in France is concerned or where you choose to opt out of luggage transfers that would ordinarily be included in our walking holidays in France.

Remember, weight is enemy number one of the walker. The bigger you buy, the more you’ll fill it! It should not weigh more than 7 kgs empty. Try it before buying it, preferably with things inside, to check it fits your shape and size.

Only take what’s necessary! Pack your bag so…

  • The lightest is at the bottom – NOT AT THE TOP as you may assume;
  • The heaviest close to your back;
  • The bulkiest is in the centre, and
  • The indispensable is at the top.

Click to visit The French Hiker’s Guide to Holidaying in the Hexagon and France self-guided walking, trips, trails, places & themes.