To the mountains light: steep hikes with a small backpack

To the mountains light: steep hikes with a small backpack

Travelers can be divided into two large categories – those who love cities, and those who are much more interested in going to nature, away from civilization. During a hike, you can climb somewhere higher in the mountains or go deeper into the forest, admire sunsets on a deserted ocean shore, count the stars where they are not extinguished by the lights of the big city, wake up at dawn in a tent, brush your teeth in the river and smile at the sun while listening Birdsong. But what to do if you don’t want to carry around a huge 80-liter backpack with a tent, sleeping bag, pots and a week’s supply. Fortunately, there is a middle ground, and you can go camping for several days almost lightly. Today we will tell you about a couple of such options.

Three days on a volcano in Indonesia

To the mountains light: steep hikes with a small backpack

In the backpack: warm clothes and snacks

One of the highest volcanoes in Indonesia is called Rinjani and is located on the island of Lombok. Its rather impressive oval-shaped crater, 6.5 by 8 kilometers, houses a small, slightly smoking nozzle, a huge lake and hot springs. From April to December, that is, during the dry season, when there is little precipitation, residents of the Senaru region at the foot of the volcano organize a three-day trek for tourists to the top. Groups are small, up to 8 people per guide, and the beauty of the hike is that tents, sleeping bags, water, food and burners are carried by porters,

you only need to take with you warm clothes and snacks, for example, nuts, dried fruits and chocolate.


On the first day, you are taken to the starting point by minibus, introduced to the guide and sent on a hike. Two hours along the hills with a slight upward slope, lunch, about three more hours along an already quite steep slope, and right by sunset you find yourself on the edge of the crater, above the clouds. At this moment, it is important to immediately remove wet clothes and put on dry ones; as soon as the sun goes down, it will become very cold. While you are spending the day admiring the scenery, the porters are already setting up tents and preparing dinner, after which, over tea, you can view the trillion stars of the Milky Way. Then there are two options: you can sleep until the morning, or you can get up at 3 am and meet the dawn at the highest point of the volcano, walk about one and a half kilometers to it, but the last 300 meters are an almost vertical wall of volcanic sand, the climb along which is one step forward, two steps back. To tell the truth, the view is not much different from the one that awaits you at the place where you spend the night, so this is more of a test for those who want to test themselves. Breakfast on the second day is prepared around 7 am, after which the descent into the crater begins. Literally a couple of hours, and you are already below, on the shore of the lake, ahead of you is a day of relaxation in nature. A refreshing swim in the lake should be alternated with hot baths at nearby springs, and in the evening, make a fire and tell stories. On the third day you will have to walk a lot: up to the opposite border of the crater and down to the foot, but going down from this side is easier, it turns out to be an intense walk through the forest with a break for lunch.

Trekking poles will be useful on such a hike; the ascents and descents are steep in some places, so an additional support point will not hurt. Comfortable shoes, warm pants, a sweater and a jacket – that’s all you need to take with you. The tour can be booked in advance by arranging a transfer from the airport or port, or you can come by your own car and reduce the price. The cost varies from $100 to $200 per person and depends on the season and your bargaining ability.

Hike to the mountains of Krasnaya Polyana

To the mountains light: steep hikes with a small backpack

Photo: Stepan Artemyev

In the backpack: warm clothes, food

There are cool hikes to the mountains “light” in Russia, for example, in Krasnaya Polyana. A simple and pleasant route to the Bzerpinsky cornice can be completed in one day, or it can be stretched into three, adding a hike to the lakes and glacier. First you need to climb from the village of Esto-Sadok along the Alpika-Service GPP cable car to a height of 1660 meters. It takes about half an hour, and from the cabin there is a stunning view of the gorge and Rosa Khutor. The walking route starts right from the cable car station: a short gravel road runs through flower fields and leads into a fir forest. The path climbs quite steeply through the forest, but does not take long, only an hour and a half, and you are at the Bear Gate pass, where there are comfortable benches, you can take a break and read information posters about the history of these places. After the pass, the road goes around the mountain at a slight slope, and here you are already surrounded by bright multi-colored meadows and small graceful birch trees. Literally an hour of this journey, and you will have a view of the valley where the tent camp is set up. It is thanks to him that you can go to the mountains with a light backpack – tents and sleeping bags are rented, and in the center of the camp there is a large tent with a kitchen, where there are burners and utensils. You don’t need to carry a lot of water either; a clean mountain stream flows right next to the camp. Even the “conveniences” are equipped here, so it’s practically an open-air hotel.


Leaving your things in the tent, you can then walk quite lightly: in the evening it’s worth climbing the Bzerpi peak and watching how the sunset rays illuminate the multi-layered perspective of the mountain ranges. The next day, waking up early will not be difficult, because by 7 o’clock the sun peeks out from behind the mountain and warms up the tent properly. After breakfast, again lightly, go to the lakes. The path winds through alpine meadows, crosses the Pseashkha pass and leads directly to the Dzitaku valley with several lakes and a relict sphagnum bog 6 thousand years old. The journey to the lakes takes about two hours, and the return journey is the same, so if you plan to return to the city on the same day, you need to keep an eye on the time, since the cable car only operates until 17:30. Those who like easy hikes should definitely stay an extra night.

You can go on this hike even in ordinary sneakers, but you need warm clothes for the evening and night, water for the trip and food for all days. The cost of the lift is 900 rubles, renting a tent and sleeping bag is 600 rubles per night per person, plus you need a permit to stay in the protected area, which is bought at the cable car station and costs 300 rubles per day.

The number of lovers of “easy” hikes is constantly growing, because having learned that you can climb into such beauty without making a lot of effort, anyone will want to go again and tell their friends. Such camps and organized hikes are not uncommon and exist in many cities and countries. Look for it, you won’t regret it!

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