Unique Trek Experience – beginning

In July 2020 we organised a week trek between the Haute Ubaye (France) and Val Maira (Italy).

All the story started with a phone call from a friend who wanted to share an experience of mountain walking with his family, he asked us (as a travel agency) if we could organise a private trip for them.
After a while, it appears that our friend’s idea was to really make this trip special and experiment the wildlife side of it giving his family a total new way of travelling, different from what they usually do.
It quickly appears that they didn’t have enough experience to go by themselves for a week into the wild and we  decided to join them for an unforgettable trek !

So, we were now organising a trek for 4 adults and 7 kids, aged between 6 and 16 years old… challenging but so interesting!
Here the points that were to be considered:

  • each one’s physical hability:
    it was holiday so the first point was that everyone have a good time !
    2 mums, one tired by her work and end of school year and another one (myself) who had broken an ankle a year before and wasn’t sure to be able to walk seven days in a row.
    Kids; 6 boys aged between 12 and 16 and a girl of 10. All fit but with different interest in walking !
    2 ultra motivated dads (that helps !)
  • relative comfort : bivouac places with water points + a camp site for mid week break (a shower would be appreciated)
  • equipment: the other family had basicaly none so we went through everything : trek equipment, clothes, tents, camping equipment, food for 6 diners + 6 picnic lunches + 6 breakfasts for 11 persons…
    Vincent discover a tutorial “how made his own camping stove from a can” to be even lighter… because the main word was of course “light” : no one wants to have a 20kg backpack to carry around on mountain tracks !

Taking all these into account, Vincent choose the beautifull hamlet of Fouillouse as starting point. We love this area and we know it very well so it appears to be the best place to go. In addition to this, being at the French/Italian border would give us the pleasure to travel between two countries.

Fouillouse village

Then, started some numerous exchanges by emails/phone/text messages to co ordinate the supply of materials and make sure that we have every thing but not too much…

Here all we brought after a lot of thinking:
Camping equipment for the group: 4 tents + 4 plastic sheets to put under tents + 11 duvets & camping mats + 1 (very) small camping towel each + 4 camping stoves (2 home made using alcool + 2 gaz ones) + fire lighter + bowls + + water bootle in average 1,5l/pers + spoons + knifes + strings + bin bags to keep everything dry into backpacks + playing cards + first aid kit + radio

Home made camping stove

Food : 66 dehydrated meals for diners + dehydrated soups + numerous tea bags/coffee/hot chocolate sticks + cheese (being French impossible to travel without this!) : 20 small dry goat cheeses (thanks to our friends who produce them: link to their website: https://fermemaugarot.fr/) & 1 “Tome” cow cheese, heavy but so good for the mental health… Same for chocolate bars and sweets… Multicereals bread for 2 days (we could buy some at camp site in middle trek) – 4 saucissons (dry meat) – one family take the option to have for picnic also dehydrated food – peanuts & dried fruits – carrots –  cereals/muesli for breakfasts – water purification tablets.

Goat cheese from local farm

Clothes per person : 3 underwears – 3 socks (2 for walking and one warmer for the nights) – 1 walking trousers/short – 1 legging for night or if weahter cold under trousers – 2 short sleeve T-sheerts – 1 long sleeve T-sheerts – 1 micro fleece – 1 waterproof jacket – 1 duvet jacket – scarf – googles – cap – And that was all we were allowed !! These brings a lot of negociations while preparing bags but once on our back definitely happy with it ! and of course walking shoes. Most of the kids brought flip-flop which was a good idea when we stopped walking.

Clothes

Now we were ready !!

Next blog will be about the adventures during our walking days …

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