How many pairs of socks do I pack?

TRAVEL TIP:  For a four day trek, pack one pair of good hiking socks for each day. Depending on the terrain and weather, choose socks that are best for the conditions. Including wool, or other insulating and moisture wicking material, and provide cushioning for support on the trail. Don’t forget to bring an extra pair for end of day added comfort in your mountain guest house.

Dear Venturer,

This week we are excited because we pack for a new adventure. Our small group heads to Albania to explore the region’s cultural highlights and trek for several days in the Albanian Alps. Afterward, we venture further off-the-beaten-path to Macedonia to rest for a few days at a lakeside retreat. 

Packing can be a fun challenge because the needs of each destination are different. It is a bit like a puzzle to analyze, edit and minimize the essentials of what is required for each trip.

As we prepare to hike for four days in the mountains of Albania, one question begs to be answered. How many pairs of socks do I need?

Previously on the third day of our trek in Morocco, I asked that exact question to our travelers and guides. Among other activities, that trip consisted of hiking for six to nine hours each day, for four days, in Tallasamante National Park. It was the last night before our last day of hiking and, my feet required some extra loving care.

So when I asked everyone out of curiosity, "How many socks did you bring for four days of hiking?" I was surprised by the varied answers which ranged from five, six and eight pairs. I had challenged myself to pack less on that trip with only three pairs. 

When packing, my goal is to bring as little as possible without sacrificing comfort. But, washing socks along the way is not always doable.

So, what is the answer?

Clean socks can be a little like Dorothy’s red shoes, from the Wizard of Oz, when hiking for multiple days in the mountains. Just put them on, click your heels, and discover a new world. I may have conquered on that trip the minimalists challenge of packing only three pairs of antimicrobial, moisture wicking hiking socks. But at the end of the day, I wish I had brought one more for a little extra comfort and magic.

Follow us next week on FaceBook and Instagram, as we explore a new area of the world on foot.

Happy Travels,
Lesley Ames
Chief Venturer, BonViage

Travel Q&ALesley Ames