2021.07.07

イッシー&ウキコの
教えて!山のワンダー Lesson 9and wander journal #29

そろそろ山で泊まりたい

It’s About Time to Spend a Night in the Mountains

kaikai

You know what, I often go hiking in the mountains recently. Don’t you think I deserve a compliment?

tateishitateishi

Y…yeah, you’re doing a great job, Ukiko.

kaikai

Uh-huh. So, I think I’m ready to challenge myself and spend a night in the mountains soon.

tateishitateishi

That’s fantastic. Then first, you need to figure out whether you want to stay at a cabin or camp out in a tent.

kaikai

Considering the fact that it will be my first overnight hike, cabin-stay would be a less troublesome option, wouldn’t it?

tateishitateishi

That’s right. If you bring everything in your day-hike packing list, you’ll have no problem. They will often prepare the meals for you and provide accommodation with beds or futon. One thing you have to keep in mind is that due to COVID-19, some cabins may ask you to bring your own bed sheets. So, make sure you check them beforehand.

kaikai

I see. It’s almost like staying at a hotel.

tateishitateishi

Almost, but not quite. Many of them have no showers, and even if you bring things like soap and toothpaste, you will probably end up not using them.

kaikai

I wouldn’t be surprised if the cabins didn’t have a sewer. In that case, I’ll take the wet wipes with me. That’ll do for a one-night stay.

tateishitateishi

It’s better for you to spend a night in the mountains rather than a day-hike if you don’t want to walk a long way in a single day and also save your stamina. However, one night cabin stay can cost about 9,000 yen (80 USD) including 2 meals, so if you’re tight on money, I recommend camping in a tent. Camping fees only cost around 1,000 yen (9 USD), and you can buy a pretty good solo tent for about 50,000 yen (450 USD), so you can easily get your money’s worth.

kaikai

I would have to prepare myself physically and bring more equipment for the tent camping option, right?

tateishitateishi

It will definitely be tough compared to cabin stay, but that’s what makes it so attractive and enjoyable. Basically, you’ll be spending over 24 hours out in the nature of the mountains, and this means you need to bring appropriate clothes to prepare yourself for the temperature difference, unlike the cabin option.

kaikai

Sleeping gear, utensils including tableware and cutlery, and food… Since I need to pack more things, the total weight of the bag will naturally increase. I’m worried that it’ll be too heavy for women or hikers with less stamina.

tateishitateishi

Nowadays, there are many tents that weighs less than 1kg (2.2lbs), so if you can come up with a good idea, you can lighten your load. For example, wearing a hooded down jacket while sleeping in a simple compact sleeping bag. Combining different equipment may be effective for lightening your bag.

kaikai

That may be a good place to start from because I’ll bring my down jacket with me anyway. Basically, the down jacket will supplement or help boost the function of the sleeping bag.

tateishitateishi

Exactly. Finding an effective combination of your equipment is the easiest way to reduce the load.

kaikai

Do you have any more advice on what I can do to lighten my bag?

tateishitateishi

Do you cook, Ukiko?

kaikai

Um… hmmm. I’m good at making meat and potato stew.

tateishitateishi

Understood. You’re not the type.

kaikai

What?!

tateishitateishi

If you’re hiking in summer at low-altitude mountains, and if you just need boiled water, I recommend you take a soda can stove. It’s ultralight, unlike gas cartridge camping stoves, and you can take just the amount of fuel you need. This will lighten the load, and you won’t have to take any heavy gas cartridges.

kaikai

Wow! Congratulations, you’re officially an outdoor freak.

tateishitateishi

That doesn’t sound like a compliment to me.

Isshi イッシー

Plays the teacher role in this program. A 15-year experienced hiker who heads out to the mountains under the pretext of a “field test” every time he buys a new outdoor gear. A mid-career staff at and wander, who realized that he gained much more weight himself than the weight he succeeded to save over the past 10 years by lightening the gears.

Ukiko ウキコ

Plays the student role in this program. Although she is interested in backpacking trips, she is a new recruit at and wander and still has a lot to learn. Fluent speaker of English and well-versed in fashion but tends to get panicked when she hears too many technical outdoor terms.

text Takashi Sakurai
illustration Mizumaru Kawahara
translation Masumi Tokugawa