More than 25 participants came to today’s workshop at the DAV climbing centre “Unterwegs” in Bremen. When I set up the chairs before the start, I was worried that there might be too many participants. Would this perhaps be too much of a presentation rather than a workshop? Or, at the other extreme, too many questions that wouldn’t be relevant to everyone else?

It turns out – it actually fits well. I packed my backpack at home as if I were going on a tour from refuge to refuge. The individual parts are now on the table in front of us, and we start with what you wear on your body when you go on tour.

We discuss the pros and cons of hydration systems, folding bottles – and have a good laugh when a participant talks about a backpack with an external hydration system – which, however, could rather serve as a rain catchment basin.

Clothing, useful odds and ends (clothesline and outdoor soap!), first aid and cosmetics – we work our way to the usual refuge essentials: Cabin sleeping bag and towel. Good outdoor towels take up no more space than a child’s fist when rolled up and dry overnight after showering – the damp terry cloth towels that you sometimes come across spread out on backpacks should therefore be a thing of the past.

And after everything has disappeared back into my 26 liter backpack, the last question about hiking stuff has been answered and the room has cleared up, it is time to bring the donation piggy bank back to safety. Instead of a contribution towards expenses, the participants have donated generously for the renewal of the ropeway for material to the Bremen Refuge. For this, a heartfelt thank you to all participants!

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