If you have decided to conquer the peaks of the Caucasus and your first step towards preparing for a mountain holiday is typing in a search engine “trekking holidays in Georgia”, Google will generously display Svaneti trekking tours in the top search results.
Let’s find out what makes this area special and how to prepare for trekking in Georgia.
Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti is a region in the western part of Georgia where you can enjoy a beach holiday on the Black Sea or go hiking in the Caucasus mountains. It is known for its jaw-dropping mountain landscapes, rich culture, and warm hospitality. The climate varies from subtropical to subarctic (Dfb). The night temperature in the mountains in summer can get down to +3-+5 °C, while during the day it can get quite hot. The weather in the mountains is changeable, and it can rain even during the drought period.
A typical Svaneti scene: herds of cattle graze on a mountain pasture.
That’s why it’s important to pack a raincoat, a backpack rain cover and a membrane jacket with you. At the same time, don’t leave out a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (minimum 40) and a bathing suit (on hot days, refreshing mountain lakes will be so tempting to take a swim in!). The complete list of recommended equipment can be found in section What to Pack.
Now, let’s dwell on some important details.
Tent. For trekking in Georgia, you need a double-wall tent. Because of the considerable temperature fluctuation, there will be a lot of condensation on the walls, and you don’t want it to get inside your tent, which would be the case with a single-wall tent. The optimal weight of a tent is about 1,3 kg/person.
Sleeping pad. The optimal thickness of a sleeping pad is about 10 mm. Non-inflatable sleep pads are more practical, as there is no risk of an accidental puncture.
Sleeping bag. The optimal weight of a sleeping bag is 1,5 – 2kg and temperature comfort +2 and lower.
Plate, mug, spoon, knife.
Instead of a plate, you can use a 0,5-0,7 L plastic container with a cover. We don’t recommend taking plastic mugs as they are easily breakable. Instead, take a stainless mug (250-400 ml). What concerns the spoon, we advise taking a dessert one (a tablespoon weighs more). A knife is optional as only a few knives per group are needed.
Torch. Take a headlight, and make sure that the battery is new. There is no need to take spare batteries.
First Aid Kit. Take whatever medicine you may need and be sure to have plenty of adhesive bandages in case you develop blisters.
Passport and money should be covered in a waterproof case.
Shoes are of paramount importance on a trekking tour. We advise taking trekking boots that fix the ankle. Never take new shoes in the mountains. If you have just bought your boots, make sure you wear them for a couple of days and perform some activity like running or playing active games.
Insect repellant. We advise taking a spray that will enable you to spray it over clothes.
Make sure to pack your backpack as advised because your comfort, health and overall satisfaction with the tour depends a lot on your gear. Your physical fitness is not less important.
On a trekking tour, in Svaneti you will be carrying a backpack that weighs about 15-19 kg, that's why your physical condition is significant
While you don’t need to be a mountaineer to make the best of your hiking tour in Georgia, a good physical condition will make trekking easier and more enjoyable.
In case fitness classes, swimming or gym workouts are part of your daily routine, consider that you are fit for mountain hiking.
If your daily activity is limited to a walk from your door to your car and from your car to your office, some preparation is needed.
Do some cardio. If you spend 2 hours per week doing jogging, squats, cycling or running, you will find yourself prepared for hiking. Don’t miss any chance to walk. Take the stairs instead of an elevator. If possible, get to your work on foot or go for a walk every day.
The splendid mountains of Svaneti, the medieval villages included on UNESCO heritage list, pure nature with majestic icefalls, crystal clear mountain lakes and hospitable people will make your trip unforgettable. Pack wisely (remember that every 50 grams of weight matters), don’t forget about physical exercises – and you will make the most of your trekking in Georgia.