Cross Country Magazine Tuesday Tip

This week's tip is from writer Andy Pag. In the latest issue of Cross Country magazine he discovers what it's like to compete in a gruelling mini-X-Alps event.

Preparing for your first hike-and-fly event

Inspired by the Red Bull X-Alps and think you might give hike-and-fly competition a go? I did the Bornes to Fly in May – here's a quick checklist of things I learnt as a first-timer.

  • They always say the best wing to use for hike-and-fly is one you're familiar with. You need to launch from tight spots and land in even tighter ones.
  • The cold and the climbs sap your calories so you must keep your energy levels up. Pros might use gels and carbs drinks, I used biscuits and sandwiches.
  • You need a comfortable pair of waterproof hiking boots for tramping through snow.
  • Light gloves cure blisters from the hiking pole straps.
  • For protection against the cold, wind and sun I used a balaclava, brimmed hat and a lightweight open-face helmet.
  • Get a fold-away poncho. It covers you and the glider bag so it doesn't absorb the rain and weigh you down with dampness.
  • You can expect to drink 3-4 litres a day so a waterbag is essential.
  • Hiking poles are a must. Bring a plastic bag to pack the muddy wet ends when you stow them for flight.
  • Use a plastic bag to pack your dry clothes, especially socks. Rain soaked or sweaty feet get blistered.

Read Andy's article: If you don't already subscribe to Cross Country, you can take advantage of the last day of our Red Bull X-Alps promotion and claim your free digital copy of the latest issue. Offer ends 24 July. Information at

Chrigel being interviewed at the end of the 2013 Red Bull X-Alps