Dienstag, 18. August 2015

HIKING



Hello again!

It's been a while since I shared something with you and I've been really looking forward to posting again! The last couple of weeks were full of work, work, work and some more of it plus an unusual long heat wave. Working on a home office basis, with temperatures up to 37°C (98°F) IN the apartment, sets you in a state of mind where you think your brain is melting and you can't get one thing done.

Finally, we have some rain and cooler weather, which enables me to write full sentences again. This is a little post about hiking. My boyfriend and I really love hiking and went on some tours this July. Hiking is a beautiful thing to do. The ascent is sometimes exhausting but once you are on top of the mountain you're rewarded with a beautiful view and the knowledge that you've just accomplished something. 



Of course you'll need a huge teaspoon full of motivation. Let me tell you how one of our normal hiking tours consist of:

Simon (taking pictures). "just look at the beautiful landscape!"

Me (trying to look good for pictures while sweating and trying to catch breath): "Hmh, yeah"

Simon (taking more pictures and enjoying the beautiful landscape): "Isn't that nice!"

Me (gave up trying to look good for pictures, because I am already exhausted and anyway, what's the point of it!?!): "How long do you think will it take us to reach the summit?"

Simon (stopped taking pictures to stare at me because we've just started 10 min ago): "Just a couple of hours"

Me (thinking): "Why? I could sit somewhere, drink coffee, read a book and just relaxe but no I'm running up a mountain, sweating - oh it's hot, I have to take my jacket off - now it's cold again! Need to drink some water - isn't it time for a break? Why? WHY??"




Simon (just looking at me, because he knows me for a good 9 and a half years, knows exactly what I'm thinking at the moment, knows that I will love it once where on top of this bloody mountain): "You ok?"

Me (seeing his look and suddenly remembering that really it IS beautiful, switching the bad thoughts off, survival mode on and just continuing walking until reaching the top of the bloody mountain): "Couldn't be better."




So you see, hiking is a fun adventure once you've overcome your inner couch potato. Preparation is one of the most important things when going on a hiking tour. It is important what you put in your backpack so that the tour isn't turning into a 'once in a lifetime experience - never do it again" thing. 

At one of our tours this year for example, we came across a family of three, soon to be four (not starting a discussion on hiking on a hot summer day while pregnant). The man was carrying the child (about 2 years old, no cap or whatsoever to shield the sun) up the mountain, while the woman had a backpack the size of a match box. We decided to keep an eye on them, as they didn't seem to be accustomed to hiking but soon lost track of them. A couple of days later we heard that the family had to be saved by helicopter, because their map was insufficient, therefor lost their way and stranded somewhere without proper clothing or enough water.

This is why I thought I'd share this little picture I made with you, listing the things that have to be in a backpack when hiking, regardless of weather conditions or lenght of the tour:




Water: Take enough water with you! I'm not speaking of carrying 10l around, but thirst is not a good companion for hiking!
First Aid Kit: Just think of blisters not to mention abrasions
Rain Jacket: No matter if the sun is shining and no cloud in sight: the weather in the mountains change quickly. Even if it doesn't rain, the jacket will be good to keep you from the cold winds blowing on top!
Map of trails: Always, always carry a sufficient map of the surrounding with you. You don't want to get lost like the family in my example.
Snack: It is unbelievable what one person can eat while hiking. Chocolate is a must, giving you energy and rewarding you for all the struggle.
Cap: You should always take a cap with you. It does not have to be woolen, but it is a nice shield for wind/rain/sun.
Headlamp: I'm sure you'll think why should I bring a headlamp when we're only going on a tour for about 2 hours in broad daylight? Just do it. Think of the family. 

I hope you liked reading about my experiences and checking through my tips. As we are always on the search for new adventures: What is your favorite hiking tour?




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