Tag : hiking

john ward alone in the desert travel

Things To Know Before Going On A Hiking Adventure

There are many steps that a person can take before going on a hiking adventure, and by following all of these tips, a person can ensure that their hike is particularly safe and enjoyable.

john ward alone in the desert travel
The Area

A person should know the area in which they are hiking. If a group is hiking in a large national park or in a national forest, it’s easy to get lost, and if the group begins to take the wrong path, they can end up being in the forest for days.

Looking up the area on Google Maps is one way to get a good idea of the terrain and to memorize the locations of the major trails.

Bring A Compass

Many people rely on their mobile devices for directions, but there are two issues with using a mobile device to effectively navigate in a forest. First, it’s difficult for a mobile device to get a signal in a large national forest, and second, the batteries of most mobile phones go dead relatively quickly.

Instead of relying on a signal from a satellite or a battery, a compass is guided by the Earth’s magnetic field, and it can always help a person with directions.

Bring Water

Many people who go on short hikes fail to bring water, and if the person becomes lost, they may become dehydrated or be forced to drink water from a river.


If hikers get lost in the middle of the woods in a relatively cold climate, having matches is vital. The alternative method of starting a fire, which involves rubbing two sticks together in order to generate heat from the friction, can take hours.

A Tent

Hikers should always bring a tent if they are planning on staying in the forest in the middle of the night. A sleeping bag won’t deter animals, and it won’t provide protection against rain and snow.

Many companies that provide home insurance policies, such as the companies that offer quotes at HomeownersInsurance-Quotes.org, will give a free tent to each customer who signs up for a new policy.

Know How To Climb

Many national forests and parks have steep hills and valleys, and choosing to go around these valleys instead of climbing them can cause hikers to travel many extra and unnecessary miles.


Sometimes, hikers will have to swim across a relatively large river, and in the middle of the woods, there are few man-made bridges.

A hiker should bring a waterproof backpack to protect their supplies and gear while they are crossing a river.

Know The Animals

Hikers should know the animals that are prevalent in a particular forest before hiking it in.

In addition, hikers should know the steps for treating certain types of bites, such as a bite from a venomous snake, when they are many miles away from the nearest town or city.

Shoes With Cleats

Many people wear shoes that do not have cleats or heavy boots on their first hike; however, these types of shoes don’t grip the ground nearly as well as shoes that have cleats.

Shoes that have cleats will help a person to climb steep valleys and to traverse muddy ground more easily and more quickly.

When going on a hiking adventure, there are many steps to take. Some of these include knowing the area, bringing a compass, having several bottles of water, bringing matches, preparing to set up a tent, knowing how to climb, being prepared to swim, knowing the animals that are prevalent in the forest and wearing shoes that have cleats.

Categories: Blog, Inspiration, Natural Wonders, Packing

A guide to mountain trekking

Mountainous landscapes are always popular with hikers, as they present a challenge and offer some fantastic views as a reward for having scaled steep hills and towering summits. If you’ve never been mountain trekking before but are interested in this kind of walking, read our guide to the essentials.

Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 10.26.45 PM

The basics of mountain trekking

Trekking up and around mountains is typically challenging, as you’ll hike lengthy uphill trails, followed by steep downhill sections that can often prove just as tricky as going up! You need to be moderately fit if you want to head out on strenuous mountain hikes and, if you’ll be gaining altitude quickly or simply walking considerably above sea level, make sure you’re aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness and how to treat it.

Should you have a particular peak in mind for a hike, take the time to train for your ascent, especially if it will be something especially challenging like the walk to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Where can you go mountain trekking?

There are plenty of destinations all over the world where you can have a go at mountain trekking, with several peaks in the UK offering the ideal introduction to this kind of hiking. Snowdon in Wales and Ben Nevis in Scotland are just two examples of summits that are walkable and that have well-maintained trails leading to the top.

For serious mountain trekking, you’ve got destinations like Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the Nepali Himalayas and the Alps in Europe, to name just a few! If you’d also like to get off the beaten track when you book a hiking holiday, consider what Africa has to offer. For example, the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia are home to some stunning trails that are infrequently visited by travellers.

Closer to home, you have destinations like Turkey (where you can scale Mount Ararat), France (where you can hike in the mountains surrounding Mont Blanc) and Tenerife in the Canary Islands (where you can walk to the top of Mount Teide, Spain’s highest peak). Explore Worldwide offers guided tours to all of these locations and many more.

Equipment for mountain trekking

The level of specialist gear you’ll need to go mountain trekking safely will largely depend on where you’re planning to hike and how high. It’s essential to have a sturdy pair of hiking boots that’s comfortable to wear and provides support to your ankles. Many people also find walking poles useful for balance on steep up and downhill tracks, as well as to help you keep up a steady pace while you’re trekking.

You should also follow the old motto ‘always be prepared’ when you’re trekking in mountainous regions, as the weather can change quickly. Wear layers of clothing and always have a waterproof in your day pack. As with any longer hikes, make sure you have plenty of water and food with you as well.

Considerations when mountain trekking

One of the major considerations when trekking in the mountains is altitude sickness, which can occur when you’re walking in areas where there is less oxygen in the air than your body is used to. Typical symptoms include headaches, nausea, dizziness, tiredness and shortness of breath, among other things.

The best way to deal with it if it affects you is to simply descend, but if you’re keen to prevent it make sure you don’t plan any treks that involve fast ascents and build acclimatisation stops into your itinerary (or check that your tour operator does so).

Have you got any advice for people going mountain trekking? Let us know in the comments below.


Categories: Blog, Bucket List, Inspiration, Natural Wonders, Travel Tips

Camino de Santiago

5 Rural Regions of Spain to Not Miss

While cities like Barcelona and Madrid are excellent spots for metropolitan living, nightlife, art, and fine dining, there are a multitude of other opportunities in Spain. Getting out of the cities can add a whole new flavor to your holiday, and let you appreciate the authentic Spanish pace of life firsthand (hint: it’s slow, and it’s wonderful). Here are five great rural destinations across the breadth of the Spanish countryside:

1. Los Pueblos Blancos

The White Towns are a series of small villages in the hills of the Andalucían Spain. They are charming, slow-paced, and full of local color. From hilltop Zahara, with an ancient castle overlooking a reservoir, to cliffside Ronda, with an immense chasm running through the center, each has its own features. Public transport is difficult to obtain here, making tourists much more of a rarity than elsewhere. Rent a car and take as long as you want to explore these little pieces of heaven.

2. The Catalan Coast

While many visitors’ trips start and end in Barcelona, on the north end of this beautiful coastline, a wander down the entire stretch is very worthwhile. Peach orchards, olive groves, charming villages, and great seafood all greet the slow-moving traveler. Some companies, such as Headwater.com, offer non-challenging weeklong bicycling tours along this coast that allow you to take your time exploring and finding which is your favorite.


3. Basque Country

The northwest region of Spain gets surprisingly few tourists. This may be due to the history of attacks by Basque separatists against the Spanish government, but it is truly a safe place to visit. The culture is entirely unique, to the point that you’ll feel like you’ve entered an entirely different country (which locals would argue that really, you have). Food, music, language, and many other cultural identifiers differ from traditional Spanish norms, and you’ll get to appreciate the distinctiveness of this special region

4. Rural Tenerife

While the south is most often known for big cities, parties, pollution, and intriguing possibilities in transport to Morocco (do it, you won’t regret it), it’s also possible to escape all of that. There are beautiful hikes where you can find near total solitude outside of the tourist resorts. More white villages, protected forests, and great views wait for the adventurous.

5. El Camino de Santiago

This ancient pilgrimage route has become very famous in recent years with exposure from figures like popular author Paulo Coelho, but it is actually one of the oldest in the world. Walking or biking along the path, staying in converted monasteries and bunkhouses, and learning the significance of each church between A and B can be a very special experience. Forget the tour buses and nightclubs, and experience real countryside.


Any of these destinations offers a refreshing departure from the big-city life that so many visitors to Spain experience. Slow down, take more siestas, drink more wine, and eat more food. The Spanish way is perhaps the most relaxing approach to life, and this easily applies to travel as well.


Categories: Travel Tips