Taking a walk in the woods is among our favorite things to do once the weather is warm in our part of Europe. Our hikes range from shorter ones (8-10km) to much longer ones (we’ve been known to do 20km hikes!), but the tips & tricks below apply to any hike (or even a longer walk in the city), particularly during the warmer months.
1. No matter how hot it is, wear long trousers and long-sleeve t-shirts. The materials need to breath. You don’t want to scratch your skin or get any tics, do you? So, wear long trousers and long-sleeve t-shirts made out of material which breath and capture the sweat, leaving the skin able to breath.
2. Always wear a bandana. I used to wear one on my head only in direct sun, now I wear it from the second I leave home till the moment I get back. Seems to keep me out of trouble, even if I’m not staying in the sun.
3. Wear sunscreen on every inch of skin you don’t have fabric on. Yes: face, arms, ears, nose, cleavage. At least 35 SPF. You don’t want to burn, do you?
4. Water. In hot weather, drink 1/2 l every 1/2 h of walking. Headaches, even mild ones, are signs of dehydration. Ideally, you should drink water way before you feel thirsty.
5. Always pack some snacks. Both salty and sweet. When you sweat, you lose salt. Too much salt lost, you can get in trouble. So get some hard pretzels with you. You blood sugar levels will go down, too. Chocolate is the easiest fix. Fruits are the healthiest. Dried fruits and various nuts keep really well in the heat.
6. GPS. Or at least a map. I’ve got GPS on my smartphone which is pretty much for the purpose of tracking the exercise. But in an emergency, it’s also good to find my way. Be aware that GPS and 3G data traffic really drains the battery, so always carry another phone around. Or a power bank.
7. Torch light. Day or night, have a torch light in your backpack. You never know when you need it.
8. Swiss / Army knife. I asked Alex why he brought the Swiss knife with us and he said : “I never go in the woods without it”. Yeah, good idea. You never know when you need it.
9. Hand sanitizer. Wet tissues. Paper tissues. I’ve got a small hand sanitizer I carry in my purse and it’s extremely useful when you are in the woods and want to eat, for example. The wet tissues are good option, too. And you know what paper tissues double as, right?
10. If your hunch tells you to stop going further on a trail, stop and go back. Yup, that’s what I do: listen to my hunch. One one hike we did back in 2015, Alex’s hunch was a bit “faster” than mine, but either way, we listened to it. Better be safe than sorry.
11. Always follow the trail. Never stray away from the trail. If you cannot see the symbol anymore, go back to the last one you saw and follow your steps back from where you started.
12. Don’t litter. Seriously, don’t. Bring a bag with you for the purpose of gathering your litter. Get rid of it in specialized places.
If you plan to do a hike in Ceala Forest, Arad, you first need to get to Arad Airport. From there just continue onward via the bike path by the wood and follow the road to the left. First paved road to the right leads to the Balta Malataret ( a small lake) with a restaurant and made-made beach. Continue further and the road will make a left pointing to the visitors center. If you are lucky and there’s someone at the visitors center you can rent a bike or a boat to go on the river.
You can pack a picnic basket and enjoy a meal in nature. Or you can bring your barbecue and use the specialized and marked spots to start a fire. Please take care of the nature surrounding you!
>> don’t forget to bring your FitBit with you so that you can accurately track the exercise!