Today’s an exciting hike because it’s overcast and might be raining. We weren’t sure if we’d dare to do the hike considering the weather, but it doesn’t look so bad, at least from the window of our kitchen.
While getting ready for the hike, I thought I’d write about just that; how to get ready for your hike. It’s become a bit of a ritual, and it’s all about planning so you can enjoy the hike from beginning to end! There’s nothing super complicated to work out, but once you’ve left for the hike, you don’t want to turn around, so it’s important to go through a check list. Also even though hiking isn’t meant to be stressful, or full of risks, some thought and planning ahead of time helps you make the most of it. I suggest to figure out details such as where the trail starts, where it ends, how long the hike could take, and what the terrain will be like (lakes, forests, lots of suburb). This gives you an idea when to ride the train to the trail head, when to expect to ride a train home, if there is time to hang out during or at the end of the hike and catch a later train, etc.
So, assuming you have a mobile phone, and a good backpack here’s my preparation recommendations.
1. Choose your trail: I still rely on Wander Kompass. To see the distance, expected time, and start and end points.
2. Get an overview: I like to checkout the trail geography in more detail with Google Maps
3. Find the train schedule for the start and also the end of your hike with bahn.de
4. Make sure you have enough day light! TimeandDate.com is a good site for this. Assume you don’t want to be finishing in the dark, try to end the hike 30-45 minutes before sunset.
5. Pack a lunch! Probably my favorite part, figure out what you’ll eat along the way and pack a bag!
In addition to some food, I think snacks like nuts and dried fruit, a candy bar, and water all make good consumables. Also don’t forget your camera and a book to read on the train to and from your trail head!
6. Lastly, make screenshots of the hike. Since your phone may not have service through the entire hike, I suggest to load the entire map as plotted on WanderKompass.de and make screen shots of the hike from an zoom level that allows you to see details like, turns in the trail, street names, bridges and other milestones. Here are the screenshots I made for the hike today:
So that’s it! If you have any suggestions let me know by sending an email or writing a comment.