Hiking The Lycian Way, Turkey

Turkey is an oft overlooked destination when it comes to hiking holidays. But the varied landscape and long-distance routes on offer in this amazing and historic country make it the perfect place to strap on those walking boots and get out there into the great outdoors. Perhaps one of if not the best hike in Turkey is that which takes you along the Lycian Way, an over 500km way-marked trail along the country’s Mediterranean coast between Oludeniz and Antalya. The mild temperatures mean that this route can be walked year-round, even during the winter. The summer can get too hot though and the route is most pleasant in Spring or Autumn. The Sunday Times called this walk one of the ten most beautiful long-distance hikes in the world.

Walking the whole of the Lycian Way is quite an undertaking. The route is graded medium to hard, and it usually takes around a month to walk. Of course it is entirely possible to walk a smaller section of the walk to take in some of the highlights if you do not have enough time to walk the entire thing. Even walking a small section will give you some insight into the Lycians – the ancient culture which once controlled this region. The route was the brainchild of an Englishwoman, Kate Clow, a passionate walker and conservationist. She said that she wanted the route, which she conceived and helped to create in the 1990s, to give people a little insight into what this coastline would have been like a thousand years ago.

It is possible to walk this route independently or to go as part of a tour, or with the help of a company who will transport your baggage for you from one hotel, guesthouse or village house to the next. If you are of a more independent bent then it is very easy to find wild camping spots near sites where you will be able to replenish your water supply.

There are many highlights on the route. You may choose the mountainous alternative route and go inland to climb Mount Olympos, where staggering views are to be had. Still, the coast yields plenty of highlights including the ruins and beach at Patara, the harbour, sunken ruins and castle at Ucagiz, and a swim in the Goynuk canyon. Further round the coast you will find the ancient ruins of Olympos and Phaselis and the wild, beautiful Gelidonya Peninsula with a lighthouse and a graveyard of ancient ships. Be sure to take a slight detour to see the Chimera, an eternal flame that has inspired myth and legend. The coastal stretch between Kas and Uchaz is particularly pleasing and scenic and the walk through cedar forests between Mira and Finike has particularly fine views.

Really there are too many highlights to be able to name them all. Beauty without crowds, glorious views of the Mediterranean, captivating historical and cultural sites, and friendly, laid-back locals all make this route a pleasant way to spend a hiking holiday.

Adventure Travel Fun – Hiking in Switzerland

One agent from every retail office across Canada recently accompanied Trek Holidays’ President Allan Ronneseth on the Explore Worldwide trip “Hiking in the Bernese Oberland”. It turned out to be a great trip with a brilliant mix of activities for all fitness levels, beautiful scenery, good shopping and plenty of optional excursions and time to relax.

We joined the group in the quaint village of Kandersteg. Nestled below the lower peaks of the Bernese Oberland, this is pretty much a one-street-town lined with chalets, hotels and restaurants and little traffic. We used Kandersteg as a base to hike to Oeschinensee, a pretty alpine lake at an altitude of 1580 metres, about a 500 metres climb from the village. This was a warm up day to give us a taste of what the degree of hiking was.

As it turned out no one had any real issues with this and some of us decided to extend the hike with a circuit on top of the cliffs overlooking the lake, while some relaxed in the sun enjoying a well-deserved beer. Day three of the trip saw us hike from Kandersteg to Kiental, another quaint village (as a matter of fact all villages in the Bernese Oberland seem to be extremely quaint!) in the next valley. The hike took us through forests and alpine meadows which, in summer, are covered in carpets of flowers. Towards mid-afternoon we topped out on a ridge separating the Kandersteg and Kiental valleys and enjoyed some wonderful vistas. We followed a trail down to the cable car station and descended about 1000 metres into Kiental. Cable cars, funicular railways and rack-and-pinion railways abound in the area, allowing you to hike at altitude and enjoy some real mountain scenery without putting too much effort in. At the same time, if you do not want to take the trains or cable cars, you can follow one of the many hiking trails up the mountain and make your day as strenuous as you want.

We stayed in Kiental for one night at a local hotel, quite typical for the type of hotels Explore uses in Switzerland. Some rooms had private facilities, while others shared, but always the rooms and bathroom were clean and comfortable and the service very friendly.

Our tour leader knew the area well and in the next days amended the itinerary such that we saw the best of the area. The first major change saw us take trains and a cable car from Kiental to First, a station at 2168 metres above sea level. The views into the valley as one ascends are fantastic, but on this day clouds obscured them on the last portion of the ride. The weather did not stop us from hiking to a mountain hut at the top of Faulhorn, another 500 metres higher. Enveloped in fog and with temperatures near zero, we enjoyed the warm surroundings and hot food here.

The afternoon was optional and some of us hiked down in to the valley to shop, while some of us continued their hike along the mountain range that separates the Grindelwald and Brienz Valleys. In good weather the views over the lakes around Interlaken would have been stunning, but even in the fog the atmosphere was exhilarating, with rocky outcrops and steep drops looming in the ever changing clouds.

Another day we took a rack-and-pinion railway to the ridge above Lauterbrunnen and hiked the beautiful high route to Muerren. Hiking on the west side of the valley we enjoyed spectacular views of Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau, some of the highest mountains in central-Switzerland. Our picnic lunch, which Explore provided and like on other days had a great variety and amount of food, was had on a spur opposite these beautiful peaks and overlooking the deep valley below.

One optional excursion no one should miss is the train ride to Jungfraujoch, at 3573 metres Europe’s highest station. Perched on the snowy ridge between Monch and Jungfrau, the station offers spectacular views all the way into France and Germany to the north and over the Aletsch glacier stretching away to the south. One can partake in some winter activities that makes any self-respecting Canadian giggle, but one good walk would take you onto the glacier or a nearby viewpoint.

Some of us couldn’t get enough of hiking and decided to throw in one last great hike, along the foot of the famous Eiger North Face. Considered unclimbable for many years, Eiger and its adjoining peaks loom high above you and this hike really lets you appreciate the sheer scale of these mountains.

The Bernese Oberland truly is an area with lots to do and see for people of all physical abilities. Take the Hiking the Bernese Oberland trip if you want a mix of scheduled and optional hikes, or Explore’s Alpine Trails if you want to visit this and other great alpine regions (like Mont Blanc and Matterhorn) on a strenuous trek.

Nude Hiking in a National Park – Know Before You Go!

Nude Hiking in a National Park – Coronado National Forest

National Parks may have secluded areas where nude hiking is totally possible – even frequently occurring. Of course, one must be cautious not to offend visitors that do not appreciate nudity or who might even dial 9-1-1 to report your activity. But if you chose areas where nude hiking typically occurs, the hikers you encounter will probably be as nude as you.

If you are among the many that like to get-back-to-nature by finding a remote (spelled private) area where you can take your clothes off and meander au naturel through the outdoors, there are many hidden places around America where you can make this happen.

Unlike Europe, our American Puritan instincts make outdoor nudity more difficult in the United States, but one of my favorite spots for nude hiking is located at Tanque Verde Falls. It’s been a popular naturist area for many years.

Tanque Verde is just east of the city of Tucson, Arizona in the Coronado National Forest. After leaving the pavement, a dusty road takes you into the park and to an area where naturists take it all off. Although I don’t recommend it, some visitors do hike nude from the parking area to the popular spots.

A note of caution: Tanque Verde Falls is situated in a narrow canyon. At the north end of the canyon, the rocky terrain flattens out and becomes a giant funnel that feeds sudden rainfall into the canyon. After a heavy rain (which may seldom occur at Tanque Verde itself), the water levels can rise rapidly, and few people have the strength to swim in the currents. There are reports of several hikers who have been swept to their deaths in an unexpected surge. So have a quick exit route planned out before you become sleepy in the day’s sunshine.

As you hike into the canyon, the first naturist area will be found where the falls is located. In a dry season, the cliffs are about 30 feet tall. These become the location of waterfalls when water rises as mountain snows melt or heavy rain falls upstream. Otherwise, typically there is a sandy beach or large flat rocks to sunbathe on. This area is the easiest to access and is frequented by straight singles and couples.

Gays and lesbians generally hike about half a mile further up the canyon following well-beaten paths to an area above Tanque Verde Falls itself. Descending the main path is not difficult, but it’s a steep climb down, and presents a more demanding climb out of the canyon after hikers are tired from exposure to the hot sun.

Once you have reached the riverbed, off with the clothes – keeping your hiking boots on. (I recommend you take an old pair of canvas walking shoes since you may have to wade through some pools of water a foot deep.)

This area is like a Garden of Eden in the middle of the desert. Just be sure to pack water and perhaps some beer or wine. And don’t forget a sandwich or snacks. There are no services nearby.

Enjoy yourself. But beware of nature’s dangers. I’ve been watched by a rattling rattlesnake, and I once almost stepped on a hissing gila monster. You will observe white frogs, beautiful song birds and birds of prey, and of course many saguaro cactus among other desert plants and flowers.

Have a naked hike!

Categories of Camping Tents

Before you could certainly proceed on your future adventure for holiday or vacation to the famous outdoors you ought to ensure that you have all the suitable camping gear to make the special occasion remarkable and memorable. Going camping is a stupendous encounter as well as the one that is embraced by individuals of various age groups. Being perfectly equipped will allow you to enjoy your outdoor adventure.

Regardless of whether you are venturing into the great outdoors or staying at a structured campground, an appropriate camping tent needs to be at the very top of the checklist. They come in a dizzying range of models, designs, and sizes. It’s extremely important you ultimately choose a camping tent that is designed to have capacity for the number of individuals who are planning to doze off under the roof. In some cases it might be more comfortable to have multiple tents which also allows for additional storage space.

You should consider using a tent pad which is made of a strong suitable material that will prolong the life of your tent. The tent pad should be smaller than the tent footprint to prevent water running inside. Try and avoid walking with shoes and heavy hiking boots on inside the tent because it damages the tent pad and tent floor.

Prior to starting your hunt for the perfect tent, have an idea what amount you’re willing to invest. Also consider the environment you plan on camping in as well. Tents with good tent pads and a footprint will give the best service to its user. The end results will be impressing with or without rain.

Camping tents are categorized by using three ratings: three season tent, four season tent, and all season tent. The three season camping tent is ideal for spring, summer and fall. They can hold up in moderate weather including light snow, rain and the wind. These tents most often have mesh panels for ventilation as well.

The four season tent is ideal for extremely chilly temperatures, heavy snow and strong winds. The four season tents are made of thicker, and more durable fabric which make them weigh more also. Something you will need to consider if you are backpacking.

Apart from the periodic classification, you will find backpacking tents and ordinary tents. Backpacking tents are easily portable which makes them fast and easy to set-up. The largest sized backpacking tent I would suggest is probably a three man tent. This could certainly give two individuals sufficient room for sleeping and storage as opposed to having a larger one which might be too heavy to carry in your backpack.

What’s the most appropriate dimensions of a camping tent (not a backpacking tent)

The size and weight of a camping tent doesn’t really make a difference, as long as you’re capable to carry it from your car or truck to the camping area and it accommodates in your vehicle along with all of your other camping supplies. Camping tent capacity is founded on the number of individuals who can comfortably doze off inside the tent. Take for example, a standard two man tent will fit in two individuals and most likely have very little space for storage. A reputable principle is to always purchase a camping tent which holds a capacity rating of two people in excess of the

number that will be utilizing it. This will create additional space to extend a bit and store your gear equally.

In the event that you’re carrying out family camping, the multi-room tents operate awesome. Multi-room tents are available in 2-room fashions, where the accommodations are segregated by an inside camping tent wall with a zippered doorway. The 3-room model has the two rooms, as well as an additional screen room, which is perfect for storage and for changing clothes, playing games, etc. Family cabin tents are perfect when you have small children.

More features to lookout for are:

A rain-fly to keep the rainwater off

Folded seams and even double stitching to help keep the rain out

A waterproof tub surface also keeps water out

No-see-um meshing to keep insects away

Strong zippers that withstand with constant utilization

When it rains while you are camping or perhaps your camping tent is moist once you strike camp, you should layout the tent in the yard to air-dry it out whenever you get home. This assists protection against mildew together with fungus. Clean and dry tents promote good health to the user.

Packing a Backpack

Packing a backpack is not rocket science but it does require some attention to details if you want to avoid minor frustrations like having to stop and dig something out of the bottom of the pack.

While there are some variable to consider like climate, duration of your trip, type of backpack you own and a few others, there are some basic principals for packing a backpack that you can adapt to practically any situation.

First, pack for comfort. One factor that greatly affects your level of comfort while backpacking is the weight distribution of your gear. Basically, you want the heavier gear in the middle of your pack. Also, make sure the total weight of the backpack is evenly distributed on each side.

Second, pack for accessibility. Make sure that the items you need more often are easier to get to. A good plan is to pack in layers starting on the bottom with your sleeping bag, followed by your tent, then your bedroll, cooking gear, toiletries, first aid kit and, finally, food.

Your clothes can be packed according to the need to balance the weight of your gear. If the heavy equipment is too far down, add some clothes underneath it, otherwise, place your clothes on top.

Besides the top of your pack, use the side pockets for things you need to grab quickly. Some of these items might include your rain gear, snacks, water bottles, insect repellent, maps, gloves, etc.

Another accessibility issue deals with gear that goes together. Pack items that are used for similar purposes near one another in your backpack.

Finally, pack for prevention. Pay special attention to the following tips so that you an avoid ruining your gear. Keep plastic and loose fabric away from zippers. If caught, you run the risk of damaging your gear, breaking the zipper or both.

Keep anything that has liquid contents upright and, if possible, in a hermetically closed bag. Any hazardous materials or products that could stain your clothes or destroy your food should be packed in outer compartments.

There are two final tips that make packing a backpack an easier task. One, begin early. Give yourself plenty of time. You are more likely to forget important items or pack badly if you are under pressure to get it done quickly.

The second tip is to make a list of all the items you want to pack in your backpack. Once completed, prioritize the items. Include essential gear at the beginning of the list and stuff you would like to take but are necessary towards the end.

When you start the packing, begin with item number one. Go down the list until your backpack is either full or reaches a weight that you are comfortable with.

Now you’re ready to hit the trails.