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Top 7 Hiking Tips and Tricks for Amateurs

How to maximize your hiking fun and comfort? Easy! You can instantly take your hiking game to the next level by following our 7 Tips and Tricks for Amateur Hikers. No matter if you’re a complete beginner to hiking, with these handy recommendations, everyone can take a step in the right direction!


Choosing a hiking trail

It may seem like a given, but choosing the right hiking trail can make a big difference to your comfort and enjoyment. It’s important to keep in mind that whilst you may easily walk 5 miles on flat, paved terrain – hiking a 5-mile track can suddenly feel a lot more taxing. When in doubt between different routes: always pick the shorter one. It’s better to finish a trail with some energy left than to completely exhaust yourself when you still have several miles to go. Several other factors can influence the difficulty of your hikes, such as elevation and the type of terrain. For example, a trail that has 1000 feet of elevation game, can easily take an hour longer than a similar route with no elevation change. Fortunately, most hiking trails come with markers or indicators of their difficulty level (like those listed via the National Parks website). If you’re an absolute beginner or have limited hiking experience, choose a walk listed as ‘easy’ or ‘moderate’. Sometimes it’s good to be optimistic, but when it comes to picking a hiking trail, it’s much better to be realistic. You can always choose a slightly longer or challenging route for the next time if the hike turned out to be ‘too easy’. Practise makes perfect, so test and improve your hiking skills with routes that match your experience level.

Only bring the essentials

The weight of your backpack directly influences your comfort level. In this case: the lighter your pack, the easier it will be to complete your hike. This is why we recommend to only pack the essentials. What these essentials are, depends on various factors. These include where are you hiking (terrain), the weather and temperature, how long is your hike, will you camp overnight, and are you hiking solo or with a group?

For example, if you’re going on a day hike in summertime, and the weather forecast is blue skies, you won’t need a rain poncho, tent, or sleeping bag – but will need quality sunscreen. However, if you’re going on an overnight hike in autumn, and the forecast is dreary and rainy, you’ll need quality Camping Gazebos tents with a rainfly and that poncho – but can probably leave the sunscreen at home. Or, to give another example, if you’re hiking a popular trail in peak season, the chances are very slim you’ll get lost or be without help in case you sprain an ankle. That said if you want to do a solo hike in the off-season, and venture off the beaten track, you may need to pack emergency gear like a compass, an emergency flare, or even a power bank to recharge your phone in case you need to call for help.

Think carefully about where you’ll be hiking, do your research, and ask other hiking enthusiasts what they would consider the basic must-haves for the hike you want to do. Pack light, pack smart, and only bring the essentials!

Pack some snacks

Energy SnackNo matter if you’ll be hiking for an hour, or a full day, always make sure to pack some snacks! Snacks are a great way to top up your energy on the go and treat your taste buds at the same time. That said, not all snacks have the same effect on your energy level, and some may even cause you to feel sluggish and lethargic. Avoid overly sugary snacks, like candy bars. Yes, sugar can boost your energy quickly, but this boost is quickly followed by a dip in your body’s blood sugar, which can make you feel tired and groggy. Instead, choose a healthier snack that provides energy for hours, not minutes. Examples are bananas with peanut butter (a great source of protein and healthy fats, nuts, trail mix, and raw veggies such as cauliflower and carrots. Before you set off on your hike, make sure your snack supply is within easy reach (your jacket pocket) and already prepped into bite-sized portions. That way, you won’t have to stop and can simply enjoy your snack on-the-go: ideal for when you need an energy top-up. Oh, and don’t forget to bring enough water to wash down those snacks with – as proper hydration is equally important!

Get off on the right foot

The quickest way to ruin your hiking fun? Wearing the wrong hiking shoes. Whilst some trails allow you to get away with a pair of regular sneakers, we’d always recommend upgrading to a specific hiking shoe and/or boot. Proper hiking footwear offers multiple benefits: including cushioning, arch-support, ankle-support, breathability, and odor-control. Furthermore, a hiking shoe has more traction and grip on slippery terrain, allowing you to keep firm footing – even on wet undergrounds. If you want maximum grip, choose a hiking shoe with an extra-deep lug pattern on the sole: as this will help you keep stable and secure – even on the most challenging undergrounds like loose rocks. Another tip: if you do buy a pair of new hiking shoes and/or boots, make sure to ‘break them in’ before you go hiking. Whilst some shoes are made of supple leather that offers instant, out-of-the-box comfort – other designs made of stiffer leather or materials can take a while to properly break-in. Wear your new shoes around the house, and give the material some time to ‘supple up’.

Dress for success

Always pack a good rain coatBesides the right footwear, you should also invest in the right outfit. When it comes to hiking, your outfit can make a big difference in your overall comfort. Wear the wrong clothes, and you could be too cold, too wet, too warm, or simply too restricted: which are all things you want to avoid. What clothing do we recommend? Well, that depends on the weather, the intensity of your hike, and the terrain. The easiest way to ensure you’re prepped for anything is layering – a golden rule for any avid hiker. Layering hiking clothing allows you to simply take off a layer when warm, or add a layer when cold. You always start with a base-layer: which is often a slim-fitting shirt and/or leggings, made of breathable and moisture-wicking materials. Then you can add multiple mid-layer, for example, t-shirts, sweaters, and jumpers. You finish your outfit with an outer-layer like a hiking jacket or a wind blocker. You can simply mix and match layers based on the weather forecast and season. In summer, a base-layer could already be enough to keep you comfy, whilst in harsh winter conditions, you’ll need all the layers you can get. Whichever layers you decide on, try to avoid cotton and other cheap synthetics. Cotton is not moisture-wicking, meaning that when you sweat, the fabric will stay damp and sticky. Instead, choose a material with natural breathability and moisture-wicking properties, such as merino wool. Dress for success, and invest in a proper hiking wardrobe!

Prep for emergencies

When hitting the trail, it’s always best to prep for the worst. Whatever type of hike you do, remember to bring a basic first aid kit with some medical essentials to deal with lesser injuries just as cuts and scrapes. When hiking through a dense trail or challenging terrain, minor accidents – just as cutting yourself on a prickly bush – can happen at any time. By packing some band-aids, gauge, disinfecting wipes, and medical tape, you have the basics at hand to patch yourself up, and keep going. If you’re planning a multi-day hike in backcountry terrain, also ensure you have access to an emergency whistle, a compass, and possibly a SPOT tracker (a device that you can use to alert help using a satellite signal). Oh, and don’t forget to always tell someone where you are going, and when you expect to be back: which is a must-have safety precaution. Be sure to read our Safety Guidelines, before your head out.

Leave No Trace

We’ll keep this last tip short and sweet: leave your hiking spot the same, or better, as you found it and carry out all your trash. We are big fans of the ‘Leave No Trace’ philosophy, where everyone does their bit to help keep the great outdoors great. Pack some disposal bags to keep your trash safely stored in your backpack, and dispose of it at home, or a designated bin. If we all do our part, we can keep nature clean and beautiful, allowing other hikers to enjoy it just as much!


This Guest Post was contributed by Caleb Cole from OutdoorCommand

Website Tools Review – Grammarly

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A Watch Tower from King Hezekiah period was exposed by IDF paratroopers

Soldiers and officers from the Paratroopers brigade and the Israel Antiquities Authority discovered the tower, which was apparently used to transmit messages through beacons.

Watch tower from the 9th century BCE in southern Israel
Photo courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

An observation tower from the days of Hezekiah the King was recently exposed in archeological excavations made by soldiers of the Paratroopers brigade. This is part of the activities of the “IDF Defense for Nature – Officers taking responsibility for the environment” project, led by the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Archaeologists estimate that the tower, which was built in the 8th century BCE, was established at a high geographic point and used to transmit messages through beacons.
The tower allows observation of the Hebron Mountains, the Judean plain and the surrounding area of Ashkelon that was an important town of the Philistine enemy. It was built of exceptionally large stones, some of which reach 8 tons and rise to a height of about 2 meters
About 150 soldiers and officers from the Paratroopers Brigade participated in the excavation over a period of several months. The project was established in 2014 with the aim of encouraging officers and soldiers to be actively involved in preserving the natural, landscape and heritage values in their surroundings. Today, 60 centers of activity operate throughout the country.

Israeli soldiers in the excavation
Photo courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

“The IDF, as a melting pot for the diverse Israeli population, is a unique meeting point for people from all parts of the country, through which environmental activities create a strong connection with them,” said Guy Salai, the project manager for Israel Antiquities Authority.

Spring in Northern Israel

Spring Journey 2019

16 days of a unique Hiking Journey.
Following the susses of the 2017 & 2018 Spring journeys Hiking festival, the 2019 journey will take place 22/3-6/4.

The participants will enjoy a life changing adventure, 16 days of unique hiking journey. Starting from mount Hermon  all the way down to the Sea of Galilee. The walk is together, but each one can walk in his own pace. The trails pass through streams and springs. mountains, hills and meadows. The Spring Journey, is a hiking adventure in the heart of the wild nature of the northern region of  Israel.
With people from all over the world, far away from the noisy city, busy roads and endless temptations. In the journey we will walk through untouched, challenging and amazing trails with beautiful spots and many springs and streams.

Above Hula Valley

Unique activities like jam sessions next to the fire, Yoga workouts next to the water, massage therapy, foraging workshop and more… , are mixed between the hikes.

Each week is divided into 5 days hiking and a weekend of relaxation, including a Shabat dinner.

A Logistic team will accompany the trek and will be carrying the personal equipment and big bags, and take care for food and additional needs.
16 days, 130 KM, 20 spring and streams, and one big love to the Nature.

Waterfall in the Golan

The price is includes all the logistic, food, concerts, massage therapy and workshops!

Registration for all the journey:  – 135 ILS per day

Registration for several days (minimum 4 days):  – 165 ILS per day

Registration for at least a week:  – 150 ILS per day

Details and registration: The Spring Journey

Israel Sea Trail - Hike along Israel mediterraneancoast line

Israel mediterranean Sea Trail

A Walking Trail From Rosh Hanikra To Kibbutz Zikim

The Israel National Mediterranean Sea Trail is an exciting new ecotourism initiative that adds a new element to Israel’s impressive line-up of epic nature trails. An opportunity for hikers to enjoy and hike long Israel’s beautiful coastline


Israel is a hiker’s paradise. The country is crisscrossed with recreational trails that feature historic sites, scenic landscapes, lush riverbeds and unique geological formations. From local routes that are suitable for family outings to more demanding epic trails that are
perfect for seasoned hikers, Israel offers a large variety of options for an avid and growing population of users. The Israel National Mediterranean Sea Trail is an
exciting new ecotourism initiative that adds a new element to Israel’s impressive line-up of nature trails-an opportunity for hikers to enjoy and hike along Israel’s beautiful coastline. Designed to attract Israelis and tourists from around the world, the 240 km (150 mile) long Sea Trail will begin at the white chalk cliffs and spectacular grottos of Rosh Hanikra in the north and extend to the sandy, golden beaches of Kibbutz Zikim
in the south. Along the way, hikers will visit a range of educational sites and experience Israel’s unique marine and coastal environment. The trail will feature
interesting shoreline bypasses not accessible to hikers, such as power stations
and ports. The new Israel National Mediterranean Sea Trail will serve as another bridge connecting Israelis and foreign visitors to the land, our history and our national heritage.

 

Map of the new Israel mediterranean coast trail
Proposed Map of the Trail

TimeTable:

Stage 1 – Formulating concepts; identifying and contacting potential partners; preparing a pilot trail in the Hof HaCarmel area; and producing marketing materials. (carried out during 2017).
Stage 2 – Establishing ties with local authorities, communities and governmental organizations to advance the project; securing funding for the project; developing website and the navigational apps for hikers; and launching the Hof HaCarmel pilot trail.
(to be carried out during 2017/2018).
Stage 3 – Preparing and establishing the trail along the whole. of the Israeli Mediterranean coast. (4 years).

The first 34 Kilometers (Near Haifa) of the trail will be marked during 2019!!

Get the taste of it with our Dor-Habonim Hike.

Typical scenery on the hiking trail
A cove near Dor Beach

For information about how you can support the Israel National Mediterranean Sea Trail project please contact Office of the Vice President for Resource Development and External Relations:
Tel: (04) 824-0093 | [email protected]
Prof. Noga Collins-Kreiner: [email protected]
Dr. Ellik Adler: [email protected]