Trekking and hiking have experienced a real boom in recent years. The spectrum ranges from week-long adventures in the distance, as with the Canadian friends Hailey and Hilary, to smaller adventures in Europe or right on the doorstep, which are often suitable for beginners with their well-walked and demarcated paths. Scandinavia, Southern Europe or even the Alps: Popular destinations are many.
The yearning for nature
Trekking is not only adventure, it is also the contact with nature, which is increasingly lacking by many city dwellers. The mountains, lakes and trails that trekkers discover are often particularly clean, clear and pristine. In order for this to last as long as possible, especially in times of global growth, it is in vogue to plan not only beautiful but, above all, sustainable tours.
This is what Runa (22) and Franz (27) did. The two Jenaers love and live sports and exercise, especially in the open air. Both come on five or six sports units a week. Franz is a rugby player and a passionate runner. Runa is a medical student, former handball player and counts almost all endurance sports as her hobbies. Nature and fresh air are naturally part of their lives. to. Even on the way to work Franz therefore makes a small detour through a nearby animal enclosure and is thus on the long day of office.
The Kungsleden in Sweden: Let the mind rest
In the summer of 2019, the two went on a three-week tour of the famous "Kungsleden" (German: "King's Path") in northern Sweden, one of the largest and most popular hiking trails in Europe. On a 450 km route and at altitudes of between 300 and almost 1,200 meters, this traditional route offers endless expanses, challenging stages and untouched nature. It goes through wetlands, over mountain passes or small lakes, which can be crossed by boat service or by knee-deep water wading.
The landscape around the Kungsleden is barren and untouched and is about 2/3 of the distance in 20-km intervals of small refuge and mountain huts lined, in which the hikers can spend the night. They were also landmarks for Runa and Franz, but the two slept exclusively in the tent, surrounded by birches and blueberries or in the open grassland.
It is precisely this "distance from civilization" that makes Runa especially relaxing. The focus in the daily routine is then on the little things, such as the biscuit in between or the view from the nearest hill, describes the 22-year-old the trip. Add to that, says Franz, that the spirit can come to rest through rarely changing, especially impressive impressions of nature. As a highlight of their trip, both see the large, barren hills of Barturtte and the view from Skierffe, a nearly 1,200 meter high mountain high above a picturesque river delta.
The virginity of this nature has become a rarity in Europe. When you are careful with your environment and yourself, enjoyment is greatest. Therefore, it is even more important to be meticulous when planning the tour, for example, to avoid waste.
Trekking away from civilization: planning and equipment is everything
The question remains: how exactly do you plan such a tour? What do you have to pay attention on the way? Franz and Runa have been preparing for their journey to Lapland for weeks. Long before they had worried cards, read reviews, planned food shopping, developed emergency solutions for bad weather. Experience shows that anything can happen on a long tour. Therefore, good preparation for all eventualities is the essential aspect for safety and thus a relaxed tour.
However, the outdoor fans do not want to miss out on a few things during their tours. Hiking poles, a good mattress, a comfortable backpack and a warm sleeping bag are essential equipment. The longer the tour, the more essential are the simple pieces of equipment. Then there is the appropriate clothing, not too heavy, functional and robust. In general, both pay close attention to their equipment and are willing to spend a little more money or, for example, in the case of Runa's tent, to have their birthday gifts. That alone is not enough for Franz. He is also increasingly looking at the origin and trading conditions, eg seals for organic cotton, Fairtrade or Made in Germany.
Trekking tips for starting: Do not overdo it and stay relaxed
If you have come after the great impressions of the Swedish Kungsleden also on the taste and you want to make in the nature, then Franz and Runa give you the following trekking tips on the way:
At the beginning, choose short tours of three to five days maximum. For example, a hut hike is recommended. Here you have to carry little luggage and has a fixed goal every day.
First, stay in the closer civilizational environment. Thus, care and assistance in an emergency are not too far away (eg the German Alps).
Find a group with whom you harmonize well. On the one hand, to have fun together, on the other hand, to be at a similar level of performance. Or: Plan your first tour with people who may have already made a tour and can introduce you to trekking. There are eg mountain schools.
Consider the failure as part of the tour. Even at the beginning you can not reach a goal, injure yourself or bring your muscles to their limits. The weather can also put you on the line. So a lot can happen. Do not let that unsettle you, just stay relaxed.