Five weeks in self-distancing Mode, and many of us are sitting at home with itchy feet: When can we go hiking & camping again? I’m using this time to think about & plan the future hikes I wanna do, once the lockdown is lifted!
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Air traffic is now 29% of what it was pre-COVID-19, trains and busses are also substantially less frequent, cars are standing at home unused, and on the other side you have National Parks, Wilderness Areas and our beautiful outdoors which is recovering, with animals appearing where they previously have been seen long ago and air pollution in cities is dropping, too. At home we also get busy thinking about the outdoors, and our post-poned outdoor adventures. I’m no different, and while I am sad about the cancelled ski trips this spring, I’m looking forward to the hiking, packrafting and bikepacking trips in the not-too-distant future!
Now, as I expect that planes will remain grounded (AMAZING for the environment and our #ClimateCrisis) I will continue to travel more by train and bus. I love to travel by train: You can walk around while the train rides, eat in the train restaurant when you get hungry, play games, the kids can jump around on the playground in the kids waggon, there’s functional toilets which are not the size of a shoebox, watch movies on Youtube or surf the internet, and one of the best things: Simply watch out of the window and observe the environment which passes you by. In Europe you can get quickly and affordably to most corners of the continent, and where the train tracks stop there’s usually a bus waiting to take you to the next destination.
By the way: Click this link to win TWO Interrail tickets worth 800€ for when the lockdown is lifted and you can travel again!
Well, I currently also am stuck at home (relaxing while painting tabletop Miniatures and terrain) and besides the occasional day hike with the family or cycling along the coast I am already pondering where to go in the summer and autumn. It’s very, very likely in Finland, with small chances of heading to close-by Norway and Sweden, but unlikely to be further away. But hey! Finland is AWESOME! Beautiful, crystal-clear lakes for paddling, amazing forests full of tasty bilberries, soft trails and great camping spots, and once autumn comes by the beautiful colours of nature will delight us!
The best thing that you can do right now, if you’re under lockdown and can not go wild camping, is to plan that next trip. Anticipation is the greatest joy, as we say in German. Get in a great mood by taking out your wish list of local, national trails you wanna hike or cycle, grab some maps and start planning. And not just the hike, also on how you get there (also if schedules might not yet be that reliable, so keep that in mind) - and remember my chorus of praise for trains above 😉 And as you have had to post-pone a few hikes, maybe also stay at a local B&B or Hostel at the end of your backpacking trip, as a warm shower and a tasty meal before travelling home is what you deserve, and the local entrepreneurs will be grateful for your support after months of empty rooms.
That’s it. Planning that next hike helps you keep a positive outlook on this situation, and going over maps and pondering what to eat (and maybe ordering already some food for that trip) helps you to spend your time productively instead of watching Netflix. Maybe plan a hike that is 90% off-trail! Or a hike which visits all the sights you wanted to visit & see already since a long time! Or a hike where you come out at a great Pizza place at the end 🍕 🤗 Right now there’s enough time to plan that next hike in great detail, and get the food & supplies you need for it, so that when you can get back outdoors, you are ready!
In that sense: Stay healthy, wash your hands and plan that next outdoor trip!
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