Planning a Hiking Trip
From enjoying the changed air on top of towering mountains, in deep valleys, and in luscious forests, it becomes clear why hiking is such a popular hobby. The saying, “the journey is the destination” is absolutely true when it comes to hiking. However, planning a hiking trip is key to being able to truly enjoy that journey.
However, such an experience needs to be carefully planned to ensure a good time and to prevent unforeseen hiccups. Without proper planning, a much anticipated journey can turn into a dangerous situation. But, not to worry! In this article we will tell you everything you need to know about planning a hiking trip with the tools and resources to help you make it happen. So, without further ado, let’s get trekking!
Websites and Apps for Planning a Hiking Trip
There are many websites and apps that can help you plan your hiking trip; however, we have selected a few of our favorites to suggest. On these platforms you will find information about specific routes, plan your own trip, find tips and tricks, or participate in challenges. Here are four such platforms.
Outdooractive is a large platform that enables you to find great tours with the search function “Route Finder”. In addition, the platform’s very precise search filters allow you to find tours on horseback, on the water, biking tours, and much more.
When you click on a tour, it shows you the level of difficulty, the length of the route, the expected duration, as well as the ascent and descent in meters. Furthermore, you will receive directions for how to get there. These pieces of information are important when you plan your trip. The duration of the hike obviously depends on your fitness level and how often you take breaks; therefore, it is incredibly helpful information to know.
Additionally, you can create your own route with the tour planner by entering your stops. On the map, it’ll show you the directions, length, duration, and altitude.
A PRO and PRO+ version offer access to even more features; however, the free version is sufficient for most purposes.
Besides the tour search and planner, there are other options on this website. For example, you can take part in challenges with other people, such as attempting to hike a total of 200 kilometers in one year.
Such challenges inspire individuals to go hiking and get active more often. If we’re honest, a day hike on the weekend is much more fulfilling than a day in front of the TV, right? Then why don’t we visit beautiful hiking regions more often to challenge ourselves a little, breathe the fresh air, and get closer to the flora and fauna?
On Outdooractive, you’ll also find inspiration and information about accommodations and the current weather. All in all, the platform is a great option for all outdoor enthusiasts looking for a well-structured website to plan their trips.
The alltrails platform allows you to explore different trails all over the world. You can search for trails that specifically fit your interests whether it’s hiking, trail running, or mountain biking. They even give have categories for accessibility and for good places to take a furry companion along. The site also offers reviews and photos from other users, so you can get a real sense of what to expect on the trail.
You can discover great tours on komoot.com. The website has a variety of different categories, including running and jogging routes, bike tours, and hiking trails. You will find all kinds of information for the individual tours.
You can also enter your starting point and destination into the route planner. This will allow possible routes to be shown to you with the related category ─ hiking, biking, mountain biking, etc.
A great feature komooot offers is the waypoints that are made visible on the map. This allows you to easily locate sites, parks, etc.
HiiKER is an excellent application for anyone wanting to do a long distance hike. The app gives you access to vital information on thousands of trails around the world. Right from your phone you can find trail information including altitude, camping and accommodation locations, community reviews, water sources, trail statistics, and transportation options.
The app includes a free version that allows you to explore trails and their basic statistics, but if you are indeed planning for a long-distance hike, the pro-version might be worth it. For 6 euros a month or 30 euros a year, you can get the paid version of the app where you have access to the entire database of information. Especially useful in the pro version are the route planner, offline access, high-quality printable maps, and GPX files for your trip.
Of course, you have to be appropriately equipped for a hiking trip. Good footwear is a priority, followed by sufficient food, and, lastly, an outfit that can withstand sudden weather changes. A backpack that can be carried around for several hours without cutting into your shoulders or being too heavy is also an essential piece of hiking equipment. If you’re preparing for a long-distance hike, we recommend reading our article on hiking the Alps. We’ve included a packing list that is good to consider for any multi-day excursion.
Some Amazing Hikes
If you still don’t know where to go, we have some suggestions for you. How about the Alps in Bavaria ─ a super popular hiking destination in the south of Germany? You could cross the Alps by walking the E5 ─ the European long-distance path 5. Or consider exploring the different mountain huts in Italy. The E1 long-distance hiking trail from Norway to Sicily offers great routes, too. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the entire long-distance trail. If you want to do an easier hike, you can just walk a portion of the way.
Hiking is a great way to get to know a region and to intentionally experience the world around you. Whether you are hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in the United States or exploring breathtaking routes in Slovenia, the world offers you countless hiking trails with wonderful landscapes. If you want to bring your four-legged friend, you may want to read our article on hiking with a dog to help you plan your hiking trip.
You can find some of the most beautiful hiking tours on the websites outdooractive.com, alltrails.com, komoot.com, and HiiKER. These platforms have been instrumental in many travelers planning their hikes and could be beneficial for you too! Of course, there are websites aside from these four that are able to help you plan a hiking trip. These are just some of our favorites.
On many websites, you can create your own routes and get information like the length, duration, and difficulty of the route. Additionally, there are popular tours that have already been created which you can walk, just as many others have done before you.
When planning, you need to think about what to pack. The best way to do this is to consult our packing list.
So, what are you waiting for? Hikes are an ideal pastime for the weekend and can be great for entire vacations, as well. The world is waiting for you to explore it, one step at a time!