Hiking Israel: Preparation and Rules for a Safe and Fun Hike of the Israel National Trail

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The right time to stroll in Israel is from September to May. Summer is too hot and you should try to avoid it. In autumn time, all hikers walk from north to south, taking into account the weather. In the spring, for similar reasons, most hikers will start in the south, walking north. Gazing in the south ensures a reasonable climate in the desert before the summer begins, and when it reaches the north, spring blossoms are still at their peak and rain is unlikely.

You should prepare towards your journey. It is essential that you have good walking shoes and “disassemble” them to avoid painful blisters. Wear as new shoes as possible before you go on your trip.

The best way to break your shoes is while you’re in shape. Proper fitness is needed for this trip. It is a common mistake to assume that starting in Kibutz Dan (North) is easy and will build your fitness while walking. Many hikers who assume this find themselves exhausted. Starting from the south in Eilat requires higher decency. You’ll experience a very steep climb on your first day – so be prepared.

A recommended hiking trip to Israel begins in March, in Tel Aviv, and heads south. The first few days are easy and let you build your stamina about 2-3 more difficult days in the Judean Mountains. When you reach Arad you will be in perfect condition. Continue the road to Eilat, then take a bus / bus / car / taxi all the way north to Dan and walk south to Tel aviv, where you first started. Celebrate your trip at one of Tel Aviv’s many restaurants and the beautiful beach.

A good backpack is just as important as your shoes. The size of the backpack should be 60-65 liters. A larger package is not necessary, most likely will fill the extra space, causing a heavier backpack. It is recommended to try your backpack in the store, when loaded with a weight of 15 kg. Other equipment includes: sleeping bag, mattresses, tents, walking sticks, hiking, cooking equipment, flash light, socks, underwear (preferably boxer shorts), first aid kit, hat and cleaners. Other important things are your mobile phone and camera.

When checking your equipment, make sure that the backpack is without water and eat no more than 11 kg. Remember that in the Negev you will get 5-6 liters of water and the food weighs about 2 kg when carrying food for two days or more.

To plan this trip, it is recommended that you have the Israel National Guide (Red Guide) for Jacob Sar Weigel Henkin. It contains all the topographic maps you will need, a detailed route description on a daily basis, and a daily hiking profile showing the distance and altitude for climbing or landing on that day.

Crossing the Negev Desert requires temporary storage of water at some points where water is not available. You’ll need to cache in about 10 locations and you can do it yourself without a 4×4 car, or you can use a paid service. The price of water caching is high (~ $ 500) but it can be reduced if you share a trip with many other hikers. You’ll mark where the cache is, and draw a small map of how to find it. It is recommended that you take a picture of the cache as well as take coordinates if you have GPS with you.

Partners for this trip can be found at the Israel National Trail Forum.

Rules for a safe and fun trip:

Do not release when it is too hot, especially in the desert

Take a break for 10 minutes after every 50 minutes walking long distances . At about noon time take a longer break.

Take a full day break at least once a week.

Take time for yourself . You and your friends will spend about 6 to 7 weeks together around the clock. Respect each other’s needs and try to provide space and personal space for each other, to avoid conflicts.

Steal valuables. This phenomenon is located in the part between Arad and Mitzpe Ramon, to be precise, between Be Be Efe and the Hava night camp. Do not walk this part on your own for several reasons: every minor incident can turn into a big problem when you are alone. Lighting a fire in the camp will allow thieves to know your location. Put your valuables inside your sleeping bag. The tent provides better protection from sleeping outside. Put your bag inside your tent, or if you don’t have a tent that connects your back to your body. It is usual to store some foods with water. At the following night camps, there were reports over the years of stolen food: Be & Efee, Mezad Tamar, Small Crater Night Camp, Mador Night Camp, Hava Night Camp. These events are rare, but they can be unpleasant if they occur.

Be sure to temporarily store water and food away from the night camp, and thieves will not hunt. Eye. Paid caching is recommended, because they know the job well. If your food or water is stolen (very rare!) Contact a corner of the local corridors and bring some supplies (for a fee). Some paid caching services provide a guarantee against thefts. If you lose your food and water – they will bring you supplies at no extra charge.

Carry your mobile phone and have handy emergency phone numbers.

A tent should be placed in the desert during the rainy season in a higher place to avoid the risk of flooding. In case of an emergency in the desert without receiving a mobile phone, it is recommended to carry a siren; you can use it to attract the attention of hikers around you or the zookeeper. Walking at night is not recommended. If you’re traveling by the road, wear dark safety straps in your package.

Finally, there are some rules that lead to a fine for breaking them when hiking in Israel: you sleep in nature reserves only in designated areas. Gardeners from the Israel Nature Reserve Authority implement this rule. Do not sleep near water pits in the desert, where these wild animals are used and your presence will make the animals refrain from drinking. There is no fire outside the designated areas and you may not use locally selected branches to start your fire.

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