• Before you start hiking in Israel make sure that you have a 1/50,000 scale map of the area where you are hiking.  You can purchase these maps either at The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) or at a camping store like Rikushet.  These maps are only published in Hebrew.
    I have downloads available of sections of the Carmel Mountains map (map4) in which I have translated major landmarks into English. 
  • Before you go on a specific hike, let some one know where you are planning to be, and approximately when you plan to be back.
  • Israeli trail blazes:  All trail blazes in Israel have three stripes. A white stripe on each side with the indicated color, in the middle.  There are two exceptions: the Israel Trail which has three colors - orange, blue and white, and the Golan Trail which has three colers - green blue and white.
Picture of blazes for Israeli trails

If anyone has their own tips about hiking and camping please share them with us in the comments section.

 

What to do if you lose the trail:

    
Everybody loses the trail! We lose the trail at least once a trip. It usually happens when we’re talking or day dreaming and the trial takes a turn while we go merrily straight ahead.
Also construction can change or remove the blazes, and too often the trail is not adequately marked.

Don’t keep going forward (unless you are absolutely sure that the trail goes to a place you can see, and you can see that the way is not dangerous).  It isn’t only that it might be dangerous to get off the trail. If you don’t take the time and effort to find the trail you could miss something wonderful, like an archeological site or a natural wonder.

Go back to the last place you saw the trail marker and then figure out what you did wrong. Look in all directions. Sometimes the trail veers off in an unexpected way. (Sometimes it is not so simple.)

If after you go back you can’t find the next trail marker you might have to go short distances along the different possibilities until you finally find the trail.

If all else fails use the map to navigate to the nearest place where the trial intersects a known identifiable landmark like a road or community.  

 

 What you must have.

The 6 things that everyone needs on the Israel Trail in order of importance are:

1.  enough water (winter - 2 liters a day, summer - 4 liters a day, desert or desert wind - 1 liter every hour)
2.  fully charged cell phone

3.  a detailed map (available at any camping store in Israel, or at SPNI)
4.  appropriate hiking shoes
5.  hat
6.  food

After these 6 items what else you bring depends on the kind of hiking you are doing.  Here is our complete list for a two to three night hike on the Israel Trail.

 

Taking care of your feet.

 Never hike with new shoes!  You should wear your shoes or boots everyday for two weeks to a month before you start your hike.

Prevention is the key.   Instead of getting a blister, prevent it by stopping before it forms.When you begin to feel your boots rubbing, or something beginning to hurt your feet stop immediately, take off your boots and prevent further irritation by putting on a band aid. If you do this in time no blister will form, and you’ll walk with out pain

The problem is that people don't want to stop.  They don't want to hold others up, they don’t want to take their backpacks off, they don’t want to take their hiking boots off and take the time to deal with the situation.3 Instead they keep walking, and end up with a real blister.

There are special band aids for blisters.  Make sure to take some of these with you, but none of them work that well, so once you have a blister you will be walking in some discomfort no matter what you do. It is much better to not be lazy and prevent the blister.

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