Five Tips for Hiking in a Foreign Country
By Jennifer Wankmuller | Published on January 25, 2018
Five Tips for Hiking in a Foreign Country
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There are a lot of unwritten rules to hiking, many of which have to do with keeping the trails clean and respecting the land. However, there’s also plenty of advice that is good to know in order to have your trip go as smoothly as possible. And if you’re taking your love of exploring the great outdoors abroad, there can be even more things to consider. So here are five tips for hiking in a foreign country.

1. Do more research than usual
Parks and trails aren’t always easy to get to even the starting points of. Sometimes they require a taxi ride or a lengthy uphill walk that isn’t even part of the hike yet. This can affect both the practicality of reaching the trail and how much time you may need to give yourself for the whole trip. Finding these things out in advance while being able to read about them in your native tongue is much easier than having to figure them out on the spot.

Five Tips for Hiking in a Foreign Country© Jennifer Wankmuller

2. Know what time the sun sets
Depending on the region and time of year, you may be working with less daylight than you expected. Unless you’ve been in the area for a while before hiking, this may be something you’ll need to look up to get the most accurate idea of. Make sure you know how much time you have so you don’t have to race the setting sun out of the woods or hurry to set up camp for the night.

Five Tips for Hiking in a Foreign Country© Jennifer Wankmuller

3. Know your passport number
This is something that can vary based on country as well as the popularity of the park. The more popular the park, the more likely this may come in handy. While not true for all parks, at many you’ll be met with a park ranger at the entrance, especially if there’s an entrance fee. When you pay, they’ll likely also have you put down your contact information such as your name and phone number in case of emergency. In this case, there is also a good chance they may ask for your country of origin and passport number in the event that something happens and they have to contact the embassy. While it’s advisable to travel with a copy of your passport anyway, knowing your passport number off hand can make this process quicker.

Five Tips for Hiking in a Foreign Country© Jennifer Wankmuller

4. Double-check park hours
This may sound obvious, and probably isn’t a bad idea in your home country either. But especially if you’re going to a park that is frequented more by locals than tourists, you may not be able to rely on their hours on Google. So even if you’re dealing with a language barrier, make the effort to double-check with a park ranger if you’re met with one at the park entrance. It’ll be better than struggling through said language barrier if you’re in the park past close and wind up getting an annoyed phone call from said ranger.

Five Tips for Hiking in a Foreign Country© Jennifer Wankmuller

5. Talk to locals
If you pass locals on the trails, talk to them. Not only because they’re usually friendly and have interesting stories, but also because they’ll have the best advice. They may be able to tell you where the best views are, or be able to give you advice if a certain trail is closed or any other issues arise. Especially if you’re travelling solo, they may even rope you into their group if you decide hiking with a group sounds better than going alone.

Five Tips for Hiking in a Foreign Country© Jennifer Wankmuller

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Cover photo © Jennifer Wankmuller

About The Writer
Jennifer Wankmuller

By: Jennifer Wankmuller | Published on January 25, 2018

 
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