Posts tagged wellness
Solo in Portugal on the Via Algarviana Trail: From Barranco do Velho to Silves

Tune in to the next section of my hiking adventure on the Via Algarviana trail in Portugal: from Barranco do Velho, through Salir, Benafim, Alte and a rest day in Messines to Silves.

I left Barranco do Velho not only with a refreshed body but most importantly - with a much lighter soul and happier mind. When I went down for breakfast that morning, the manager told me that the puppy was gone. I didn't understand well if it was the owner who picked him up or if someone else took him home, but the most important thing was, that the dog was safe and not with me.

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Solo in Portugal on the Via Algarviana Trail: From Vaqueiros to Barranco do Velho

My solo hiking adventure on the Via Algarviana trail in Portugal continues! Here comes the second part: from Vaqueiros, through Cachopo and Feiteras all the way to Barranco do Velho. 55 km through stunning mountains and tiny villages, challenging trail with stunning landscapes, with added problem of a … dog who wanted to take a long hike.

I woke up to a very cloudy and chilly day in Vaqueiros. I had my breakfast waiting in the restaurant down the street, so I packed almost wholly and walked to see what they had for me.

The day before I explained my diet issues and showed a card in Portuguese on a gluten-free diet. It's not very popular around here, and I am happy I had that card.

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Hiking Hydration: All You Need to Know!

I am pretty sure I don’t have to explain how important proper hydration is. Also, although we know now that there is no a set amount of water everyone has to drink during a day, it’s important to think ahead of time about the best way to carry, clean, and drink water on the trail.

Hiking Hydration: How much water do I need?

In the beginning, when you are not sure how much your body needs, think of providing about half a liter per hour of activity. If you hike on a scorching day or the hike is very demanding to you, you might need more. The amount of water one needs depends on many factors: the weather, altitude, your body type, how hard the hike is and how long you walk. If you head out on a hot day to climb steep rocks in high altitude - double the amount of water needed.

With time you start to get a good feeling of how much water you need. It’s always better to reach the hike’s end with some water left than risk dehydration.

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How to Plan a Hiking Trip. There is No Spontaneity in Hiking!

The moment you decide you would like to go for a hike, the planning begins. Hiking is the kind of activity in which spontaneity is not encouraged much. And by “much” I mean not at all. To have an excellent and safe trip a proper process of preparation is required.

In this post, I will help you to highlight the critical elements of the process you should go through before you hit the trail. When I write this article, I have mostly multiple days and long-term hiking in mind, but many of the key ideas are quite useful also when thinking of a short day hike.

But why can’t I be spontaneous and just go?

I know that some people find it romantic or exciting to just decide on a spot to go somewhere – buy a ticket, grab a bag, and fly for a weekend to a new destination. I can even see some appeal in that idea (if I squint hard and tilt my head a bit to the left) but what might work for a weekend urban escape can be a recipe for a disaster when it comes to nature escapes.

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Quitter and Proud. On the Life-Saving Skill of Knowing When to Quit

I believe knowing when to stop, turn around, give up - is the most important skill any hiker or mountaineering can have. Writing into the culture of wrongly understood "motivation" can be deadly.

There is no shame in quitting. Anyone who says so has blood on their hands. As I already stated a few times, I find the ubiquitous "fitspiration" of "never give up" disgusting and dangerous.

But we are surrounded by the macho culture of winning, being the first to reach a “never before” place, be better than the other one, risking life to achieve some Big Goal.

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Pros and Cons of Hiking Solo

What does it really mean that you are alone? 

Before you head off to your first solo adventure, it's worth going through some pros and cons. I love hiking solo and am a big supporter of the idea. But it's best to be prepared and know what you are getting yourself into. Below are various possible cons and pros - they don't work that way for all but read them all to see if hiking solo is for you!

In the typical case of "good and bad news" I start with the cons:

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Hiking with Fibromyalgia: Benefits, Tips, and Recommendations

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia some nine years ago. Unexplained pains, nothing on x-rays, and jumping reaction to the doctor pressing some well-chosen spots on my body. A well-known story to many who struggle with fibromyalgia and sometimes wait for years for a diagnosis.

I am lucky – my version of FM is pretty light. I could still work, take care of myself and generally, the disease did not mess too much with my life. My doctor told me about the importance of exercise and active lifestyle no matter the pain it could cause.

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Just Leave Me Alone! How Hiking Solo Calms Social Anxiety

„Are you hiking all alone?” – An older gentleman asked me as I was making my way up the trail. I looked up and down and saw at least a dozen people in groups of two or more making the same trek as me.

I was hiking a very popular trail, on a long weekend which raised the number of hikers even more, and pretty close to the town.

Why is it, that a woman hiking by herself causes surprise and strange looks? I wonder what this gentleman would say If I told him I loved doing multi-day solo hiking and camping trips in much more remote areas.

I don’t have to wonder if he would ask the same question a solo man. I know he wouldn’t.

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