A FEW TIPS FOR PILGRIMS HIKING IN ISRAEL
It is wise to consult your physician prior to the expedition if you have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or shortness of breath (asthma) while exercising.
Take the time now to prepare yourself for climbing and hiking in mountainous and desert terrain with occasional deteriorated trails. May and October can be hot months in Israel and the sun can be relentless. We will be out in the sun for long periods on some occasions. Heat stress and elevation changes can be managed with proper preparation ahead of time.
Daily walking before you leave is the best way to prepare for this Expedition. Gauge your fitness level by walking several miles a day. Some people use a step counter. 15,000 steps per day to prepare would be a useful guideline. Try to include a minimum of a 150 meter elevation gain each day in your daily routines to maintain elevated heart rates. If you wish to simulate the heat, wear a jacket even on hot days and carry a 10 – 15 pound back pack. Cardio training is very important. Train for strenuous climbing by stair stepping, lunges and aggressive walking/hiking in the boots that you will wear when you are in Israel.
Bottled water is supplied. Be prepared to drink at least two liters of water every day. We recommend the Camel back as a water dispenser for personal hydration since you can drink on demand as you walk and you can carry at least a couple of litres each day. Some people prefer a waste belt to carry two of one litre jugs. Drink a quantity of water prior to each hike and then sip water regularly during the hike before you become thirsty.
Bring salt tablets or some other electrolyte replacement powder, preferably non-sugar, to add to your water in low quantities each day. Eating salty foods is also helpful to replenish salt lost in the heat of the day through sweating.
Keep toilet tissue handy in day pack for emergency pit stops.
Organize clothes and backpack or waist pack supplies each evening before bedtime.
Be prepared to get wet on any given day; we will give you notice the night before if there is a possibility of getting wet the next day.
Footwear is critical. Be sure your hiking boots are well broken in. Although “off-road runners” can work for some, a better option is a light hiking boot which offers ankle support and protection from rocky trails. Socks are important as well. Wearing a light polyester sock (which wicks away sweat) inside your thicker hiking sock will help the wear and tear on your feet during the heat of the day.
Have light and cool footwear to change into when you return to the hotel at night to give your feet a rest. Use water shoes, sandals etc.
Wear sunscreen regularly for added protection on sensitive skin. Re-apply sunscreen as needed throughout the day.
Regarding prescription medications, be sure to take enough for the duration of the expedition and consult your physician about any changes that you should anticipate while on the expedition. It is recommended that you pack these medications in your Carry On luggage.
For a consultation on the specifics of travel medicine, you can go to http://www.tripprep.com or http://www.doctortravel.ca and locate a travel medicine agency near you.
Treat minor problems or blisters without delay. Let one of the leaders know what you need. Treatment is available immediately on the trail.
Phone Cards may be purchased in Israel and are usually the most affordable way to call home if needed.
Luggage requirements are one piece per person at 51 lbs or 21 kilo plus a carry on.
Electrical power is 220 volts at 60 Hz. A Type H, 3-pin converter or a universal adapter would be required to adapt to the Israeli wall outlets. (Israeli 16 A/250 V earthed). You are looking for two round pins.
Time in Israel is 10 hours ahead of Pacific Time (PST or PDT).