Sailing, Hiking, Oceans & Environment – being active outside
Breath in fresh air, exercise outside, hike on small and quiet trails, listen to the sounds in the woods, view the magnificent scenery of mountains, watch waves breaking near the beach, be on your own or share the experience with friends. If you love hiking, you know what I’m talking about. Outside and onto a hiking trail I do not get often enough, but I do write about it every now and then – and looking at pictures of past hiking trips is like being on a small holiday. I hope it is for your as well.
1.000 miles – 1.609 kilometres. That’s the distance I want to walk or run in 2017. However, one or the other restriction is supposed to make it a bit more difficult, hence my organisational challenge. It is not supposed to be too easy to accomplish, this is a charity event (or project) and my supporters want to have some fun for their money (meaning: see me struggling).
Ok, it is not that bad. Not really. Five months into my walk1000miles challenge I can already say that physically it is not a problem at all (walking, that is; running is indeed a problem). The organisational challenge, which I had anticipated, has now arrived. Bad news. And good news at the same time.
What is the biggest (self-inflicted) restriction?
Well, if every single step were to count, I would probably be very close to 1.000 miles already. But that would have been way too easy. The only steps, metres and miles that count towards the walk1000miles total are the ones I specifically walk or run with my donation project in mind. This means, for example: Continue reading “My Organisational Challenge With walk1000miles”
Had you told me five years ago that I would happily be doing some winter hiking – “no chance” would have been the answer. Now here I am, clocking up miles. In winter. And (mostly) great fun it is.
Tough winter hiking?
Ok, easy stuff, the winter has been really kind so far. No heavy snow storms, no snowbanks, rain and mud not too bad either. It could have been a lot worse the first couple of weeks this year. And that is already the summary for “winter hiking made easy”. Now that I am writing this, I guess one depression after the other will be blown my direction…
Something to celebrate
Now, seriously, the first minor milestone of my walk1000miles challenge has been reached. Yes, total mileage is now in the three-digit area. The “100” on my walk1000miles challenge is history (here you can find the tracker). Last week I have passed that first milestone, and I am ready to tackle the remaining miles.
Lots of other participants use their walk1000miles challenge to collect and donate for a specific charity. All the funds coming in for my miles walked in 2017 I will donate to the children’s cancer ward at the UKE in Hamburg.
In 2017 I aim to walk (or run) a total of at least 1000 miles. Some background information on this walk1000miles challenge and my reasons for doing it I have talked about in a previous post. This post here is my info-page on donations and how you can participate and help.
Walk for charity – of course!
Having signed up to this challenge beginning of January, the first couple of days were fun simply being outside. Get fresh air, exercise, clock up miles.
But then – doubts started creeping in… Was I to do it just for myself? Simply to stay fit? I don’t need it to get over a major crisis or problem, don’t need it to feel good. So, what has inspired me in the first place to sign up? It was David and his post on Potty Adventures about the walk1000miles for charity. Continue reading “walk1000miles For Charity”
On 03. January I signed up for the 2017-edition of the walk1000miles challenge. A post on the great family hiking site Potty Adventures was so inspiring I simply had to. What is the walk1000miles all about? And will you join as well?
What is the aim of the walk1000miles challenge? Go outside. Walk. Enjoy fresh air. Get closer to nature again. Talk to people instead of messaging.
All you need to do is walk (and record the details of your walk). Be it during lunch-breaks, with the dog, to the pub, to work, for a one-day or a longer hike. As long as you are active outside and are walking, it all counts towards your total mileage covered. Continue reading “walk1000miles – My 2017 Challenge”
What do you do when your family does not want to go for longer hikes? Yes, plan and organise short hikes. In late autumn, we went for two colourful short hikes near Bad Staffelstein.
The last week of this year’s autumn school holidays offered a great opportunity: our kids wanted to stay alone at my parents’ place. This may sound “normal” to lots of folks, for us it isn’t. My parents live something like 550km away.
Less than an hour’s drive from my parents place is Bad Staffelstein, a cute little town in Franconia. The “Bad” in the city name means quite the opposite from the English “bad”, it stands for “spa town”. So, hotel booked, kids taken care of, and off we went.
It is my own fault so I won’t complain. 13 breweries in one day sounds like a lot, same as the 33 km hiking distance. Add starting late, getting lost and darkness coming early, and you will get a rush instead of a hike.
Maybe the two days prior to my 13 breweries trail experience had been too relaxing. A magnificent breakfast I finished way too late, and hence my hiking start was an hour behind schedule. Bad news right at the beginning. Why bad news? I knew the end of the trail would lead me through some woods, darkness I expected to creep in by 18:00h latest. And I certainly had no intention of having a candlelight rendezvous with a hungry family of wild boars, numerous as they are in Franconia.
I could live in there permanently. Sell the house, move in, enjoy fresh air all year round (ok, including a backup for very cold winter nights). Our Outwell Montana 6P is a fantastic tent for a long term holiday, or something even longer than that.
Five years ago some friends showed off their newly purchased tent. It was huge, looked like a UFO and had the entire family in a camping craze. We were still unsure whether we should go for a camper or a tent, so we checked the website of that UFO-tent producer. Outwell, a Danish company.
After hours of comparing their various family tents we finally went for the Montana 6P. A choice we have not regretted at all, and talk about a camper has since then not happened in our family.
Outwell Montana 6P – that’s what it’s like
The Montana 6P sleeps six (in theory), we have used it for max. four so far. It is a huge tent for the four of us, and that was our intention when buying it: to have some space and a playground for the kids just in case it is pouring down outside.
No surprise here: I love the Northern European landscape. It is not as lush, colourful, maybe impressive as the Alps or the Mediterranean. Still, the entire North in all its scarcity is great for being outside, and the island of Als (Denmark) is no exception.
Quite a while ago I have briefly described one of my beloved quiet spots, some friends’ summer cottage in Denmark. It is located in Skovmose, a beautifully quiet location on Als. A couple of weeks ago the four of us went there for a long weekend. This brief break was so fantastic that only two days later I took the chance to go back with the girls and spend another couple of days in peace and quiet. Well, whatever you might want to call “peace and quiet” with two young girls.
Hiking on Als
The entire island of Als offers lots of possibilities for one-day or longer walking trips. The cool stuff about hiking in Denmark is that you find those very basic huts (or whatever they might be called) along more or less every officially marked hiking trail. No need to put up a tent, simply throw your sleeping bag in there and have a rest. Another great thing both for hiking and sailing: barbecues can also be found almost everywhere, they can be used for free and are a perfect place for getting to talk to other folks. Continue reading “Weekend Break On Als, Denmark”
It is the best add-on we have bought for our Outwell Montana 6P, and now it is up for sale after just three weeks of usage. Why? Because I bought the wrong one! This front extension is intended to be used with a Montana 6, not a Montana 6P.
This spring we decided to extend our voluminous and large tent Outwell Montana 6P by a so-called front extension. This front extension is something I love having around wherever I “live”. You can stay dry during rain and still be outside. Fantastic.
Montana 6 Front Extension – our holiday saviour
In fact, this front extension has saved our summer holidays this year. During our three weeks’ holiday in The Netherlands we have had quite a few rainy days, more than all of the previous five years combined. The Montana 6 front extension has been a perfect gateway and dry path into the tent. It was also more than ideal for having meals outside despite the rain (or a glass of wine in the evening). Continue reading “Outwell Montana 6 Front Extension For Sale”
Some call it pond, for others it is already an ocean. Quite a lot of folks hardly know where exactly it is, and some sailors never even dream of leaving its sailing grounds. The Baltic Sea can be described in many ways, some of them are “gorgeous, diversified, underestimated”. As for me: I love it.
The Baltic Sea is the largest brackish inland sea on the planet, covering 412.500 square kilometres. The deepest you could dive (theoretically) is 459 metres, the average depth, however, is only 55 metres. Along its coastline of 8.000 km something between 50-85 million people are living. That was it already with facts and figures, let’s move on to the interesting stuff. Continue reading “Baltic Sea Calling”
After yesterday’s quote I’ll move on into the forest, a place I love to spend hours in. Today’s quote does not necessarily refer to it directly, but I love the ending of the sentence…
My quote for Day Two:
I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it. (William Shakespeare)
Here in Northern Germany, we have the joys of four very different seasons throughout the year (well, usually…). Each one of them has its magic, and right now it is the colourful autumn leaves, the roaming around in heaps of leaves with the kids, the smell of earth, dampness, breathing out already starting to make that funny “steam” like a little dragon. Waste my time in it, in the forest, that’s pure nature, relaxing, magic.
My favourite trail. Small, not overly exciting, no big tourist attraction. To get there, all I need is a six minutes walk from home. A brief post about the beauty of simple things in life.
Little islands of sunshine – everybody needs them for a brief escape. A rich and tasteful espresso, a secretely devoured bar of chocolate. Maybe two hours of sailing, AC/DC’s Thunderstruck on maximum volume, the list could go on forever. One of my little islands is a small, short trail near my house. This has become my favourite trail, despite – or maybe because – of its simplicity. Beautiful new life in spring, lush green in summer, the magic of colourful leaves in autumn, peaceful quiet and no soul in sight in winter. Continue reading “Favourite Trail Near Home”
Whenever I spend some time in Flensburg, getting near, onto or into the Baltic Sea is a definite must. One of my favourite locations for breathing salty air is the so-called “Flensburger Hafenspitze” (harbour centre) – and this is where I went for a brief stroll last weekend.
Ok, it is not really the right place for a swim. For starting a sailing tour or simply going for a walk, however, the story is a rather different one. To be a bit more precise: it is perfect. It is the very end of the Flensburg Fjord (or, maybe, the beginning?), so if you started sailing, paddling or swimming you could get out onto the Baltic Sea, move onwards to the North Sea, Atlantic, round the world… Continue reading “Picturesque Flensburg Harbour Centre”
One day, all alone. During some time off from family duties while camping near Lake Constance, I took the chance and tackled a hiking tour round the Gehrenberg. It had been classified as difficult, required advanced fitness levels to complete the 468 metres difference in altitude on a 14,6 km circuit. So – what was it like?
The name of that one day tour round the Gehrenberg, “Guck ins Land”, translates to something like “peek into land”. There are, in fact, some view points where not only the remaining German territory towards Lake Constance can be seen but also glimpses of Switzerland and Austria. One brief tour, three countries. Or, if you were to believe Bavarian folks with their understanding of Bavarian independence, four countries. Continue reading “Rounding Mount Gehrenberg On Tour “GuckinsLand””
Maybe the influence of not so sunny weather was having an effect on me, maybe I was just too busy looking after the kids, or many other maybes… but the Rhine Falls, the supposedly impressive and great falls near Schaffhausen in Switzerland, were a definite “Reinfall” (bummer, flop) for me.
The numbers are impressive indeed, and they make the Rhine Falls the biggest falls in Europe (by water volume):
Width of the Rhine Falls: 150 metres
Height of the Rhine Falls: 23 metres
Depth of basin: 13 metres
Age of the Rhine Falls: app. 15.000 years
Capacity of flow in summer: app. 600.000 litres per second
Capacity of flow in winter: app. 250.000 litres per second.
However, numbers only don’t really impress me that much, I need to see for myself. While spending a family holiday at a great campsite near Lake Constance we drove all the way to Schaffhausen, Switzerland, to have a closer look at those falls. The result was rather disillusioning, or more in the direction of something like really disappointing. Continue reading “A Bit Of A “Reinfall”, The Rhine Falls”