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Review: The first German Trail Days.

On November 4, 2023, the outdoor retailer WalkOnTheWildSide in Bonn hosted the first German Trail Days in their showroom. Attendees had the opportunity to connect with fellow hiking enthusiasts, learn from experts, listen to trail stories, test products, share excitement for the next trail, discuss the tastiest outdoor meals, or simply meet like-minded people. Three different workshops were offered, covering key topics for long-distance hikers, Thruhike, UL (ultralight) trekkers, and those aspiring to be.

Of course, our Nord Süd Trail initiative had a booth at the event, and the NST was the subject of many enriching conversations and encounters

Leave No Trace – Nadine Osterloh & Felix Knopp
In this workshop by Nadine Osterloh (PCT thru-hiker) and Felix Knopp (trail runner and trail manager on the Natursteig Sieg), participants gained exclusive insights into the LNT philosophy. What impacts the environment most significantly, and how can hikers prevent such damage? The second focus addressed women’s hygiene specifically and its implementation on a long-distance trail.

Cooking delicious meals outdoors – Christoph Michel & Leo Schmelzer
Have you always wanted to know whether alcohol or gas stoves are better suited for your tour? Wondering about the differences between titanium, aluminum, or stainless steel cookware? Then this workshop by Leo (founder of Bergzeux and inventor of the X-Boil system) and Christoph (adventurer and brand ambassador for the Japanese stove expert SOTO) was just right for you.

Hike lighter – Carsten Jost & Dirk Weißenfels
Tense shoulders, tired legs, sore feet – all caused by carrying too much weight on the trail. Carsten Jost (ultra-long-distance hiker and multiple thru-hiker) and Dirk Weißenfels (UL veteran with over 20 years of experience) showed how to significantly lighten the load at certain points, leaving more energy to enjoy the trail to the fullest and tackle longer distances – without completely sacrificing comfort.

Members of the NST initiative, Thruhikers of various years, Trail Angel, members of the Find Penguins Community

At the end, there was a presentation from our side about the Nord Süd Trail.
Robin (NST thru-hiker 2022) shared his adventure on the Nord Süd Trail, Germany’s longest continuous hiking trail at 3620 km! A considerable number of people attended the presentation, which Robin expertly moderated and presented. In the end, it even became quite emotional.

We recorded Robin’s presentation for you (Only in German language). Unfortunately, the lighting conditions were not ideal, but ultimately, the spoken content is what matters. Enjoy watching:

An all-around successful event with many interesting workshops and presentations. WalkOnTheWildSide’s shop is also well stocked and offers something for everyone. What could be improved at the German Trail Days? Primarily, it should be a meeting for thru-hikers, long-distance hikers, and the community, rather than just a sales event. This goal has already been successfully achieved. This also includes the community coming together, camping, and sharing the outdoor experience. Additionally, other manufacturers who may not cooperate with the shop should be included. Otherwise, the name ‘German Trail Days’ is too ambitious if not everyone is allowed to participate. The event is promising, and we from the North South Trail Initiative will definitely participate again next year. Our thanks go once again to all the staff at WalkOnTheWildSide aus Bonn.

Hike on und Happy Trails

Die Initiative Nord Süd Trail hat sich zu einem ausgedehnten Netzwerk entwickelt, das aus ehrenamtlichen Helfern, erfahrenen Fernwanderern, Wegpaten, Youtubern und Wanderführern besteht. Da wir nicht an einer finanziellen Vermarktung des Weges interessiert sind, liegt das Hauptaugenmerk weiterhin auf der Etablierung des Weges.

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