It is a trend that has really taken off again in the past year due to the changed travel situation. Long-distance travel was cancelled and many people discovered hiking in their own country or in neighbouring countries. The already popular sport inspired newcomers from all age groups across all national borders and created a hiking boom that will intensify this year.
Many holiday regions have adapted to the increased desire to hike and offer particularly beautiful routes under the categories "premium trail" or "quality region".
Hiking is booming - what are the most important trends for the hiking year 2023? Taking time out. For many hikers, switching off, consciously experiencing nature is becoming increasingly important. So don't set any speed records, but enjoyment instead of rushing. Taking the time to discover new things along the way - the outdoor experience as a counter-model to a busy everyday life.
Sustainability is in demand
This topic not only concerns the careful, species-appropriate use of nature's resources. Sustainability has also become increasingly important for the manufacture of equipment. In backpacks, entire product groups are being switched to recyclable or recycled materials. Large manufacturers of hiking boots are doing without harmful chemicals in the antibacterial equipment of their models, and impregnations are produced in a more environmentally friendly way with new technologies, and are also supposed to last four times longer than before.
Equipment is getting lighter
For experienced hikers, the rule for equipment is: as little as possible, as much as necessary. Especially when the hike turns out to be more strenuous than expected, some equipment suddenly doubles in weight. Hiking poles, shoes, backpacks or, for ambitious hikers, climbing equipment - weight has been saved everywhere. Modern equipment scores with the right mix of low weight, durability and high functionality.
Hiking with animals
Having an animal companion at one's side is becoming increasingly popular on hikes. This includes, for example, excursions with donkeys, as offered at the Romantik Hotel Markusturm in Rothenburg (Tauber). Here, two animals are waiting to hike with the hotel guests through nature outside the city walls. An excursion that forces one to remain calm; the animals certainly have their own rhythm. A slowness that may be irritating at first, but then it does you good. Concentrate on the animals and nature, simply let go and switch off.
Forest bathing promotes well-being
Even a simple walk in the forest can relax and invigorate. However, the effect of such walks is even greater when you immerse yourself in the forest with all your senses, as it were. Forest bathing is the name of this trend with proven therapeutic effects. Numerous Romantik Hotels have such offers in their programme. Relaxation in harmony with nature is the motto at Romantik Hotel Landschloss Fasanerie in Zweibrücken (Rheinland-Pfalz), Romantik Hotel Schubert in Lauterbach (Vogelsberg) or Romantik Hotel Landhaus Bärenmühle in Frankenau (Edersee).
Then it's time to take a deep breath and intensively absorb sounds, scents and colours while hiking. Scientists have shown that this increases the number of the body's own defence cells by around 50 percent.
Despite all the trends, tips and innovations: The basis of hiking always remains the same. Put one foot in front of the other and, at whatever pace, enjoy nature. The beauty: hiking does not require any special knowledge or skills, anyone can start immediately.
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