How to deal with dogs during your hikes

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Introduction

Last year I was bitten twice by dogs during my hikes. The first time by a large dog that was on a leash but where the owner had insufficient control over the dog, probably because of its size and weight. The dog bit me severely in my left under arm. The wound was deep and wide so it needed to be stitched. Normally they prefer to leave a dog bite wound open because it infects easily but that was not an option in this case. 
The second time I was bitten in my calf by a dog that was not on a leash and where the owners were closeby. When I was past the dog it attacked me from behind. The wound was only skin-deep so not really a problem. 

Since then I have thougt a lot of means to defend myself against aggressive dogs. I changed my behaviour and I bought a dog deterrent via Amazon. I have two dogs myself so I know when a dog is aggressive or just wants to play. I am still not afraid of dogs but I became more careful when I encounter a dog.


Hiking apps - evaluation

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Introduction

20211111 Zapateer en Kabouterbos web
To assist my readers in choosing a good phone-app for following and discovering hiking trails on their own I have evaluated a number of apps during about a half year. The chosen apps are:

  • Locus Map; that is the app that I was using most during my hikes before I started this evaluation
  • AllTrails
  • Gaia GPS
  • Wikiloc; that is the app that I used when I started to register my hikes

The results are shown below. If you want to skip the details and immediately want to jump to the conclusions you can click here after clicking Read more to display the full article.

Availability of the apps per kind of phone

  • Locus Map is only available on Android phones / tablets
  • AllTrails is available on Android and Apple phones / tablets
  • Gaia GPS is available on Android and Apple phones / tablets
  • Wikiloc is available on Android and Apple phones / tablets

So only Locus map is limited to Android phones. No disadvantage for me because I am using an Android phone, but definitely a big minus for Apple phone users.

Safe hiking practices

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Hiking essentials web
Recent events made me rethink my hiking practices. Safety always was a concern for me, but I realized that still not everything was in place. For instance, what would happen if I was hiking on my own and something happened to me? Would others be able to find me quickly enough? So I started looking for tools that specifically address this issue. But that for later, first what are my normal practices.

How to follow the trails on your own

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At the end of 2019 Curaçao Hiking stops organizing guided hikes. Of course there are alternative hiking organizations; see the overview with links on the home page of this site. An alternative is to go hiking yourself or with a group of friends or similar minded people. To facilitate that I provide several options and tools:

  1. A facebook group where you can create an event for your hike so that other members of that group can accompany you on your hike; you need to be an accepted member of that group to use this service
  2. Descriptions of most of the trails that Curaçao has offered; these descriptions can be found on this site in the section Hiking
  3. A map with the track for most of the trails that Curaçao Hiking has offered; this map can be found as a downloadable picture in the description of the hike on this site in the section Hiking or as a downloadable picture in the Files section of the above mentioned facebook group
  4. The track of most of the trails that Curaçao Hiking has offered; these tracks can be found in several places:
    1. Wikiloc 
    2. As a downloadable file in the description of the hikes in the section Hiking on this site
    3. As a downloadable file in the Files section in the above mentioned facebook group
  5. Suggestion for tools to follow the track (see the remainder of this article)