FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PEACE TREE PILGRIMAGE

 

Can everyone walk the Peace tree Pilgrimage?                                                

 You will require a degree of walking fitness, stamina and endurance.

 

Am I fit enough to walk the Peace tree Pilgrimage?     

Pilgrimage requires a different kind of fitness.  The distances can be long and it’s important to look after your feet by resting often, airing your socks or alternating with an extra pair. It is sometimes helpful to keep an extra shoe insert as the surfaces can sometimes be quite hard.    It is good when you stop to lie down on the ground and rest your body, even if it is only for a few minutes and raise your feet above your head.    It is important to take one long break during the days walking.    It’s mental and physical wellness that is required, so it is important to stay positive, hydrate a lot and walk at your own rhythm. 

Take time when you stop to look around you and enjoy the experience of spaciousness and remember to keep your eyes up and not look at your feet all the time, as this can make you more tired. It is important to keep a healthy attitude.  Naturally you will move into an altered state of consciousness which allows you to find creative solutions to things that might have been bothering you.  It is important to walk for an hour or so a day in silence, to allow yourself the opportunity to connect with yourself.

You will require endurance and stamina.  If you are able to walk 3 to 4km per hour for up to four hours, then you are fit enough to do this pilgrimage

 

What do I carry with me every day on the hike?                     

Backpack, with splash cover, just big enough to carry:

  • Flask for warm water along the way. Or bring your own gas stove along.

  • Breakfast and lunch

  • First-aid kit                                                                                                                     

  • Medical items and items to treat blisters (mercurochrome, alcohol swabs, needle & thread, plasters)                                                                                                                           

  • It is advisable to have good inserts for your walking shoes

  • Any clothing needed

  • Water bottle.

  • Stationery & journal (if you use one

  • Toilet Paper/small bag as we walk leaving NO trace.Burry your poo

 

Which clothes to walk in?   

It will depend on the weather on the day, but it is good to layer, I prefer to wear cotton in the day and wool at night.                                                            

Make provision for cold mornings and warmer days.                                                                               

Sarongs are very helpful, and can be used to protect you from the sun and keep you warm.                                                                                                

It is important to have a good, wide-brimmed hat that offers protection for the neck.                                                                                                                      

Beany to keep your head warm and gloves

 

Which boots or shoes should I walk in?                                                   

It is difficult to advise which boots or shoes you should walk in as each person is different. It is handy to have a light pair of sturdy sandals to walk in. This allows you to continue walking, while giving any “chafed” areas on your feet caused by your boots or walking shoes, a chance to recover before they become blisters.

To protect your feet, it is important that you have light, soft and flexible boots or walking shoes. Ankle high boots do offer support to the ankles for mountain trails, but a good hiking or walking shoe may be the best option for you.

The boots, shoes and sandals must preferably be well “walked-in” before you commence the hike. New or barely used shoes or boots are not a good idea on this trail.

The boots or shoes should be at least one size larger than normal, because your feet tend to swell when walking long distances every day. This is especially so for the older walkers, and they may even require a shoe or boot that is two sizes bigger. Get to know your own body's reaction to walking longer trails.

Make sure your boot or shoe is securely tied so that the foot does not move unnecessarily within it. This also prevents your toenails from chafing against the front of your boot or shoe and prevents possible toenail loss. Always keep your toenails short and healthy.

Bring some old newspapers along, and at night stuff this paper into your boots or shoes. It pulls the moisture out of them.

 

Which walking socks?                                                                                    

Just as important as the pilgrims boots or shoes are his/her walking socks. It is important to buy the correct “blister” socks. There are many brands on the market today, some much thinner than the old style walking socks, but they work very well. It is important that you take the socks with you when you go to buy shoes or boots, so that you get the correct size for your foot. These socks are available at most sports stores. Please buy enough pairs so that you can change socks more than once a day to prevent yourself from walking with “wet” socks. Wet socks can & do cause blisters.

Rinse the new socks before use and make sure that you are not allergic them by using them before coming on the Pilgrimage

 

What do I buy for prevention and treatment of blisters?             

The following items are important for every pilgrim. Remember that there are no towns on the trail.

  • Needle and thread.

  • Alcohol preps for sterilizing needle, thread, and areas to be treated.

  • Moleskin plasters

  • Iodine, a great antiseptic

  • Zincocide plasters 

 

How do I prevent and treat blisters?                                                     

The key is prevention!

  • Once you begin to feel that there is a graze or irritation of the skin, a Zincocide plaster must immediately be pasted over the area. Do not wait until a blister has formed.

  • Never use the broad white Elastoplast on a blister. When you later pull this type of plaster off, it pulls the skin off your foot around the blister and a raw area is created.

  • Blisters should under no circumstances be cut open. Dip the cotton in iodine and thread it through the blister.

  • Leave a bit of cotton thread sticking out of each side of the blister to assist with its drainage. Best results are achieved when this is used together with a Zinocide plaster. The blister dries up quickly, while you can continue to walk comfortably.

  • Foot care is not available in the camp. We can assure you though, that your fellow hikers will soon offer to help you. Everyone offers advice and is willing to assist “doctor” your feet. It is advisable that you learn about the care of your feet beforehand. If you need more information than what we provide here, consult seasoned hikers for more information

 

Can I walk without signing an indemnity?                                                       

You will be obliged to register and to sign an indemnity form on registration. It is vital that should you have any dangerous allergies or physical disabilities that you inform the organisers so that the necessary arrangements get put into place as to not jeopardise other pilgrims and of course to keep you safe     

 

What temperatures can I expect on the trail?                                              

Daily temperatures of 15 degrees and 24 degrees° Celsius for March  and

11 degrees and 19 degrees Celsius in September with possibility of light showers

 

In case of an emergency, what must I do?                                                                           

There will be contact to the roaming vehicle who will be available for any emergencies.  There will be access to a medic.                                                               

If it is necessary to use any emergency transportation or other transport, you will be liable for the costs associated with it. Rates will be calculated according

to AA rates. Emergency Services, e.g. ambulances, will be for the account of the pilgrim concerned and will be charged at the private  or provincial rates, as appropriate. Vehicles will not under any circumstances drive to towns for luxuries such as ice or alcoholic beverages.

 

Must I buy food and fruit for myself?                                                                                         

You are responsible to provide for your breakfast and lunch along the way.                        

A communal dinner will be shared on the first night. 

 

How much water do I need?                                                                                               

According to experts, every pilgrim needs two litres of drinking water per day.                  

There will be drinking water available along the way.

It is therefore unnecessary to purchase additional water for the hike 

 

How should my clothes and supplies be packed for transport?                                                                          

This is an opportunity to let go of all the unnecessary things you think you need.  You will be amazed at how little one needs. 

Use a plastic box that does not exceed 67 litres in size for supplies.                                              

One box per person is allowed and must be properly marked.                                

Cheap bags available at Pep stores work very well for transporting toiletries, clothing, sleeping bag and mattress or a large sports bag/ please mark these carefully. The Peace tree Pilgrimage team accepts no responsibility for any belongings that might get lost.                                                                                                           

To protect your belongings it is recommended that you pack them into an extra plastic bag, before placing them into the bigger bag, as we may experience rain showers during our walk.

A light flour sack is perfect to sit on damp ground and around the fire

If space allows, you may bring a small fold up chair

 

How do I get rid my waste?                                                                                                        

Protection and conservation of nature is important. We therefore ask pilgrims to place any waste in a plastic bag in your backpack and to carry this and deposit it in the bag specially provided by WASTEMART at the overnight camp.                                   

The waste from the kitchen and from the hikers is dumped and burned by arrangement on local farms.                                                                                                                               

If the veld is used for ablutions, a spade, small enough to fit in your backpack, should be carried and used to bury faeces.                                                                                                     

Must I erect my own tent?                                                                                                 

Pilgrims are responsible for loading their own belongings each morning on the roaming vehicle and for the erection of his or her own tent.                                                                                 

If you require help with this, I’m sure your fellow pilgrims will assist you 

 

How should I treat snakes, spiders, bees and ticks?                            

It is a known fact that any snake or reptile will flee from a source of vibration and/or sound. However be careful and always keep a safe distance.                                                                        

  • Please note that no reptiles or any plant species may be caught, picked or collected along the way.

  • If you are allergic to bee stings, it is your responsibility to make sure that you have available the correct anti-serum, purchased with the help of your doctor.

  • Although most ticks are not dangerous, it is important to check yourself every night for ticks, remember to be thorough.

 

May I have visitors or use a support vehicle along the way?  

This is a pilgrimage, an opportunity to get away from your everyday responsibilities, it is therefore important to use this to spend time with yourself

Out of the difficulties, discomfort and support of fellow pilgrims encountered on this trail, common emotional needs arise that are shared and discussed among each other. Therefore withdrawal and isolation from other people is absolutely necessary.                                                                                                                                           

This is a sincere request that all contact with the outside world be limited as much as possible.                                                                               

Therefore, no visitors or support vehicles, except those of the Peace tree Pilgrimage team are permitted on the trail.

In any emergency, we have radio contact with the emergency control station in Caledon                                                                                                                                                 

The Peace tree Pilgrimage team provides organized support for you to ensure your safety and to try and resolve any problems should any arise.

You are welcome to invite guests to meet you at Platbos at the end of the trail on the Friday evening.  Please note that your guests will need to book and make their own arrangements should they wish to stay in the forests huts,  it is advisable that they book well in advance to avoid disappointment as accommodation is limited.

 

How do I register?

Simply go up to the menu bar, click the ABOUT menu and then click on the sign up dropbox and when you are done, simple click submit

 

What does the Peace tree Pilgrimage cost?                                    

Annual cost of the Pilgrimage is subject to change.

Pioneering voyage

R2 500

When you make any payment, it is very important that you provide your full name as reference. 

 

What can you expect for your entry fee?

As many trees as you can plant at Platbos at the Reforest Festival

In September a ceremonial planting will be done, but all trees gifted will wait to be planted in the month of March

Accommodation on private farms

All permits to walk through private reserves

Five meals at night during your walk

Communal dinner at Kleinsandfontein

Hot water provided each morning for tea and coffee./fresh fruit each morning

We will try our best to give each person some hot water at campsites where there is no hot water                                 

Roaming vehicle and Transport of your belongings along the route.

Festival ticket 

All the activities along the way

A lift back to your car from the festival to Kleinsandfontein                                                         

 

My packing list for Peace Tree Pilgrimage

(Use your discretion)

 

First-aid kit:                                                                                                                        

Medical items and blister treatment (mercurochrome, alcohol swabs, needle & thread, plasters)                                                                                                                                         

Vaseline (for the soles of your feet)                                                                                            

Lip ice - get a good lip moisturizer - more expensive brand with a sunscreen.                 

Sunscreen         

Vitamin supplements                                                                                                             

Painkillers   

                                                                                                                                      

Visit your pharmacist or doctor and make sure you also bring along the following:

Emodium                                                                                                                                      

Rehidrate                                                                                                                            

Antihistamine ointments and pills /lavender oil or tee tree is good for treating tick bites                                                                                                     

Anti-inflammatory, arnica is recommended as it does not cause fatigue

Magnesium tablets are good for cramping                                  

Better to take precautions than to have problems with no remedies available.           

 

General Camping Equipment:

Clearly mark all items that will be transported on the truck with a permanent marker on duct tape

  • Tent with all its pieces in a bag (erect at home in order to make sure complete!)

  • Extra tarpaulin to provide shade in case of very hot afternoon at the camp

  • Tent pegs

  • Light weight sleeping bag in March/Warm sleeping bag and extra inner liner September

  • Folding camp chairs in their carry bags and mark all chairs and the carry bags.

  • Mattress preferably self-inflatable

  • A plastic box not exceeding 67 litres for food and general supplies Big PEP Stores bag for clothes

  • Head lamp or torch.

  • It is a good idea to carry a very thin sponge mat with you along the route so that you can lie down on your back to rest.  For example, a yoga mat/flour bag

 

Clothes:

  • 3 shirts / T-shirts

  • 2 or 3 walking pants (e.g. First Ascent ski pants / Afzip long pants or shorts)

  • Windbreaker / rain jacket or poncho (for those that use ponchos)

  • Comfortable clothing (tracksuit) to sleep in

  • Cap / beanie and glove

  • Warm top / Thick fleece top

  • Enough socks & underwear

  • Sun hat

  • Sandals for use in camp

  • Walking shoes (cross trainers) and walking poles                                                               

  •  Gators (able to help keep stones out of shoes 

 

General:                                                                                                                                                  

  • Back pack with splash cover                                                                                                                   

  • 5 litre ice cream container - for water to wash in                                                                                

  • Bladder / water bottles (at least 2 litres per day)                                                                  

  • Small stove & fuel (if required)                                                                                                     

  • Head lamp or torch & extra batteries                                                                                                                    

  • Eating utensils (including a 'spork'  & cup/mug)    

  • Writing tools & journal                                                                                                                       

  • Reading material                                                                                                                                        

  • Camera & extra batteries / memory cards                                                                              

  • Vitamin supplements

  • Toiletries (body lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, small mirror, etc.)                      

  • Toilet paper                                                                                                                            

  • Wet wipes/Disinfectant-wipes                                                                                                           

  • Extra zip-lock bags & general use plastic bags (some for garbage disposal use)                       

  • Newspaper (to stuff in wet shoes to absorb water)                                                                    

  • Light quick-dry towel

 

Breakfast:                                                                                                                                         

  • Coffee/Tea, biscuits and packets of cereals (e.g.Instant oats)

 

Lunch and Daily Snacks:       

  • Cheese and Provita/Salticracks/Ryvita                                                                                        

  • Nuts & raisins, dried fruit, health bars 

  • Oranges, carrots                                                                                                 

  • Chocolate                                                                                                                          

  • Tuna sachets (lunch)                                                                                                                         

  • Small long life milk                                                                                                                           

  • Several boxes of juice/sodas for lunch at camp                                                                           

  • Cup a soup                                                                                                                                               

  • Old Brown Sherry 1 liter/1 liter red wine box of your choice.                              

  • Unnecessary amounts of alcoholic drink should be avoided.

 

Dinner:

Something to contribute to the first night dinner at Kleinsandfontein

Five dinners will be provided for en-route, unless we decide to do a communal cook-up to cut our costs

Dinner has to be purchased at the Festival as no cooking is allowed because of fire risks

(Thank you Tankwa Camino Crew for inspiring this unending list!)