MAPS AND NAVIGATION
Maps and GPS
We provide a set of hiking maps showing topography, landmarks, streambeds, dirt roads, accommodations, grocery shopping, etc. which are important to have. Maps are divided into the shorter, day hikes of 10-20km. On the final points of each of the stages, hikers usually can find accommodations, whether that be Masar Ibrahim homestays, public transportation, or access to roads. The only exception is Khirbet al-Mird, where grottos are the only overnight accommodation.
Elevation profiles can be found on this website as well. These profiles provide information about the ups-and-downs of each trail section. We also publish walking notes corresponding to each map.
Despite the Masar Ibrahim being way-marked, a GPS unit can still be helpful especially as a safety precaution. The website contains downloadable GPS data for Masar Ibrahim routes.
Navigation is a safety concern, so be sure to be smart and confident in whichever method you choose to hike the trail.
It is recommended to have relevant topographical maps in hard copy form on the trail at all times. Ideally, each member should have a map in case the group becomes separated, but certainly two members should carry physical topographical maps.
It is unwise to rely entirely on one navigation method. Waymarking symbols can fade, go missing, or be obscured, GPS units can run out of batteries, malfunction, get wet, fall off a cliff, etc., and maps can get wet, tear, or be lost. Be confident in at least two navigation methods on the trail.
If you are not totally confident with your ability to independently navigate a trail, hiring a local guide is always an option. Local guides know the trail and terrain very well, and they can provide you with historical and cultural context as you walk, which will add depth and richness to your hiking experience.
A waymark is a symbol or sign marking the route of a footpath. The Masar Ibrahim al-Khalil hiking trail uses the system of waymarking to denote the specific route and direction a trail follows. Along with a waymark, there may be a sign or informational panel to give special information about a historical site, geographic details, or other points of interest.
Most of the sections of the trail are already waymarked. Masar Ibrahim adapted the same waymarking system that various European countries, such as France and Spain, use. The specific symbol, a red and white stripe, indicates that Masar Ibrahim is a long distance hiking trail. Next to the stripes the logo of Masar Ibrahim can be also found; this is an image of a green oak tree.
Be sure to become very familiar with the specific symbol or style of trail marking before relying solely on the waymarking. As a general rule, if you hike for an unusually long period of time without seeing another marking, return to the last marker you saw and assess if you may have taken a wrong turn somewhere.