Support our mission

Click here for this week’s European Volksmarch schedule.

As the days grow shorter, it’s time to review the tips on one of our favorite types of volksmarches … the Fackelmarsch, or Fackelwanderung — or torch walk.

• Dress warmly and in layers. Once the sun goes down, so will the temperature. You might feel cold at the beginning; however, once you begin walking you will warm up and want to shed a layer of clothing.

• If you plan to buy and burn torches, take along a few paper plates. Cut a hole in the center of the plate and slide it over the torch handle — it will protect your hands and gloves from the dripping wax.

• If you have young children and prefer not to use the torch, carry a flashlight. It’s not uncommon to see walkers with flashlights. Take along spare batteries.

• Be aware of not only your proximity to others’ torches but also to your own. If the wind should pick up and whip the flame around, you could get burned.

• Trails that are dark and crowded with people carrying lit torches are no place for your dog; he will be a safety hazard to not only his fellow walkers but also to himself.

• If the torch you purchased is made with a hollow core center, stuff the handle portion — not the whole torch — with facial tissue or similar material. This will prevent a chimney effect and slow the rate at which the torch burns. This provides a bit more safety for you and all around you.

These are unusual events that each volksmarcher should do at least once. Take the opportunity this winter to try a different type of volksmarching: Get out and attend a Fackelmarsch, and we bet you’ll add it to your list of favorite European volksmarching experiences.

• • •

Here are some more volksmarches to mark on your calendar. There are a few Fackelmarches listed, too.

• Nov. 9: St. Odiëlienburg, Netherlands. This is always an excellent walk.

• Nov. 11: Bütgenbach, Belgium.

• Nov. 15: Elgersweier and Volkach, Germany. Fackelmarches.

• Nov. 22: Gundelfingen, Germany. Another Fackelmarch. Take the bus with the Heidelberg International Wandering Club and hit some factory outlets along the way.

• Dec. 13: Bastogne, Belgium. The best historical walk there is. Don’t miss it!

• Dec. 27: Gemmenich, Belgium. The Marche des Crèches. Many homes along the walk have nativity scenes on display.

• Dec. 27: Simpleveld, Netherlands. The famous Oliebollen walk. Enjoy the Dutch new-year tradition of eating Oliebollen. Warning! These delicious little goodies can be habit forming.

• Jan. 10: Paris. See the City of Light during an evening walk. It is truly spectacular with the Christmas lights.

• • •

The rapid approach of the Christmas market season reminds us we love the combination of a volksmarch followed by shopping at a Christmas market. So, if you know of a volksmarch near a Christmas market, please write us at two.walkers@yahoo.com so we can spread the word.

• • •

There are several walking opportunities near the Kaiserslautern Military Community this week. The walk in Mölschbach, south of K-town, starts at the Turnhalle. You can walk six and 11 kilometers both Saturday and Sunday between 7:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Start the 20-kilometer route between 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. To the north, walkers might find the walk in Staudernheim to their liking. Walk the five-, 10- and 20-km trails both days starting between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Then there is the fourth annual Wednesday walk in Hahnenbach, near Idar-Oberstein. Start the 5k route between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., the 10k between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., and the 20k between 8 a.m. and noon. Finish by 4 p.m.

• • •

Miscellaneous notes about this week’s volksmarch events:

• This week’s Italian name abbreviation is "Feletto Umberto," shortened from Feletto Umberto di Tavagnacco.

• How about a boat ride? The 12- and 21-kilometer trails at San Paolo di Morsano al Tagliamento, Italy, include a boat ride across the Tagliamento River. You might want to take a change of pants, because unless you are in the first boatload, you’ll probably end up sitting in a wet seat!

• In the past, the Mussolente, Italy, walk has taken walkers past some World War I trenches. Trees may be growing now, but there is no mistaking the trenches along the hillside.

E-mail volksmarch information to two.walkers@yahoo.com. Mail brochures to Bob and Lorraine Huffaker, CMR 460, Box 278, APO, AE, 09703-0278.


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up