Information, Advice and Tips

The INT is a hiking trail that combines previously marked trails and is marked along its entire length - some 1000 km., from Beit Usishkin near Kibbutz Dan, in the north, descending to Taba border crossing at the red sea shore near Eilat in the south. The INT can be hiked continuously in both directions - from north to south and vice versa. Hikers can walk its entire length in “one shot” (thru - hiking), or they may choose to do it a few sections at a time. Some will walk only sections of special interest. Non-stop INT hiking may take 35 - 50 days, according to the hiker’s stamina and experience. The best months for this feat are February - April and October - November.
 
We recommend that in the first days you’ll hike no more than 20 - 25 km. a day. You may increase the daily distance later on, according to your ability and the difficulty of the terrain.
 
Groups who hike at least five INT sections can purchase certificates and pins from our Secretariat.
 
We are doing our best to repaint the trail signs periodically and to repair the markings where damage had been done along the trail. However, constant development work, human activity in agricultural and recreational areas, natural causes such as vegetation growths, floods etc, in addition to vandalism, may prevent hikers from seeing some of the marks. Please write down the precise location of places requiring maintenance, and we’ll do our best to send staff members to repair the damage. 
 
Write or call us: 
By Mail: Israel Trails Committee, The Society for the Protection of Nature, 2 HaNegev St,
Tel Aviv 66186. 
E-mail: shvil@spni.org.il
Phone: 972-3-638-8719 /20. Fax: 972-3-537-4543

Logistics
As experienced hikers, you are aware that good logistic preparations are the key to a successful trek. This applies to INT as well. The following advice is important especially for those who want to hike long sections or all of the INT.
 
The southern segment of INT - from Eilat to Arad - some 350 km., is the more difficult part of the trail since it passes through the Negev desert, a lightly populated area with few places to purchase food and obtain water. Print out the list of "Trail Angels", who may help hikers along the route, and take it with you. 
 
Food  
In the northern and central sections of the INT there are frequent villages and towns where food can be purchased. In the Negev desert, food can be purchased in Eilat; In Timna Park, at the restaurant at Lake Nehushtan At Han Shacharut (Shacharut inn); In Neot Smadar inn at Shizafon junction; In Paran ( located some 6 km from the trail), Zofar and Sapir. You can purchase some basics at a kiosk in Be'erot camp site in the Makhtesh Ramon (Ramon Crater) natural reserve (some 3 km from the trail). In the city of Mizpe Ramon. At Ovdat national park gas station, along the old INT route and at Sde-Boker (some 6 km from the trail).
 
Water 
Requirements per person - 6-8 liters per day, to be replenished as you go.
Between Eilat and Arad there are few available water supply points: (from south to north): Taba border crossing, Be'er Ora (some 3 km from the trail) Elifaz, Timna Park, Shaharut  (settlement) , Neot Semadar Inn at Shizafon Jct., Shitim, Shizafon army base, Nahal Tzihor (next to main road 40), Paran, Tzofar ,Sapir, Be'erot camp site at Ramon crater natural reserve, Ramon Crater visitors center, Mizpe Ramon, Nafha Jail (old I.N.T route), Ovdat national park(old INT route), Sde - Boker, Oron Works, Tamar Quarry, Nahal Dimona Quarry, Arad. In the center and south of the country, water can be found in villages, gas stations, park entrances etc.
 
Overnight Camping

  • In the winter, the desert is particularity cold at night.
  • In the north it may also be cold and rainy.
  • Do not camp next to bushes and shrubs and be careful when moving stones.
  • In national parks and reserves one must camp at designated camping areas only.

At the bottom of this page you'll find a link to a printable document with the names of some villages and towns close to the INT route. 

Hikers may ask for permission for overnight camping in settlements. In some places there are rooms allocated specially for INT hikers (some of them are free of charge and others are for a small fee.). See list at the bottom of page.

  • Outdoor campers should avoid littering and should not leave trash behind them;
  • They should thoroughly extinguish fires before leaving camp.
  • In national parks and reserves it is forbidden to light fires not in designated daily or overnight camp grounds.
  • For your protection and the environment, please cover all food provisions and litter that may attract wild animals at night.
  • A list of youth hostels can be obtained from: Youth Hostels Association, P.O. Box 6001, 1 Shazar St., Jerusalem 91060. Tel: 02 - 6558400.  Fax: 02 - 6558401.


Equipment
Following are just a few major items: comfortable walking shoes; hat or other head covering; comfortable and well fitting backpack; sleeping bag (for outdoor campers); Water containers; flashlight and matches; sun screening lotion and mosquitoes repellent; mosquito net against insects (summer); first aid; compass; clothing according to the season; cellular phone - particularly recommended for emergencies, can be rented in Israel. Other equipment can also be acquired locally without problems.
Remember: the less you carry on your back, the faster your progress.

Maps
All of INT route is mapped on our “Israel Hiking and Touring Maps” in Hebrew, scale 1:50,000. Survey of Israel has a map of Israel in English, scale 1:250,000. It’s good for general orientation but it’s not a topographical map for hiking.
 
Israel Trails Committee is making every effort to keep INT well marked and provide hikers with up to date information. However, the decision to hike the INT is taken by the hiker himself, and he alone assumes full responsibility for his safety and well-being. Within the limits of this reservation, the ITC will assist hikers who wish to obtain more detailed information 

Please contact our office at +972-3-638-8719 or 638-8720 from Sun - Thurs 9am-3pm OR email: shvil@spni.org.il