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#Skelia_Talks with Krystian, Scada/WinCC Engineer at Skelia Poland

We all sometimes wonder how to overcome the routine and battle our digital fatigue, and hiking might do the trick perfectly well. Krystian has been into hiking trips from childhood and has seen the beauty of the mountains at both sunrise and sunset, in the scorching heat and the cold. He’ll never miss an opportunity to go on a short mountain trip and surely knows how to hike your troubles away.

– Hi, Krystian! Tell us about yourself.

– Hi! I joined Skelia more than a year ago. I’m working for the Agidens team as a software engineer for infra automation. 

– Do you like it here in Skelia?

– My team is very cool. And one of the main benefits is that I can stay in our office in Krakow and don’t have to go anywhere. At my previous company, this was not possible as I had to travel all the time. Just hear the number – I have worked 250 days a year on business trips. So now I’m very pleased to have a regular office schedule and be able to spend enough time with my family and friends. 

– Wow! I know many people dream about a job with the possibility to travel! But now I see the other side of the coin. Well, now you don’t sacrifice your social life.

– Exactly. That was a problem before. Traveling itself is not bad, but when you do it most of your work time for about 6 years in a row – that’s tough.

– And now you have more time for your hiking hobby! Tell us how did that originate.

– It’s hard to say when exactly it started. As a kid, I often went hiking with my parents, exploring the hilly areas around Krakow. Then I dropped this activity but returned to it while studying at the university. While it was more about having fun with friends, hiking did become a valuable part of my life. Now, I go hiking with my fiancé whenever we have time and opportunity. We are the kind of people who don’t like to stay home during the weekend. We often plan one-day hiking trips: we start early in the morning and come back home in the eve.

– So you usually don’t hike for more than one day?

– We enjoy the spontaneity of our trips. We can be sitting home watching telly on Friday night and come up with the idea to go hiking tomorrow – this is how it goes. Plus, you have to pack a lot of stuff for more than one day. But I guess we’re gonna go somewhere in the mountains for a whole couple of days this year.

– That’s cool that you are so flexible! I can imagine such trips allow you to recharge and be isolated for some time. What is the best thing about hiking for you?

– There are many aspects: being far from the city, awesome views, and – I guess most importantly – the chance to relax. I work hard all week and feel mentally tired until the end of it. So I need to get physically tired and give my head some rest. 

– How do you plan your hikes?

– Usually, walking paths are pretty busy – it’s not uncommon to have such a hobby in Poland. I do a lot of reading or just browse the net. Before planning the route, you have to clearly understand what you will be able to do and what are your limits. It might get tough: there was one time in the Tatra mountains when we ended up in the middle of the storm on the height of 2,000 meters above the sea level. We got a bit scared and decided to slowly return.

– Wow! If I was there, I would just lie on the ground and cry.

– Well, that’s the thing – you shouldn’t panic. The weather in the mountains can quickly change and there are situations when you have to decide whether you can proceed or it’s better to stop and return. You can start from the smaller hills and take on more complicated trips gradually.

– How many kilometers a day do you usually hike? 

– Around 10-15. The longest distance I went for was 25 kilometers. It doesn’t sound that impressive but you should consider the difference of the heights and the angle of the hills:  

– Tell us more about the most memorable trips you’ve had.

– Gladly! I’ll also show some pictures from the trips. 

These are from our 2015 trip to Chochołowska: you can see how the weather changes through the heights:

This one is from the same place in 2017. Some say it’s photoshop but it’s not:

These pics are from Szpiglasowa, this trip took place back in 2017:

Here is a photo from Babia Gora in 2018. We went there at night to see the sunrise:

These are from Pieniny mountain range, we went for a hike there in 2016, very picturesque:

– What about safety on trails?

– There are some rules you need to know before going to the mountains – for starters, you must know how to contact the rescue team. There also might be flying patrols: if you’re okay, you wave them with your one hand, and if you need help, you wave with both. 

– I see. What about the equipment you use?

– The most important thing is comfortable shoes that protect your feet. They need to have a hard bottom so that you can go through rocky areas and keep your feet warm and safe. Also, you need to have a map. Something can happen with a phone so a paper map is your backup. What other things will be good to have? Some medicine, a waterproof jacket, a backpack with stripes across the chest for fixation, sunscreen. 

– Can you give our readers some hiking tips?

– As for the practical advice, there’s a website mapa-turystyczna.pl where it’s easy to plan your hiking routes. The maps there show important details like the height of the slopes, the length of the hike, or the estimated time; there also are photos made by other hikers. 

Bonus: Krystian has composed a 1-day hike trip plan for Skelia Blog readers.

There’s a saying that there are two types of people: those who can’t find a reason not to go hiking and those who can’t find a reason to go. But if you’re seeking a perfect digital detox, I bet you’ll enjoy the mountains!

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