SAFA Skysailor Magazine

22 SKY SAILOR September | October 2021 Hike & fly is growing in popularity with more and more pilots wanting to get into it, but often not knowing where to start, how to choose the right gear and clothing, how to plan a trip, find a good take-off, and assess if the conditions are safe. The Aimilios’ ‘Guide’ is the first book addressing these issues. It’s for paragliding pilots who have some experience in flying but none or very little experience in hiking and want to get started. Mads Syn- dergaard helped edit and wrote in the preface that the book represents ‘the very low-tech approach – ‘You’d like to do some hike & fly? Well, pick up that bag and start hiking!’ Statements like these are close to my heart, as I started hike & fly with my 17kg normal gear, running shoes, and some dusty old trekking poles found at the staircase of my apartment. You don’t need the lightest and newest gear to go for a hike & fly, yet, most questions beginning hike & fly and vol-bivouac pilots ask me, are about the choice of gear. Naturally, when starting a new activity we have no experience and no clue, so at least we can have the best gear possible and control this aspect of the adventure. So, despite the ‘pick up that bag and start hiking’ intro, the next 60 pages are filled with gear advice and options for everyone, which should answer all the gear questions of any aspiring hike & fly pilot. From paragliding harness to socks to trekking poles, Aimilios covers it all. I’m now sneering at the ‘just pick up that bag and start hiking’ false advertising, but also understand that the variety of gear choices might be overwhelming for a hike & fly beginner, therefore it’s great to have all the gear basics described in one book. The author starts with a short introduction on the history of paragliding which is inter- esting and entertaining to read – “Mandatory Book Review by Kinga Masztalerz ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Hike & Fly – a paragliding book on walking’ by Aimilios Apostolopoulos, 2021 Kinga is a NZ-based global mountain paragliding pilot and adventurer specialising in vol-bivouac and multi-day hike & fly. She is a Red Bull X-Alps athlete, New Zealand champion, and holder of two distance records and kindly reviewed Aimilios’ book for us.