So, you've come to Poland on Erasmus, on a student exchange or perhaps on a short-term contract. You've been here a while and like outdoor activities but you're scared when you have to get your tongue around phrases such as: “Poproshe bilet normalny do Zywiets na shrode, shesnasty shierpnia, na oshiemnasta sheshch”. Would you like to go to see the Polish mountains, places off the beaten track and get to know interesting people?

Well, you have come to the right place! Come with us on our treks!

WHO ARE WE?

We are SKPB, i.e.

the Association of Beskidy Student Mountain Guides, in Warsaw.

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We are from various walks of life, and study or studied different subjects at different universities, in different cities. We have various passions but the one that has united us is MOUNTAINS.

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 Our Association is one of the biggest of its kind in Poland. It was founded over 55 years ago. Over these 50 or so years over 600 guides have passed through its ranks and thousands of people have travelled with us to the mountains or on other trips.

As mountain guides we organise various trips, not only treks in the mountains. You can also go with us on a canoe or a bike trip.

In order to become a SKPB-guide, i. e. a person with whom you go on a trek or another trip, each of us had to complete a year-long course and pass many tricky exams.

 

WHAT ABOUT OUR TRIPS?

In choosing us you choose to relax in an active manner during which you carry your own rucksack, which may of course be heavy. To go with us you will need basic equipment such as this rucksack, walking boots, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, torch (head torch), mess tin, and mug, etc. depending on the weather and the type of trip. If you do not have some of the above-mentioned accessories, do not worry, just tell us and we will try to help you to find them. Please remember! We are not a travel agency. We are a non-profit student organisation. We do not make any profit on our activities!

ogniskoOur trips are:

- low-cost (you cover transport, accommodation and food costs)
- we get around by local transport means
- we sleep in mountain hostels, cabins or even in barns on hay
- we cook our food together, e. g. on campfires
- we hike with rucksacks

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- we do not always use marked paths
- we do not drink alcohol
- we go mainly to the mountains but not only there

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- we think that an umbrella turns out to be good for rain in the mountains so do not be surprised if you find it on a list of things to take with you
 

OUR TRIPS:

Throughout the year we organise, among other things, the following treks:

Beskid Niski and Połoniny HIKES:

The Beskid Niski[1] and Połoniny[2] HIKES which we organise, each of them, once a year are the biggest of their kind in Poland!

In autumn, at the end of September, we go to Bieszczady, i.e. to the wildest and most south-eastern Polish mountains. In the spring at the beginning of May we visit the most enchanting Polish mountains, i. e. Beskid Niski (in Poland we have a few bank holidays in a row at the beginning of May so it is very convenient to take a few days off and enjoy the whole week having fun).

Both hikes are of a similar nature. Before you go you choose the group you want to join. You can usually choose between 10 to 15 routes as part of the hike! You can choose a route where you sleep in a tent or in a mountain hostel. There are also bike groups and groups going abroad to explore mountains on the other side of the border (Slovakia, Ukraine). Routes are very diverse when it comes to their character (e. g. you can sleep in a tent or in a mountain hostel), their length (between 3 and 9 days) or the way you travel (on foot, by bike, with or without a big rucksack). The choice is very varied and you will definitely find something for you. Information on hikes is published in good time on our website: www.skpb.waw.pl

[1] Beskid Niski, Lower Beskids – one of the mountain ranges in the Outer Eastern Carpathians.

[2] Połoniny – a Polish term for treeless subalpine meadows typical for the Eastern Carpathians.

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Summer time

During the summer holidays, i. e. from June to September, we organise the Summer TREK programme. In this period we organise treks in Polish and European mountains. We go to the Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, France, etc. These treks usually last longer, i.e. one to two weeks but as for their nature they resemble the above-mentioned treks in the Polish mountains. For those who work and do not have so much time off we also organise weekend trips.

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Accommodation in the mountains: our campsite and our lodge

If you do not feel like going for an organised trip but you are looking for cheap accommodation in the mountains, you are very welcome to stay at our campsite or our mountain lodge!

The campsite is open from June to August. It is located in the Beskid Niski Mountains in Regietów. You can stay the night there even if you do not have your own tent. We offer about 35 sleeping places in our tents. You will need, however, your own sleeping bag, etc. There is no bathroom with hot water nor is there electricity. You can wash in the stream in a place designated for this purpose. We do not offer food but you can cook your own. We serve tea and have some kitchenware at our disposal - pots, mugs, cutlery, etc. We also offer the most comfortable hammock in this part of the world. Even if you do not plan to stay overnight you can always come for a free cup of tea. Accommodation is cheap and cheerful - the cost is 5 to 8 zloties per night.

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Teo-Lodge in Teodorówka . Our lodge is open in July and August as well as during the winter holidays and longer bank holidays. It has electricity. We offer about 30 sleeping places on plank beds or on the floor – it is recommended to have your own sleeping mat and a sleeping bag. As in the case of the campsite, we do not offer food. But you can cook it on your own on a tile stove heated with firewood :-) There is no shower in the house! But we installed a bathroom in a separate shed where you can wash using a “bucket shower”. You have to draw water from a well first, of course. Accommodation costs only 8 PLN per night.

 

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Apart from treks and hikes and accommodation in the mountains we also organise various other events throughout the year. You can come with us for a weekend trip, go for a walk in the woods or take part in an orienteering race.

 

Keep an eye on our website and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us using the following email address (you can write in English or German):

info (at) skpb.waw.pl

 

Text: Aleksandra Nikiel / Translation: Anna Romaniuk

Photos: Magdalena Badowska, Dariusz Gatkowski, Adam Leszczyński, Adam Łada, Zbigniew Malinowski, Adam Rączkowski, Anna Romaniuk, Agnieszka Skieterska, Olga Zawadzka.