Finding freedom on the hiking trail with Romy Robst and her dog Lotte

Romy Robst: hiking blogger, nature lover, adventure seeker, and human-mom to her dog Lotte. Romy has dedicated her life to hiking and the outdoors, which makes her a great ambassador for komoot.

As she says, people’s taste for hiking and the mountains changes at different stages of their lives, and she would know – Romy hasn’t always liked hiking. It’s safe to say that she loves it these days. In spite of living in Hannover, Germany, with no nearby mountains to speak of, she loves nothing more than to lose herself in the present moment as she pushes up the last few meters to the summit, preferably with Lotte right behind her. She documents her trail experiences on her blog, and shares detailed planning tips and trail reports to empower others to get outside, whether on local hikes or multi-day adventures.

To get to know Romy, we put her in the komoot hotseat…

Describe yourself in three words

Ambitious, fun-loving and adventurous.

Instant hiking meals or DIY?

Simple, home-prepped meals that you can pour water over – doesn’t have to taste super good, as long as it fills you up.

Do you cut your toothbrushes in half?

No, I use children’s bamboo toothbrushes, they are already short and only weigh 10 grams.

Summit log book or Instagram pic?

Both, but only after I have enjoyed the special atmosphere at the summit – the sense of accomplishment as I take in the view.

What motivates you to get outside and explore?

It is difficult to answer this question briefly. The strongest driving force is probably the tangible feeling of happiness and freedom that I feel, especially in the mountains. In everyday life, we probably only recognize “happiness” in the rear-view mirror when we are actually already looking for it again. Being exposed to the forces of nature, not taking yourself too seriously, testing your own limits – which are often further away than you think – and reacting to the unpredictable puts me in the here and now, and at the same time inspires me for further adventures.

Tell us about your most epic hike yet.

Definitely my eight-week crossing of the Alps on the Sentiero della Pace last year. Most of the time I was alone with my dog Lotte – countless peaks, alone for days and without a plan B, on a trail that hardly anyone has walked from start to finish in one go. It took me half a year just to research the route. The challenges were immense, which made it unforgettable: ascending through waist-high snowfields over 3000-metre passes, a balancing act on a wire rope bridge with my 20-kilo dog and a 14-kilo rucksack on my back, and getting stuck on a scree slope. I had such touching moments almost every day that I still draw on them nearly a year later.

Looking forward, what plans do you have for the year?

To go as far and as high as possible. I want to climb many peaks, even over 4000 meters, and do a multi-day hike in the mountains every month. I want to discover, challenge myself and learn a lot.

What do you never hit the trail without?

My phone. I use it all the time on the trail: for navigation, to keep in touch with the outside world, for weather reports, as a watch, for social media and, if necessary, as back up when all my other devices have given up. I also use it for taking photos and videos.

What has been the biggest hiking game-changer for you?

The more demanding my hikes become, the closer I get to (temporary) failure. Learning to accept that this is part of the mountain experience was easier for me than I thought. I give up on a trek and come back to make it all the way next time. This does not make me weaker, but stronger.

Why do you recommend komoot?

Digital navigation on the mountain makes total sense and can help you in difficult situations. I’ve only used komoot for a short time, but the offline navigation is super reliable and the Tour suggestions and Highlights are very helpful for a self-planner like me.

In the current climate with limitations on getting outside, how are you using komoot to keep your adventure-fire stoked?

My leisure time activity will probably include planning my own hikes – at least until I can travel again. I have plenty of time for that now, and above all it’s forward looking – eventually better times will come again for free spirits and adventurous people like me.