SAFETY

Animals

 

    • There are some venomous snakes, scorpions, and spiders in Jordan. You’re unlikely to really encounter snakes, but you may see one sunning itself on a road. Scorpions and spiders often hide under rocks or in other dark places, so be careful when lifting or moving rocks. If you’re camping, be sure to shake out your shoes or any other gear you’ve left out overnight.
    • The animals that you’re most likely to encounter along the way are goats, sheep, and their shepherd dogs. The dogs are loud and intimidating, but mostly not a major threat. Go slow and, if necessary, keep your bike between yourself and the dogs, slowly moving down the road. Try to wave at the shepherd if he/she is around. They’ll often call the dogs off. Once you’re well past the sheep, goats, or the property the dogs are protecting, they should leave you alone. Sometimes, with particularly aggressive dogs, you may need to reach down to pick up a rock (usually not even throw it) — this warning will cause most dogs to jump a few meters back.

Cars

 

    • The vast majority of the route — even sections on paved roads — stays away from car traffic. Occasionally, the Jordan Bike Trail passes through busy intersections.
    • Drivers in Jordan can be very aggressive —be careful and wear visible clothing. If you’re riding at dusk or dawn, be sure to have bike lights.

Cell Service

 

    • Cell service is generally good along the Jordan Bike Trail
    • In the bottoms of deep wadis (Zarqa, Zarqa Ma’in, Hidan, Mujib) you won’t have service; and, for the most part, you won’t have service between Rum Village and the final descent to Aqaba.
    • If you’re traveling alone, we’d recommend carrying a Garmin InReach or SPOT Tracker to communicate in case of emergency when you don’t have cell service.

Emergency Contacts

 

In case of emergency, dial 911.

Food & Water

 

    • The Jordan Bike Trail regularly passes basic shops, so you shouldn’t have to carry lots of food. The longest distance between resupply points is 70km (between Rum Village and Aqaba). But still take planning ahead seriously – there are a number of ~40km sections with major climbs as well, and especially on hot days you should make sure to take enough water.
    • Natural water sources are infrequent, but present in Jordan. You can buy water at all shops. We’ve noted in waypoints and in stage notes where the route passes natural springs. The trail also crosses a number of wadis/canyons (Wadi Zarqa, Wadi Hidan, and Wadi Mujib), but we recommend using springs before running water in wadis. You should always treat water from natural sources before drinking — best to use chemical treatment or steripen.
    • Tap water in Jordan is not guaranteed to be potable — to be safe you may want to purify it before drinking. Mosques often have potable water freely available (usually from a metal tank with spigots; ask before drinking).
    • While distances between water sources are not great, we’d recommend having the capacity to carry 4-5L of water at a time. Some of the 40km stretches between water include long, hot, exposed climbs, where sun exposure and heat exhaustion are a risk.
    • If you plan on camping, be prepared to carry even more water to campsites without water sources nearby.

Interaction with Locals

 

    • Most interactions with Jordanians will be a fun experience!
    • However, many communities along the route are still not used to foreign tourists. We have heard of instances when people have thrown rocks at cyclists or harassed women.
    • We suggest that women dress conservatively (long sleeve shirts and pants) when passing through towns/villages, and we highly recommend that women travel in groups of two or more.

Military

 

In a couple of places, the Jordan Bike Trail passes through military checkpoints or near military bases. You may be required to show your passport/Jordanian Visa when crossing a checkpoint, but you should face no other issues.

Weather

 

    • Jordan’s climate is hot and dry, with a cooler “wet” winter (more precipitation in the North) and a hot dry summer.
    • Sun exposure is one of the biggest potential safety risks you’ll encounter on the Jordan Bike Trail. Be sure to wear sunscreen and sunglasses, and consider wearing lightweight, long-sleeve clothing. Carry sufficient water — it’s not uncommon on hot days to consume 1L of water per hour when riding. Where there are long stretches with little shade, we’ve noted key shade spots in our waypoints.
    • Flash floods can be a danger especially in winter and spring, but the Jordan Bike Trail doesn’t pass through any slot canyons; and many of the major canyons’ streams are regulated by dams upstream of the route. It is possible though that a road may be washed out in canyons in winter rain.
    • Temperatures vary widely between day/night, and depending on elevation. In the higher desert elevations, temperatures can be quite cold at night, with lows below freezing from Dec-Jan.