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Stamps, Postal Marks and First Day Covers - Hiking and Tramping

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It pays to be a stamp collector during the coronavirus shutdown, as you have a ready made activity to keep you sane and busy during your time at home.

I have been chatting recently with Alex Wijsman in Holland re his themed collections and he has pointed me to an offshoot theme to racewalking – general fitness walking and tramping (bush walking for us Australians). This is a much larger theme area and it would be just about impossible to collect or document all the stamps and postmarks that have been issued world wide. But I have put together a small subset, just to show what is out there.

When I discussed this theme with Alex, he advised: My collection starts with the attributes - shoe, rucksack, walking-stick, topographical map, compass, spy-glass, etc. This is followed by signs, overnight stays and fitness. After that I move onto hiking etc.

Most of these stamps and envelopes have been given to me by Alex. My thanks go to him for his generous support.


1938 - Netherlands

The Nijmegen International 4 Day Distance Walk is the largest multiple day marching event in the world. It is organised every year in Nijmegen, Netherlands in mid-July as a means of promoting sport and exercise. Participants walk 30, 40 or 50 kilometers daily depending on their age and gender, and, on completion, receive a royally approved medal (Vierdaagsekruis). The participants are mostly civilians, but there are also a few thousand military participants each year.

The event was first held in 1909 and is still going strong over 100 years later, bigger and better than ever.

This one of two postal marks from the 1938 edition. This postal mark, dated 27th July 1938, has a very nice little graphic of walkers marching along. I also have a second envelope, postmarked 26th July 1938.
1938 Nijmegen
1939 - Netherlands

I have the 4 Postal Cards issued for the 1939 edition of the Nijmegen International 4 Day Distance Walk. Note the postal mark graphic is the same as for 1938, only the date has changed.

The 4 postmarks read 24, 25, 26 and 27 July 1939.

Read more about the annual event at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Four_Days_Marches_Nijmegen.
1939 Nijmegen
1939 - Germany

This envelope, postmarked 17/7/39 includes the following text in the Postal Mark

Neustadt (Orla)
In the Wold hiking area of Thuringia

Neustadt an der Orla is a town in Saale-Orla-Kreis district, in Thuringia, Germany.

The 3Pf stamp on the envelope was first released in 1934, to mark the death of Paul von Hindenburg, 2nd Reichspresident of the Weimar Republic 1925-1934, but was obviously still in use 5 years later.

Imagine - this letter was posted less than 2 months before the start of WWII (the start of WWII is officially set as 1st September 1939, when Germany invaded Poland). Little did the person who posted this letter realise that his/her life was about to be turned upside down. The hiking boots would be put away in favour of jackboots!
1939 Germany
1961 - Bulgaria

This stamp is one of a set of 4, exploring the theme of Tourism. The full set are

- Mountaineer
- Hotel
- Walkers
- Tent
1961 Bulgaria
1966 - Cuba

This stamp is one of four, issued by Cuba in 1966 to celebrate Tourism.

The caption reads: alegre como su sol la gran piedra
1966 Cuba
1967 - Luxembourg

This single stamp was released in Luxembourg in 1967 to celebrate Ses Auberges de Jeunesse (Youth Hostels).
1967 Luxembourg
1971 Ajman State

This stamp is a beauty, one of many wonderful stamps to come from Ajman State, part of the United Arab Emirites. It is part of a large set celebrating the XIII World Jamboree which was to be held in August of that year.

I think that Ajman State must release more stamps than anywhere else in the world. When I wanted to check out the details of this stamp, I found this page which shows the huge number of large sets issued that year: http://golowesstamps.com/reference/formatprinters/Ajman/1971/ajman_1971_stamps.htm.

I 'm glad I don't collect Ajman State stamps - I would soon be bankrupt!

The full set of 6 stamps is also shown. It's a great set.
1971 Ajman State
1971 Ajman State
1972 - France

This was a standalone stamp, issued by France in July 1972, in recognise the Walking Tourism Year.
1972 France
1976 - Netherlands

Zoom back up to the top for the 1938 and 1939 postal marks from the Nijmegean 4 Day Walks of those two years.

A special stamp was issued to celebrate the 60th Nijmegen 4 Day Walk which was held in 1976. See it on the left.




The stamp was one of two issued on  15/6/1976 under the title of Sports Stamps. The other one showed a silhouette of runners. The First Day Cover is shown on the left. Note the very nice Postal Mark featuring a graphic of feet.












And here is the special envelope and postal mark issued on 20th July, featuring the Nijmegen stamp, along with a distinctive postal mark of two walkers. Very nice!
1976 Nijmegen
1976 Netherlands

1976 Netherlands
1977 - Grenada Grenadines

This is one of a series of stamps released for the Caribbean Jamboree, Kingston, Jamaica, on August 5-14 1977.

This one is titled Overnight Hike.
1977 Grenada
1977 - Switzerland

This is one of two First Day Covers, both dated 25/08/1977.

This FDC features a stamp advertising a Swiss footpath and shows a road sign with a swiss cross and butterfly.

The second FDC (not shown here) includes this stamp, along with 2 others released on same day

20 - Factory building & worker with safety helmet
40 - Cultural Goods protection shield on Ionic capital
80 - Road sign with Swiss cross & butterfly
1977 Switzerland
1980 - Switzerland

This First Day Cover, dated 24/11/1980 has a postal mark that reads

Ideal hiking area in the Zurcher Oberland

The Zürcher Oberland in Switzerland, is the hilly south-eastern part of the canton of Zurich, bordering on the Toggenburg, including the districts of Uster, Hinwil, Pfäffikon as well as the Töss Valley as far as the district of Winterthur.

The stamp is titled "Post omnibus & bus stop" so is not hiking related. It is the postal mark that is significant in this case.
1980 Switzerland
1982 - Germany

A very nice Post Mark on this envelope cover, postmarked 7-12-82 and featuring a hiker and a cross country skier

The text reads: Essington Wortt Wander-und Wintersport gehen (Essington means walking and winter sports).
1982 Germany
1982 - Cook Islands

The Cook Islands published a set of four stamps, reproducing paintings by Norman Rockwell. The one we are interested in is the top one, labelled The Hikers. I love this stamp!

The 4 stamps reproduce the following paintings.

- The Hikers (1928)
- Serenade (1928)
- The Doctor and the Doll (1929)
- Home from camp (1940)

To see the original Hikers painting, chec, out https://prints.nrm.org/detail/260811/rockwell-hikers-1928.

Norman Percevel Rockwell (1894-1978) was an American painter and illustrator. His works have a broad popular appeal in the United States for their reflection of American culture. Rockwell is most famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine over nearly five decades.

To check out more of his pictures, see https://www.wikiart.org/en/norman-rockwell.
1982 Cook Islands
1982 Cook Islands  1982 Cook Islands  1982 Cook Islands
1983 - Belgium

This is one of a set of 2 Red Cross stamps released in Belgium in 1983. This one is titled The Hiker  and has a sidebar caption which reads sport pedestre wandelsport.

The second one was titled The Mountaineer.
1983 Belgium
1983 - Canada

This 32cent stamp of Josiah Hensen (1789-1883) was released by Canada in 1983, marking the 100th anniversary of his death.

The stamp design is based on an authentic portrait of Josiah Henson, combined with a symbolic rendering of the "underground railroad", which transported him and his companions to freedom.
1983 Canada
1984 - Netherlands

This Post Mark, dated 15/04/1984, has an annotation which reads

Royal Dutch Federation
75 years of walking
for Physical Education
1984 Netherlands
1987 - Netherlands

This set of 3 stamps was released in the Netherlands in 1987. The captions on the stamps translate as follows:

55c - Walking is enjoying nature to the full
100c - Walking is healthy for young and old
250c - Walking is a sport to explore your own country






The stamps were used as part of the First Day Cover released for the 71st Nijmegen 4 Day Walk which took place on 21-24 July 1987.
1987 Nijmegen

1987 Netherlands
1989 - Belgium

This envelope and Post Mark were released to mark the 20th edition of the Dodentoche 100km annual walk.

The Post Mark contains the words Kadee Bornem 100km Dodentocht.

The Dodentocht (Dutch for March of the Dead) is a long-distance walk of 100 kilometers organized annually in Bornem, Belgium, since 1970. The gruelling walk derives its name from the length of the walk and the rough and forested terrain.
1989 Belgium
1990 - Switzerland

This stamp was one of 4 released in Switzerland in 1990 on the theme Pro Juventute: Development of the child.

This stamp was documented as Children Hiking.












The 4 stamps are displayed in the accompanying First Day Cover. The stamps are

35 - Child building a ship model
50 - Children hiking
80 - Children playing football
90 - Rock music group
1990 Switzerland

1990 Switzerland
1990 - Sweden

Sweden released a set of 5 stamps to celebrate their world famous National Parks in 1990. Two of them are shown opposite, one with hikers.
1990 Sweden
1991 - Netherlands

This stamp was released by the Netherlands on 1991-07-09 to mark the 75th Nijmegen 4 Day Walk. Nijmegen does get its fair share of attention from the Dutch Philatelic Bureau!
1991 Netherlands
1992 - Belgium

An envelope and Post Mark to celebrate the 23rd edition of the Dodentoche 100km walk in Belgium in 1992.

The Post Mark is the same as in the 1989 envelope (see above) and has the words

Kadee Bornem 100km Dodentocht
19932 Belgium
1999 - New Zealand

In 1999, New Zealand released this spectacular set of 6 stamps with theme Scenic Walks. They are

40c - West Ruggedy Beach Stewart Island
80c - Ice Lake Butler Valley Westland
$1.00 - Tonga Bay Abel Tasman N.P.
$1.20 - East Matakitaki  Valley Nelson Lakes N.P.
$1.50 - Great Barrier Island
$1.80 - Mt Taranaki / Egmont
1999 New Zealand
2016 Japan

A set of 4 stamps was released in Japan in 2016 to celebrate the International Letter Writing Week.

The 90 and 130 value stamps feature paintings of people hiking to postal depots. The full set of 4 prints is also shown.
2016 Japan  2016 Japan

2016 Japan