Mountain hiking is an endurance sport. The positive stress stimuli for both the heart and circulation require health and a realistic self-assessment before you set out on a tour. Avoid time pressure and choose the speed according to the weakest hiker.
General hiking recommendation
Good tips to take awayThe umbrella organization of the leading Alpine mountain sports associations - "Club Arc Alpin" (CAA) - has developed recommendations suitable for every hiker and climber - for your own safety and in order to preserve Alpine nature for future tours. Even when meeting grazing livestock on Alpine pastures it's very important to observe some useful guidelines.
Hiking maps, guide books, websites and experts provide information on length, altitude difference, difficulty levels and current weather conditions. Only choose tours that are suitable for the entire group! Pay special attention to the weather report as rain, wind and cold increase the risk of accidents.
Adjust your equipment to the tour and pay attention to a light backpack. Rain, cold and sun protection are always a must in the backpack, as well as a first aid kit and a mobile phone (European emergency call: 112). A detailed map or GPS data can support orientation.
Sturdy, ankle-high hiking boots protect and relieve your feet by improving surefootedness! Make sure you choose a perfect fit, a non-slip grip sole, water resistant but light hiking boots.
Falling as a result of slipping or stumbling is the most common cause of Alpine accidents! Keep in mind that excessive speed or tiredness can seriously affect your surefootedness and concentration. Please note the danger of falling rocks: always walk carefully to avoid that you trigger falling stones or rocks.
In unmarked terrain there is a high risk of loss of orientation, falling and falling rocks. Avoid shortcuts and return to the last known point once you get off the hiking route. Often underestimated and very dangerous: steep, old snow fields!
A timely rest stop is perfect for recreation, enjoyment of landscape and a chat among friends. Enough food and drink are necessary to maintain efficiency and concentration. Isotonic drinks are ideal thirst quenchers. Muesli bars, dried fruit and biscuits satisfy your hunger on the way.
Don't forget that variety and playful discovery are in the foreground for the youngest hikers! On stretches with risk of falling, one adult can only care for one child. Very exposed tours that require a long time of concentration are not suitable for children.
A small group guarantees flexibility and mutual help. Always inform family or friends down in the valley about your hiking destination, the route and the approximate return time. Stay together in the group. Single hikers - please note: even minor incidents can lead to serious emergencies.
In order to protect nature in the mountains: don't leave any waste, avoid noise, stay on the marked trails, don't disturb wild or grazing animals, don't touch Alpine plants and respect protected areas and preserves. Use public transport lines or carpools to get there.
Important: Dogs must be leashed!
Caution: How do I behave if I meet grazing cattle?
Cows are generally considered to be gentle animals. Attacks on hikers can be avoided with the right decision-making and behavior in their habitat:
- Make sure there is enough distance to the grazing animals and stay on the walking trails.
- If a cow feels threatened, especially by dogs or other provocation, the animal will defend itself and the calves.
- Taking dogs with you is at your own risk. Accompanying dogs must always be kept on a leash. If an attack by cattle is unavoidable, release the dog from the leash immediately - otherwise you could become the target of the attack.
- Keep calm and quiet when crossing grazing areas and walk around the cattle by keeping enough distance.
- Walk past closed gates and fences only if there is no other possibility. Close all gates carefully!