Safe mountain hiking
Nine recommendations from the Alpine Club
The following recommendations are intended to make mountain hiking tours as safe and enjoyable as possible.
- Healthy in the mountains Mountain hiking is an endurance sport. In order to gain the positive physiological stimulus for the heart and circulatory system, one needs to meet certain health requirements and be able to realistically assess one's abilities. Avoid acting under pressure and select the walking tempo so that no one in the group is short of breath. Michael Larcher, leader of the alpine sport project in the Alpine Club says: "You should resist the temptation to rush to meet ambitious goals. Untrained persons should consciously "lower the bar" and first try an easy hike to see how it goes before attempting new terrain. Heart and circulatory system problems are responsible for almost half of all emergency situations during mountain hiking."
- Careful Planning Hiking maps, guidebooks, Internet and experts provide information about the route length, altitude difference, difficulty and the current meteorological conditions. Adapt the tours to suit the abilities of the group. Pay special attention to the weather report since rain, wind and cold increase the risk of accidents. Watch out! Lightning!
- Completely equipped Adapt your equipment to your activity and try to keep your backpack or rucksack as light as possible. Rain gear, cold-weather clothing and sunscreen/protection should always be included in the rucksack as well as a first-aid kit and a mobile telephone (Europe-wide emergency number: 112). A map or GPS can help you know where you are within the park.
- Appropriate shoes Good hiking shoes protect and relieve the feet and improve slip resistance! When selecting your shoes, make sure they fit perfectly, have a non-slip grip sole and are water proof and light in weight.
- Good footing Falls due to slipping or stumbling are the most common cause of accidents! Be aware that an excessively swift speed or fatigue drastically and negatively affect your secure footing and concentration. Watch out! Rock falls! By carefully stepping and wisely choosing the path, you will avoid loose stones.
- Stay on the marked trails If you stray off the beaten track, then the danger of disorientation, tumbles and rock slides increases. If you venture off the path, avoid short-cuts and return to the last known point. Often underestimated and very dangerous: steep, old snowfields!
- Regular pauses Regular rest intervals increase relaxation and enhance enjoyment of both the countryside and your companions. Eating and drinking are needed to keep up your physical performance and keep you focussed on the task. Isotonic drinks are ideal thirst quenchers. Muesli bars, dried fruits and cookies help stem hunger while on the trail.
- Responsibility for children Bear in mind that the attention span of children is limited and that playful discovery is a high priority for children! Mountain passes with a risk of falling require a 1:1 adult-to-child caretaking ratio. Likewise, high-exposure tours, which demand extended periods of concentration, are not suited for children.
- Small Groups Small groups ensure flexibility and enable mutual assistance. Prior to embarking, inform trustworthy persons concerning the goal, route and return particulars. Remain together in the group. Watch out! Solo-hikers: Even relatively small incidents can have serious emergency consequences
WÖFFI - Wandern im Naturpark mit Bus & Bahn
Beitrag Panorama DAV