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Safety while hiking

Hiking is safe and healthy, if you follow a couple of simple rules.

For many, the following tips will fall into the category “clear”. But just these “clear” things are often ignored or taken lightly. Often with unpleasant consequences. Many holidaymakers in the mountains come from areas where it is not possible to gain experience in mountain hiking due to the topography.

Therefore, here is a short checklist with what to consider before the next hike.

Tour information

Apart from your own condition, which must be taken into account, there are also other things, which everybody knows beforehand: Are there climbing passages or rope-insured crates on the way? Do I need a rockfall helmet? Often, sensitive spots in the hiking maps are not shown separately. So in case of doubt, ask the host about whether there are any “adventures” on the way.

Equipment

Years ago, once in September, I was in the Rätikon mountain range in the Montafon, leaving gloves and a cap at home. An unforgettable holiday experience! Since then, I always take both when it goes beyond the tree line. It can very suddenly get very cold up there. The same applies to rain gear. Even though there are now quite precise weather forecasts, which I thoroughly study before.

Water

Klar, wenn der Mensch im Büro, beinahe erstarrt stundenlang vor seinem Computer sitzend, bereits einen Tagesbedarf von 2 Litern hat, dann hat er bei einer – in Höhenmetern – abwechslungsreichen Tour den zwei- bis dreifachen Bedarf. Das ist nichts Neues. Neu ist vielleicht, dass es mittlerweile auch online gute Möglichkeiten gibt, die geplante Route nach „blauen Flecken“, also dem Symbol für Quellwasser, abzusuchen.

Coming down

Since a tour rarely ends at the summit, the descent must be given the same attention as the ascent. Is there still enough fuel in your own “condition tank” when it’s time to go home? It is medically proven that the head loses its command of the legs “step by step” in the course of a hiking tour and one stumbles much more often at the end of a long tour. That can go wrong.

Wetter

Nowadays, it is no problem to find a good forecast with smartphone your smartphone. In Austria, ZAMG is my preferred partner in weather issues. Alternatively, for example, the Austrian Alpine Association has incorporated a precise weather forecast into its online hiking map.