Often times in order to avoid accidents and other nasty surprises, it is enough to prepare carefully and follow some precautions.
Before leaving for an excursion, some aspects need to be considered. Study the path examining its length and difficulty. Pay attention to how the routes are marked and evaluate how long you will need to complete the excursion. Pay attention also to the height of the route, and consequently to the climate and the possible presence of snow. Finally, check the refreshment points along the way and how far they are from each other.
Duration and difficulty are relative concepts that depend on your level of preparation and fitness. Objectively assess your conditions and how you feel before departure. Consider any health conditions you may have and how the height and altitude of the hike can affect them.
It may seem obvious, but the weather needs to be considered very carefully. Take into account not only precipitation, but also temperature and wind. Rely not only on the weather you usually consult, but also on local bulletins such as the on by Arpav. Take into account the weather to decide when to leave and how long it will take.
As a general rule, leave early in the morning: the climate tends to be more stable and you will not run the risk of returning after sunset. Consider longer hiking times than necessary, because an unexpected event can always happen, and come back before it gets dark.
Always go hiking with the right clothing: in addition to sports clothing, remember that suitable shoes are essential to avoid slipping and sprains, that it is advisable to dress in layers for any temperature changes and that a waterproof jacket is a must. The gear varies depending on the type of path and may include sticks and a headlamp. As for the backpack, do not skimp on the water and always bring a snack, even if you do not expect to need it. Don’t forget to leave with a trail map and a fully-charged mobile phone. Bring your sunglasses, hat and sun cream, and a garbage bag. It is a good idea to have a first aid kit with you, to which we recommend adding blister patches. Finally, we suggest that you also take some cash, because, especially in bad weather, in the mountain lodges the card line may not work.
Hiking with someone is good for the mood and also in terms of safety. But if you’re leaving alone, share your schedule with a friend, relative or hotel staff: what’s your destination and what itinerary you’re taking, and what time you’re planning on coming back. This information will be invaluable in case of an emergency.
The best way to make an excursion in complete safety is to rely on mountain professionals: alpine, naturalistic, hiking and medium mountain guides are perfectly trained and know the territory very well.
It is important to be able to accept your limits and not get caught up in competition. If you are faced with a difficult situation or are taking longer than expected, do not hesitate to consider stopping the hike and returning along the same route.
Despite all the precautions, we suggest you get insured in the event of an accident in the mountains. In case of emergency, the number to call is 118. In this case it is important to keep calm and provide the operator with all the information they ask for. We invite you to learn more on these topics here.
When you go to the mountains you have to do it with respect, to guarantee to other hikers the same enjoyment and not to disturb the life of animals and plants.
Do not leave your waste in the mountains and, if possible, not even at a mountain hut. Keep in your backpack a bag in which to put your waste and then return it to the valley. For smokers we recommend a portable ashtray.
Flowers are the most beautiful decoration of meadows and mountain woods, and there is no reason to take them away! At most, take a picture. The mountain environment is already complex in itself, and over the years the collection of some flowers has endangered their survival.
Along your paths you can meet all kinds of animals, wild or from the farm. Either way, the same rules apply: do not feed them, do not scare them and do not get too close.
If you are hiking with your dog, remember that they must always be at the leash and that you also need to take care of them: evaluate I the itinerary is feasible for them and bring with you food and water for them.
To find out more, please consult our page dedicated to mountain rescue, emergency calls and insurance.