How to Stay Safe while Hiking in the Alps - Safety Tips
Hiking, when done right and safely, is a fun and pleasant activity to do - especially when you are in the Alps where there are so many beautiful views of the mountains, streams and rare plants. But before you can enjoy it, you need to make sure that you are prepared before initiating your trip. Though Hiking isn’t an extreme sport, do not underestimate it - there are several safety precautions you should take prior and during your hiking trip so it could run smoothly. It feels good to be worry-free and fully prepared to undertake a hike up to the magnificent Alps. So here are a few safety tips for Hiking in the Alpine mountain range.
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Get to Know the Area
The Alps are known to be naturally abundant in flora, fauna and stunning landscapes - though beautiful, it could be dangerous. Make sure you get to know the environment well, educate yourself about the animals you may encounter and how you can evade them. If you’re curious about what animals you may see, read our blog post all about Alpine Animals. Or even learn about the sort of plants you should try and steer clear of - such as any poisonous or plants that sting - don’t even try consuming any wild plants or berries without having proper knowledge of whether they are edible or not. An example of a plant you can encounter is the Giant Hogweed, it grows a height of several meters and contains a photo-toxic sap that could result you in blisters.
2. Pack The Essentials
Checking that you have the Essential Hiking Gear is important. When hiking, you are most definitely bringing a backpack, and within the backpack, you should have important items for your survival such basic consumables like energy bars, food and lots of water. If you are hiking during the summer bringing water becomes even more important due to the immense heat and the loss of fluids and nutrients in your body. Other important things you should remember to bring is sun screen to protect your skin, navigation (like GPS, or a map), a first aid kit (for any incidents) and even a pocket knife so that you can be prepared for anything. By bringing the right gear, you can be relieved about any potential incidents because you are prepared.
3. Hike During the Day
Hiking during the night isn’t wise at all - you have very limited insight of what is around you because it is so dark. When you can’t see much, you run the risk of being vulnerable to tripping onto rocks, getting lost or even encountering a dangerous animal. Stay safe, and hike during the day, so that everything is visible and you are way less vulnerable. If you are a beginner at Hiking, you should most definitely start with Day Hikes and then retreat back to your Alpine accommodation, and then continue your hike the next day. Experienced hikers, or hikers with experienced people - could construct a tent overnight and avoid walking around in the dark.
4. Inform Someone
Prior to going on a Hike, you should make sure to let someone know that you will be hiking - along with how long you will be hiking for and when will you return. Though the risk may be minuscule, there could be a chance that you might get lost, get severely injured or end up stranded up in the mountains (hopefully not!), but if that incident does occur - it is worthwhile that there is someone waiting for your return and have the ability to contact the local police force or emergency services to help. Ideally, you should bring a mobile phone so you could contact people, but of course, the signals may vary depending on the altitudes - therefore, informing someone beforehand is still worthwhile. Either contact a friend, family member or even your hotel reception.
5. Don’t Hike By yourself
It is always more fun and more safe when you are bringing someone with you to hike. By having a hiking buddy (or buddies), you should feel more reassured and safe because if any incidents happen, there is always someone there to aid you in distress, injury or even just general navigation help. When you are by yourself, the only person you can depend on is yourself - but sometimes that’s not enough. But not only is it reassurance of safety, it is often way more fun than hiking by yourself, as you have someone to experience the beauty of the Alps with you.
6. bE IN sHAPE
This is definitely a plus if you are thinking of going on a hike in the Alps. Of course, depending on the intensity of the trail, you might need to be fit to a certain level. No matter how easy or hard the hiking trail is, being in shape will always give you an upper-hand compared to if you don’t do any exercise at all. By exercising, it can increase you agility, endurance and strength when needing to overcome obstacles or steep areas of the mountain. It can help you stay safe, because it will reduce any accidents and also give you the strength to keep going. For example, or hotel in the Italian Alps has a fitness room that can allow you to train your muscles and flexibility.
7. Check the Forecast
You should check the weather forecast before conducting your hike - you want to avoid heavy downpour, heatwaves or even snow storms. You want to make sure that you are hiking in the right and safe conditions so you can prevent any incidents. Sometimes the local authority can issue warnings or any hazards that should inform you that you shouldn’t hike. On top of that, you should ensure you are wearing the appropriate clothing for that weather - for instance, if it is hot, it would be wise to wear less heavy clothing - or else you might possibly suffer from a heatstroke!
8. Be Alert
Our last tip is to always be alert, this is a universal safety tip that can get you out of trouble. By staying alert of your surroundings, you can identify any hazards or anything that does not seem right. By identifying the red flags, whether it be the weather changes, the area you are going to or any dangerous animals - it will give you the idea to turn back and return down from your hike.
We hope that you find these safety tips useful and can give you a reassurance about hiking in the Alps.
For more articles about hiking in the Alps, check out our blog: