Hey you there!
Time for me to do something fun! While I was writing my Master Thesis, I was thinking these days that it would be nice to have an article about how to hike safely. So here are the things I know and the things I have learned through my experiences.
- Always be prepared!
You never know what might happen! Always bring some snack, make sure you always have at least one sip of water left, one bandage for just in case and obviously having your phone with you is a big plus. I always have this in my backpack, even if I go on a small hike. When I say you never know what might happen, I mean that in the mountain nothing is certain. You might fall and get injured, you might become hungry if you haven’t really seen how long the path you took requires or you might even need to call rescue services.
A buddy of mine never has these stuff with him, which is usually why I bring extra. He is always glad to be hiking with someone well prepared. 😉 And another buddy of mine is actually even better prepared than me in those situations. So you never know …
2. Rescue services membership
It is always a good idea to become a rescue services member, then you don’t have to pay for their services. Besides, here in Switzerland you are required to have insurance, because of that reason – it costs a lot for a helicopter to just come and pick you up – with or without injury. And furthermore, I found out that the rescue services here: Rega – have an app, so I installed it. You just need to activate your GPS and signal through the app that you have an emergency and hey will come. Super efficient, if you ask me! 🙂
3. Always have a map
It doesn’t really matter whether it’s a map from your phone or an actual map, just make sure that you know where you need to go and how to get there. To be honest, I never got lost so far, but I always knew where I wanted to go and how. Well, except once, because I was not in charge of the hiking experience, but even then I managed to find a map that worked. 🙂
Google is full of websites that have topographic maps, where you can see the trails and where they lead to. There is a Swiss app and a website, called GPS Tracks that is full of ideas for hikes, plus description, maps and hints. This is where I take the maps from and they best thing about it – you only need GPS, no internet is required, once you have downloaded the route. I am sure that there are plenty of other websites like that for every destination, not just for Switzerland.
4. Shoes, shoes, shoes!
Don’t underestimate your footwear! You always need comfortable hiking shoes, in which your feet feel comfortable. This is essentially the most important thing for hiking. And nowadays, good hiking shoes can be found for reasonable price. I am not talking for the hiking shoes that advanced hikers use, but rather the normal ones that don’t require you to hike like every week or to do very hard hikes.
Mine are from Decathlon in Milan, but wherever you are – there is always a store for this kind of things. 😉
Remember my article about the magical Grüezi? Well, even if you don’t, I am going to tell you anyway… So there is a rule, I hope, all around the world, that when you are hiking somewhere, you need to greet the people you meet along the way. It is proven that it saves lives. So, be polite and make sure you look the other person in his/her eyes while saying it. Try to remember the people you meet. I don’t mean start starring at them, but rather let your mind register them. You never know who might be the last person you see or sees you 😉
Well, I think that should do it! Be safe out there and enjoy every moment of it! Every hike has its beauty and magic that can transform your whole experience!
Have a good one! See you for my next adventures!