Your safety depends on your own good judgement, adequate preparation, and constant attention. Hikers should know their limits, not everyone is fit to climb a mountain, be in good physical condition helps, but not going to a gym everyday should not prevent you from hike, just enusre you stay within your limits. Proper equipment and the knowledge of how to use it are essential for a safe trip.
Remember, your safety is your responsibility!
Here are a few basics to help you get started:
Let a responsible person know your route and return time. Have them contact the authorities if you do not return within a reasonable time.
If possible, always hike with another person. Keep your hiking party together and stay on officially maintained trails. If in your party there are children, keep them in your sight and do not allow them to get ahead of you or fall behind.
- Do not rely on technology to save you. Mobile phones might not work in some places, sometimes even the GPS are unreliable.
Carry a topographic map or a trail map and know how to read it. A compass is recommended.
Carry a flashlight or headlamp-even on a dayhike. If you have trouble on the trail, darkness may fall before you can finish your hike.
Take adequate water-minimum 2 liters per person per day. 3 or 4 liters are recommended per person. Water obtained from the backcountry should be treated either by filtering or boiling.
Carry some food. A day hike requires simple, tasty, cold snacks and a handful of fruit. Food that packs well and tastes good is the goal.
Carry a small first aid kit.
Check the current weather forecast and be prepared for quickly changing conditions.
Wear shoes or boots that provide good ankle support.
Avoid hypothermia (the dangerous lowering of body temperature) by keeping dry. Avoid cotton clothing. Dress in layers that can be easily removed or added as you heat up or cool down. Always carry a wind-resistant jacket and rain gear-even on sunny days!
Avoid hiking at night. If you are camping, plan to get to your campsite before dark.
Research the terrain of your trip, plan an itinerary that is realistic for your group's level of backcountry experience and physical abilities to backpack in steep, mountainous terrain.
- If you have an emergency and have cell phone access, call for help (use the applicable number in that country). Be sure to tell the operator what is your approximately location, what trail you are on or what campsite/shelter you are at. If you are on a trail, giving the nearest trail intersection and your distance from it is very helpful. Be prepared to give the operator a thorough description of the problem. If you do not have cell phone access, send other hikers to get help.
If you live Switzerland consider becoming a member of REGA. By a very small fee per year, in case of an accident, they can rescue by Helicopter.