The Little Hiking Etiquette ABC


Hiking Etiquette 101

Sporting aces, summiteers and hiking enthusiasts are unable just sit around in late summer. ‘I have to be up on the mountain and fast!’ is the name of the game. When the sun is shining, there is no cloud in the sky and the treetops slowly change colour, it is hiking season on the mountain. But who has the precedence up there? What to do, when sporting aces come across hobby-hikers and ramblers or bikers? If two paths cross, then mountain rules need to be applied. Oops! What rules exactly are you talking about? In just a few minutes you will be a true expert regarding correct conduct in dizzy heights!

‘Traffic regulations’ for the mountain: that way you return safely to the valley!

All hikers, whose right shoulder is facing the mountain, take priority! Just kidding… it is not that strict on the mountain, nevertheless there are a few behaviour rules to consider. In principle the following applies: the fitter the hiker and the one having it easiest, makes room for the other hiker. With that, further factors for a decision are your own surefootedness and whether you have a head for heights. Naturally options for an evasion depend on the terrain and have to be safe. Only overtake someone, if it is possible without any danger. The rule is: if you are slower, then you allow the faster hiker to pass you unimpeded! Nevertheless, a hiking tour is not a race. Enjoy the panoramic scenery, take deep breaths and allow the clean and fresh mountain air to fill your lungs.

There is one clear rule on the mountain: pedestrians ALWAYS have priority! If you are cycling on the mountain and choose not to use the declared downhill-routes – please watch out for pedestrians and always yield to them!

The dos and don’ts on the mountain

Step by step ascending steadily, your back dripping with perspiration and with a broad smile you have arrived at the summit. You seem overwhelmed by the beauty of nature and have totally forgotten the cursing during the ascent. A photo at the summit cross, a short entry into the summit book and one feels happy and contented. Now it is time for the overnight stay in the hut. During the day you are surprised at a few strange looks from one or two hikers. Well – on the mountain there are special rules and they should be stuck to rigorously!

First commandment:

On the mountain you generally call everyone by their first name! Regardless whether you bump into your boss or a celebrity at a dizzy height – a friendly ‘Hello’ is all that is needed and you are on a level playing field.

Second commandment:

Arrival at the summit naturally needs to be celebrated appropriately. A mini bottle of sparkling wine or a summit-shot are bon ton on the mountain. But caution: most accidents in the mountains happen when hikers took a cup too much.

Third commandment:

Correct preparation for the hiking tour must not be underestimated. Watch out for changes in temperature between mountain and valley, for the weather forecast and memorize the route.

Find out here how to read the mountain weather correctly!


Fourth commandment:

You are planning a tour over several days and look forward to mattresses on the floor. You sleep lightly? Then we highly recommend you bring ear plugs. You are sharing the floor with other hikers and there is bound to be one or two snorers in on it. Tip: If you get cold easily, pack a spare woollen blanket in your rucksack!