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The rules of behaviour on the mountain

What hikers should watch out for

The gentle natural sport of hiking has developed into one of the most popular forms of exercise using your own physical strength in recent years. Numerous mountain lovers hungry for exercise are drawn to higher regions to enjoy the fresh air and a wonderfully healthy experience for body and mind. But as the number of hikers increases, so does the wear and tear on the paths and the impact on nature.

This is why it is so important to pay attention to some basic rules while hiking, so as not to place a burden on nature at the same time as we enjoy an active break in the open air. Whether a herd of cows on the hiking trail, throwing fruit residue into the bush or the right behaviour on the mountain: every hiker is a guest in the beautiful natural landscape and should know the etiquette and important rules of conduct.

We have summarised some of the most important rules for hikers, which ensure your own safety, the protection of nature and a good spirit of cooperation.

The golden rules on the mountain

1. Inform yourself and prepare daily

The Eurohike team will plan your hiking trip and the individual daily stages to the best of their knowledge.

You should, however, deal with the tour to be completed day by day and read the route information carefully before you set off.

2. Be well equipped

Good shoes, a solid rucksack, suitable clothing, sufficient provisions and drinks, maps, first aid kit, mobile phone and many other little things. The list is long and extensive, as a support you will find a detailed list with the recommended equipment in the travel documents for every Eurohike trip. By the way: better to pack a bit more than to walk around for hours soaking wet and without changing clothes…

3. Avoid waste

The backpack was packed in an exemplary manner, with enough fruit provisions for a healthy snack. With five or six bites an apple is almost eaten, but where should you put the stalk? Can you simply throw the rest of the apple into the undergrowth? Absolutely, we think the remnants of seasonal fruit from the region rot quickly or sweeten the evening meal of an animal in the area.

The situation is clearly different with the peel of bananas or other tropical fruit. These are mostly inedible to animals and often sprayed with pesticides. They also rot, but much slower in our latitudes.

Tip: If you want to be on the safe side, put all rubbish you brought with you on the hiking tour – and that includes leftover fruit and food – back into your backpack and carry it back down to the valley or to your next accommodation. There are ways to dispose of waste correctly and without harming the environment.

4. Watch the weather

Pay attention to the weather when you leave and ask at your accommodation whether the weather will remain stable during the day or whether a thunderstorm is expected. If a storm threatens, it is better to turn around, avoid peaks or ridges and seek shelter in depressions or valley.

5. Correctly assess your condition and speed

Assess your own abilities realistically and only choose tours you are able to do well. Start slowly and gradually approach your personal ideal walking pace. Take enough breaks, even smaller ones in between. In a group, the slowest member always sets the pace, for example children on family tours.

6. Don’t leave the path

Under no circumstances should you look for short-cuts or new paths on your own, but make sure you stay on the marked and secure paths. Caution is sometimes required, especially when it is wet. Do not step on stones, falling rocks could endanger other hikers or animals.

Should you lose your way, a navigation app on your mobile phone could help!

7. Keep calm in an emergency

If you are really in need, try to remain as calm as possible. Get help on your mobile phone, draw attention to yourself by calling, waving or light signals. If someone in a group is injured, immediately move the injured person out of the danger zone and never leave them alone.

7. Dealing with alpine cows

Cows are basically not aggressive animals – on the contrary, they are more likely to flee than to attack. But what is the best way to behave when a herd has settled down directly on the beautiful hiking trail to the Alm?

When encountering alpine cattle, certain caution is required. Suckler cows in particular would immediately defend young calves, bulls want to protect their herd, young animals are often curious and actively approach hikers. Therefore you should show the animals the necessary respect and adapt your own behaviour.

The important thing is to stay on the trails. Should you have to cross a pasture, keep enough distance and do not make unexpected movements. Neither small nor large cows are cuddly toys. The motto is no petting, feeding or getting too close!

The hiking etiquette

What to do when sports enthusiasts meet hobby hikers, walkers or cyclists? If two paths cross, the mountain rules should be used. Well, what rules are we talking about? Another scenario: you are walking uphill step by step. A photo at the summit, a short entry into the book and your happy.

Now it’s time to spend the night in a hut. Here, too, there are some rules of conduct to be observed.

‘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!

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.

You now receive special conditions when you book a trip.