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General hiking recommendation

Good tips to take away

The umbrella organization of the leading Alpine mountain sports associations - "Club Arc Alpin" (CAA) - has developed recommendations suitable for every hiker and climber - for your own safety and in order to preserve Alpine nature for future tours. Even when meeting grazing livestock on Alpine pastures it's very important to observe some useful guidelines.

1. Fit and healthy on the mountain

Mountain hiking is an endurance sport. The positive stress stimuli for both the heart and circulation require health and a realistic self-assessment before you set out on a tour. Avoid time pressure and choose the speed according to the weakest hiker.

2. Accurate planning

Hiking maps, guide books, websites and experts provide information on length, altitude difference, difficulty levels and current weather conditions. Only choose tours that are suitable for the entire group! Pay special attention to the weather report as rain, wind and cold increase the risk of accidents.

3. Complete hiking equipment

Adjust your equipment to the tour and pay attention to a light backpack. Rain, cold and sun protection are always a must in the backpack, as well as a first aid kit and a mobile phone (European emergency call: 112). A detailed map or GPS data can support orientation.

4. Suitable footwear

Sturdy, ankle-high hiking boots protect and relieve your feet by improving surefootedness! Make sure you choose a perfect fit, a non-slip grip sole, water resistant but light hiking boots.

5. Surefootedness is the key

Falling as a result of slipping or stumbling is the most common cause of Alpine accidents! Keep in mind that excessive speed or tiredness can seriously affect your surefootedness and concentration. Please note the danger of falling rocks: always walk carefully to avoid that you trigger falling stones or rocks.

6. Stay on marked paths

In areas without any signs there is an increased risk that hikers will lose their way, will fall or that rocks will fall. Avoid short cuts and go back to the last point you recognise if you stray from the path. Steep old snow fields are often underestimated and very dangerous as one can easily slip.

7. Regular breaks

Regular rest helps hikers to recover, enjoy the landscape, and makes the hike more sociable. You need to eat and drink to sustain your concentration and energy levels. Energy drinks are ideal for quenching your thirst. Cereal bars, dried fruit and biscuits will satisfy your hunger while walking.

8. Responsibility for children

Discovering the landscape in a fun and varied way is very important for children. In passages where there is a risk of falling, an adult can only look after one child. Very difficult hikes, which require long periods of concentration, are not suitable for children.

9. Small groups

Small groups are more flexible and allow members to help each other. Tell everyone in your group your end destination, route, and return route. Stay together in your group. Attention to those hiking alone: even minor incidents can require serious emergency assistance.

10. Respect for nature and the environment

To protect the natural mountain areas, do not leave rubbish behind, stay on the paths, do not disturb wild animals or livestock, do not touch the plants, and respect protected areas. Take public transport or use carpooling to get to your destination.

Important: Dogs must be leashed!

Caution: How do I behave if I meet grazing cattle?

Cows are generally considered to be gentle animals. Attacks on hikers can be avoided with the right decision-making and behavior in their habitat:

1. Make sure there is enough distance to the grazing animals and stay on the walking trails.

2. If a cow feels threatened, especially by dogs or other provocation, the animal will defend itself and the calves.

3. Taking dogs with you is at your own risk. Accompanying dogs must always be kept on a leash. If an attack by cattle is unavoidable, release the dog from the leash immediately - otherwise you could become the target of the attack.

4. Keep calm and quiet when crossing grazing areas and walk around the cattle by keeping enough distance.

5. Walk past closed gates and fences only if there is no other possibility. Close all gates carefully!

Haiming Ötztal Hat Cow