5 Survival Tips for a Trek in the Alps

Hiking the Alps is one experience that is bound to be unforgettable because observing nature and reveling in the beauty of the landscape will no doubt leave an indelible mark in your memories. Since the most impressionable areas in the alps are in most cases only accessible on foot, many hikers who intend to see nature’s beauty hike to these areas. It is important for hikers to be adequately prepared with the survival tips outlined below to ensure that they make it to the end of their journey safe and sound.

Get Fit

It is advisable to prepare your body and gauge its level of endurance when it comes to those long and tedious hikes. Keeping fit by exercising for at least a couple of weeks, or even months, before your adventure can be quite helpful and ensure you will last long enough to get to last for your whole trip.

Allow an Adaptation period

Even if you are already incredibly fit, your body’s reaction to your new altitude can be severe in some cases. Allow your body to adapt no matter how fit it is. This can be done by taking some short hikes in the days leading up to a long one. Or allowing yourself to gradually gain altitude over a period of several days. This will significantly decrease the possibility of altitude sickness.

Pack for Survival

In order to be well equipped during your hiking adventure, it is important that you pack essential items to help you during any major or minor setbacks. Always remember that first aid kits are a must. These can include anything from bandages, to antibiotic ointments to medicines, sterile gloves, and cleaning materials. Some other important necessities include:

  • Maps of your hiking region
  • Rain protection
  • Sun protection (sunblock, lip balm, hat & sunglasses)
  • Quick-dry clothing
  • Food & sufficient amounts of water
  • Whistle to alert those nearby that you are in danger
  • Emergency contact plan, whether cell phone, fire/smoke starter, or flare

Dress for Success

When it comes to clothing and footwear, the objective is to keep warm and comfortable as you hike. It is often advisable to wear a couple of thin garments as compared to wearing a few thick ones. This is in order to be prepared for the abrupt temperature changes that occur as a result of wind and altitude. Long, sturdy trousers, thick seamless socks, a cap that covers the ears and neck, and hiking boots are other things you should wear when setting out.

Be Smart

As much as you want to see nature at its best, it is sometimes only reasonable to put your safety on the forefront first, if you intend to survive the hiking experience without accidents. Therefore, always stick to marked routes where possible. If you are traveling off the beaten path make sure to identify obvious landmarks & know your position on the map at all times.  Also be sure to check the weather. Even though you may have planned this trip for months, do not get yourself in a troublesome situation by ignoring the weather forecasts. If you are unsure of the safety of a particular area, it is best to skip it. Remember at high altitude, snow pack can last throughout the year and often be extremely unstable & unpredictable.

So before you go on an amazing trek through the alps, remember to pack & plan accordingly and never put yourself in a risky situation just for the thrill of the adventure.

Photo by migroo on Flickr

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