Lack of crowds, pleasant temperatures, and sparkling colored peaks – autumn is the perfect time for mountain hiking. However, regardless of the time of year, this great way of spending free time in nature requires a proper preparation. What safety rules should you follow to spend unforgettable moments among picturesque views without risking your life and health? What to remember before setting out on a trail? We suggest!
Choose the right route
The basic principle of safety in the mountains is to choose an appropriate route – matched to our physical condition and experience in the mountains. We should consider the time given on tourist maps and differences in elevation or the presence of huts and shelters where we can stop in case of bad weather. The time of the trip may also be prolonged by various difficulties, such as wet stones or icy fragments. When planning a trip with children, let’s assume that crossing a given trail will take us about twice as long as the information signs.
Check the weather
An essential element of safety in the mountains is the prevailing weather. Therefore, before setting out on a trail, it is necessary to check the meteorological conditions. Not only temperature is essential for us to – while in summer we should pay attention to information about thunderstorms, and in winter – to information about avalanches, in autumn we need to know about possible rainfall and strength of the wind. Let’s also remember that autumn days, although often dry and sunny, are getting shorter, so it’s worth deciding on a trail from which we will return before nightfall, along with which it gets freezing at altitude. Finally, don’t forget that the weather in the mountains changes really fast – so it’s good to have your phone with you and monitor the current warnings if possible.
Completing your mountain outfit
A safe trip to the mountains also requires clothing appropriately tailored to the prevailing and forecast weather conditions. It is recommended to wear multiple clothing layers. They should protect us both from chilling due to low temperatures and penetrating wind but also from overheating and sweating. Breathable thermoactive underwear is an obligatory element of autumn trekking. A fleece, lightweight synthetic down, or a softshell providing excellent protection against the wind will work well as another layer – a warming one. It is worth having another jacket or fleece in your backpack, which may come in handy during stops or on the summit. You will also need a well-made rain jacket with a membrane. Put on stretchy, windproof and waterproof pants. You should also wear solid, waterproof trekking shoes with a tread and high, ankle-stabilizing upper, which will minimize the risk of injuries on the trail.
Pack a mountain backpack
Before going out on the trail, we should carefully pack our mountain backpack. It is essential to find in it:
– phone with emergency numbers,
– charged power bank,
– extra clothing,
– a supply of water,
– UV sunscreen,
– First aid kit,
– Crampons for shoes – these will ensure comfort and safety, especially on slippery, icy surfaces,
– Stuffed booties – fabric boot gaiters protect your pants and shoes from getting wet and snow from behind the upper part.
Inform your hosts about the outing
Do not forget to inform your hosts about the planned trip, route and time of return. In case of unexpected events, this will ensure quick assistance.
Any time of year in the mountains can be safe as long as you follow the basic rules. We recommend Szczyrk and our Przystanek Góry to everyone looking for a picturesque area for active rest on Beskid trails. You are welcome!