Hiking, walking, mountain biking. There are endless ways to have fun in the mountains and to get in touch with nature. It's a fascinating world but it's important to never underestimate peaks, slopes and trails. Before you decide to hike up to the top of a mountain peak or to head off on a long or tough ride on your bike, you should always keep some simple safety tips in mind.
Here are some simple rules to follow
1. Before going on a hike, you should carefully plan your itinerary by studying the map and any other necessary information.
2. Always have current weather reports: weather conditions in the mountains can change very quickly, even in just a few minutes.
3. Choose an itinerary that is suited to your ability level and physical condition and that of your hiking companions. If you have children with you, make sure that the itinerary is also suited to their age and needs.
4. Use appropriate outdoor footwear and clothing. Protect yourself from the cold with sweaters, windbreakers, gloves and caps, or from the sun with sunglasses and sunscreen. Always bring emergency kit items and a mini first aid kit with you in your backpack.
5. Leave a detailed hiking itinerary with friends or family and let them know what your expected return time is. It's also a good idea to sign guest books located within mountain huts or shelters.
6. Stay on marked trails and paths and carefully follow all signs and directions.
7. Respect nature: do not gather flowers, do not break any branches, do not carve your name or anything else on tree trunks, do not start a fire (except for areas where it is allowed) and do not disturb the animals.
8. If weather conditions begin to change, quickly return to the starting point of your itinerary or try to find a natural shelter under a cliff or in a cave, far from any rivers or streams.
9. Bring your waste back down with you and if you find any other waste left by others, bring at least one piece of waste back down with you.
10. In case of an accident, remain calm and call the 112 emergency number.
… and for bikers
1. Stay on roads or trails where biking and mountain biking is allowed, respect "no trespassing" and "private property" signs.
2. Do not leave any tracks behind: avoid cutting any corners or braking sharply and do not ruin the terrain by starting off fast.
3. Ride safely and adjust your speed according to each different type of situation.
4. Bikers must yield the right of way to pedestrians and hikers: slow down and alert others of your presence.
5. Plan your outings, check your equipment and take a bike repair kit with you, just in case.
6. Always wear a helmet and gloves.