Destinations Magazine

7 Helpful Hints For Hiking In Austria

By Linda
7 Helpful Hints For Hiking In Austria

photo : Donald Strachan

Going on a hiking holiday in Austria?

Here’s 7 helpful hints to remember:

Temperatures

The seasons in Austria tend to be quite extreme, with sweltering heat in summer and biting cold in winter. Autumn and spring can be somewhat confusing, with Mediterranean heat during the day dropping rapidly to sub-zero temperatures as dusk draws in.

Sun can change to rain or snow in the blinking of an eye, so try to ensure you have appropriate ‘wet weather’ gear with you at all times.

Rucksack

A rucksack is an essential piece of equipment to carry when hiking in the hills. Heavier items should be stored at the bottom. Lighter items likely to be needed on a frequent basis (like sunglasses, camera and maps) should be at the top.

Fluids

Hiking in the hills is quite unlike a walk in the park and accordingly appropriate fluids should be taken. Fizzy drinks and water alone are not sufficient to ensure good hydration when facing the challenges of mountain hiking.

Sustained exertion causes perspiration resulting in electrolytes – essential salts like sodium and potassium – being lost. This brings risks of dehydration occurring. An isotonic drink that’s specially formulated with a balance of carbohydrates and electrolytes to help absorption of energy, will help. These drinks aid hydration and help combat the fatigue, headaches and muscle cramps associated with dehydration.

Food

Whilst a packed lunch is certainly good to have to hand, additional supplies of high protein snacks and stodgy carbohydrates – for energy and to help muscle recovery – are needed.

Things that don’t work quite so well are soft fruits like bananas, which get battered in the bag and turn black very quickly whatever the weather.

First Aid

Accidents happen at the best of times and despite the most thorough planning for prevention – particularly when walking with children. Your First Aid kit should include:

  • plasters
  • antiseptic wipes
  • glucose tablets
  • sting relief
  • pen-knife or some scissors
  • and blister packs are a must!

Good walking shoes

The rough terrain of mountain path and meadow require sturdy walking shoes, rather than soft sandals or ‘trainers’. Specialist footwear that has been ‘worn in’ is highly recommended– not new shoes!

For walking at lower levels – especially through pastures and down muddy lanes – good old wellies do the job superbly.

Bright clothing and hats

Forget fashion when walking on the mountain – bright is best.

Weather conditions in autumn, winter and spring can change very quickly. Bright clothing will make you easier to spot if visibility deteriorates.

It’s also important to allow for the ‘chill factor’ when the wind blows and clouds descend. Several layers of light weight clothing are better than one thick jumper or coat. Layers are easier to take off or put on (as required) to help maintain an even temperature throughout the day.

A hat is also an extremely effective temperature regulator – a lot of heat is lost through the top of the head, so wearing a hat makes a disproportionate difference in cold weather conditions. And it keeps the sun off your bald spot in summer (sorry chaps!)

And finally, a sense of humour is well worth wearing at any time!

 


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