There are many great holiday destinations that have mountains and hills whether you are going to Poland, Italy or Lanzarote. Wherever you go though, it is a great idea to visit the mountains, not only for the sense of exploration or the sense of achievement that comes from reaching the top, but also for the amazing views and sights along the way.
However what is also very important is that you take the necessary safety precautions to ensure that you aren’t putting yourself in danger by heading up. Mountains can be treacherous and that’s true even if you are only going on one of the trails and if you are sticking to one of the easier routes. You never know what could happen on such a journey, and if you get lost, or if a member of your party should twist an ankle, then you can find yourself stranded which is when the danger occurs. Here we will look at some basic safety tips to help you when traversing this kind of terrain.
Things to Take
The first and most important thing to remember is to pack wisely and to take all the things you are going to need. That means first and foremost that you should pack communication so that you have a mobile phone with good signal, that you should pack first aid and medical supplies including analgesics, bandages, plasters and antiseptics, and that you should pack emergency water and food. Other useful things to have with you are water and spare food – freeze dried food is particularly good in this regard as it is light and won’t go off.
You should also dress correctly and that means wearing boots with a good strong grip and with support around the ankles and steel toe caps to prevent you stubbing your toes or dropping something on them. Likewise you should look into bringing protection from the sun which can be even more of an issue as you get high up.
You can also take some sensible precautions which will include things like making sure you aren’t travelling in the dark of course (look up what time it gets dark and be sure to head back early, and staying on the main paths/with the rest of your group.
Some Advice on How to Trek
You also need to think though about actual technique and how to avoid slipping and falling or twisting your ankle. To this end make sure you are looking where you are putting your feet. And if you are balancing down or up a steep incline, try holding on to a loose branch which can help you to stabilize yourself, and which can act as a safety rope if you should fall. You can also use a stick and take this and use it to balance and gain more purchase on the ground. As a rule as long as one hand is stable you should be able to find your center and balance.
When coming down an incline you can use this same technique. At the same time though try to move from tree to tree if you are off the path so that you have always got something nearby to catch you if you fall. Move in zig zags so that you slow down your descent and don’t build up too much speed, and avoid roots which you can trip on.
Chris Courtis specializes in organising holiday destination for adventurous places and .