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How to navigate in the mountains: basic rules of conduct in the wild

04 September 2023

The Carpathians are a wonderful place for an interesting vacation. During the walk, you will enjoy the beautiful scenery, feel harmony with yourself and the world around you, and have an interesting time with friends or family. In addition, fans of active recreation will like a weekend in the Carpathians. But in order for the weekend to be really successful and bright, it is important to remember the rules of conduct in the mountains. You should not ignore them if you don’t want to get into trouble.

Safety measures in the mountains: a list of basic rules

The main principle that anyone should follow is not to go for a walk alone. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been to the Carpathians. Your plans can be disturbed by weather conditions, illness, accidents, and other circumstances.

In addition, when going on a hike, you should make sure of the health and well-being of all the participants. It is better to refuse it if you suffer from arterial hypertension, diabetes, or joint problems. In any case, the rules of survival in the mountains require the presence of a first-aid kit with a basic set of medicines that can save lives.

Before going to the Carpathians, you should pay attention to the experience of the participants. If the group consists of beginners, take a professional guide with you. He will not only tell many interesting facts about the area but will also be an attendant.

It is also important to remember the following rules:

  • Do not take or consume alcoholic beverages in the mountains. Better take care of a sufficient amount of food and water, as well as appropriate utensils.
  • Clearly develop the route. Do not try to cover long distances and see many points of interest at once. In the end, you will quickly lose strength and remain dissatisfied with the weekend.
  • Put a compass and topographic maps of the area where your vacation will take place in your backpack. The best scale is 1:50000.
  • The rules of conduct during the hike require you to always look below your feet, as there are vipers in the mountains.
  • Before starting a trip, you should pay attention to the weather forecast. This will help you prepare better. Of course, the weather is changeable, but you can get the general picture.

  • Do not deviate from the established route. Moreover, do not go into thickets of bushes or tall grass. They can be the home of wild animals, such as wild boars or bears. If they protect their children, the traveler will have very little chance of surviving.
  • You should not go deeper than 10 meters into thickets of rowan or mountain pine, especially if there is no path there.
  • In the event of worsening weather conditions, you should return as soon as possible. At the same time, avoid metal objects and do not take them with you to the mountains to avoid being struck by lightning.
  • For the sake of spectacular photos, you should not climb objects that are dangerous. In spring, these are isolated snowdrifts and snow bridges, and in summer, stone blocks and slopes.
  • If you want to spend the night there, think about whether it’s worth it. After all, in case of any danger, it will be difficult to get down.

Also, according to the rules, you must warn the rescuers about your intention to go to the Carpathians and familiarize them with the details of the route. You should also leave them your and your relatives’ contact details. This will help specialists save you if necessary.

In addition, you should take care of comfortable clothes, closed shoes, and sun protection products (glasses and a hat). Be sure to also have a raincoat.

Avoid eating mushrooms and unfamiliar berries in the mountains, especially if you know nothing about it.

What to do if you get lost in the forest: tips

Despite all recommendations, it happens that travelers wander in the forest. No one is immune from this. Especially in winter, when the risk of getting lost on the route increases several times due to snow, poor lighting, and other factors.

If it so happens that you get lost, it is important to know how to get out of the forest. Above all, don’t let fear get the best of you. If there is an opportunity to contact the rescuers, do it. However, if there is no network, the phone is turned off, or something else goes wrong, you will have to rely only on yourself.

If you fall behind the group, stay put. They will notice your absence and come back. Better find an open area nearby and make a fire. This will allow you to be seen from afar. Another option is to make a flag out of clothes and hang it on a tree.

There are also cases when tourists are sure that they can find a way. Then it is better to go down a well-trodden path or move along a stream, but you can set off only during the day. At night, there is a great chance of getting injured and finally getting lost.

If trouble happens to you in the evening, find a safe place and pitch a tent. Don’t have it? Build a shelter out of spruce branches or settle in a rock crevice so you can wait for dawn and calm down. If your journey takes place in winter, you cannot sleep in the forest under any circumstances. Keep moving. Are you tired? Do eye exercises, squat, stretch your legs, and listen to what is happening around you. You may be able to recognize signs of life nearby.

Do not lose your presence of mind and remember the rules of how to navigate in the forest, and then you will definitely find the right path.