Behaviour and safety in the mountains

The main rules of conduct for safe hiking

Good planning is crucial. Therefore, your hiking tour should be prepared thoroughly. What huts are along the way? Do I have enough stamina for the tour? Do I have the proper equipment? Where could I abort the tour? Does anyone know where I'm going? What do I do in the case of lightning and thunder? And what do I do in case of an emergency? You can enjoy the view and relax more in one of the many mountain huts if you know you’re well prepared.

The knowledgeable local hosts and mountain hut keepers are happy to provide advice and assistance. They also know the local weather best and will warn about storms or changes in weather. Should a hiker not return from their hiking tour at the agreed date or time, then they are informed about the route and can raise an alarm if necessary. Excellent maps with suggestions for tours for all levels also help to choose the right tour for you.

Thunder and lightning

It is advisable to get up early for hikes in summer. On the one hand, the midday heat during the ascent can be avoided, on the other, the risk of violent thunderstorms in the afternoons can be a major threat during tours. In the case of a sudden thunderstorm in the mountains, and if you are not able to seek shelter in a hut, observe the following: leave exposed places (peaks, ridges, exposed areas), streams or other bodies of water and steel cables. Stay away from isolated trees and assume a crouching, huddled posture with your feet together.

Top 10 rules of conduct for safety in the mountains:

  1. Physical condition:

    each hiking tour has to match your physical capability. If children are a part of the hiking group then the tour must match the physical capability of the children.

  1. Planning:

    each tour should be planned precisely in advance and be adjusted to the length of day in accordance with the season. Your host or mountain hut keeper can be of significant help during the planning process. Observe the weather report and avoid the risk of thunderstorms with an early start.

  1. Equipment:

    sturdy shoes with high-grip soles, backpack with first aid kit, sunscreen, warm and windproof change of clothes, enough food & beverages and a charged mobile phone.

  1. Notice of departure:

    inform your host or mountain hut keeper of the planned route and destination of your tour as well as the expected time of return before leaving.

  1. Speed:

    the hiking speed should be adapted to the weakest member of the group and sufficient breaks throughout the tour should be scheduled. Fatigue leads to lack of concentration and even hiking in easy terrain requires attention.

  1. Do not leave marked trails:

    red and white markings and yellow signs show the way in SalzburgerLand. Take caution when walking on steep, wet grassy slopes and when crossing steep snowfields.

  1. Falling rocks:

    when walking, make sure to avoid leaving rocks in places that could endanger other hikers. Rockfall endangered places should be traversed individually, quickly and without stopping.

  1. Weather:

    the weather should always be observed during a hike in order to be able to turn around and go back or to seek shelter in time.

  1. Make decisions:

    in case the weather turns bad or in case of fog, if the trail becomes too difficult to manage or is in poor condition: turn around and go back!

  1. In case of emergency:

    stay calm and get help by phone, calling/shouting or waving. The mountain rescue emergency number is 140, the European emergency number is 112 (can be called without a SIM card with GSM mobile phone). The alpine distress signal can be made by means of optical (light/torch) or audible signs (signal 6 x per minute then 1 minute break). Do not leave injured persons alone!

Animals rule in the mountains

Habitats overlap in the mountains. If you walk with your eyes open, pay consideration and are willing to compromise on a fair play basis while hiking or cycling in the mountains, then animals and humans can live together peacefully. Do not aggravate cows, calves, sheep, horses, etc. but behave ‘normally’ and show no fear. Do not leave your trail on pastures and keep a large distance to animals. Keep dogs on a leash on the mountain and in the forest! Mother cows in particular are concerned for their calves. Therefore, in case a grazing animal should attack the dog, let it run for its own protection.

Respect forest and grazing animals!

Stay on the trails and paths: venison have become accustomed to the existing trails and do no longer feel disturbed by the biker or hiker. However, an unexpected intrusion into their space to make shortcuts leads to an energy consuming escape. Dogs represent a particular threat to young animals or breeding birds and should therefore be kept on a leash at all times. Please take dog poop – just like your own garbage – with you, and don’t “dispose” dog poop bags in the woods.

 Electric fences and cattle gates mark out individual pasture areas from one another, but only if they are closed again after passing through. The herdsman is not happy if the herd has to be rounded up again. Understanding leads to consideration, and it is much easier for everyone when you know why you are following certain rules and signs. The mountain hut keepers, accommodation hosts and hunters will happily provide you with information about the lifestyle of the local cattle and venison!


SalzburgerLand Tourismus GmbH
+43 662 6800
Wiener Bundesstrasse 23
5300 Hallwang


SalzburgerLand Tourismus GmbH
Open map
Holiday Destination Austria give feedback and win!
Cookies help us to provide you with our services. By using our website, you expressly declare your acceptance of our utilization of cookies.    Read more