Hazards and Risks of hiking in the mountains

Risks of hiking in the mountains

Before venturing on any hike, it is necessary not to neglect the risks of hiking in the mountains. You will be out in the wild, exposed to all mighty mother nature and wildlife. Here are a few reminders:

Thunder Storms

Be aware of weather conditions! Especially in summer, most of the thunderstorms catch hikers off guard. However, nowadays they are predictable, so do keep an eye on the weather forecast! If you are caught by a thunderstorm, get away from the open space where you can be a target and seek refuge. A forest is better than being in the open space! If possible, keep away from tall targets (like trees), i.e. don’t try protection under a tree. However, if all there is around is you and a tall tree, then don’t stay under it nor too far from it. If the lightning hits the area where you are, it will probably seek the highest object (the tree), so you should keep a safe distance from it…


Find out if there are any snakes (especially any poisonous snakes) in the region where you plan your hike. If yes, and if there is any chance that they are poisonous, the best is to dress long trousers and good closed shoes when hiking. Snakes don’t search for trouble, keep away from places where they may potentially be (like holes or under stones). If bitten, remain calm and do as little effort as possible, so that the poison is not spread through the blood and seek medical care immediately.

Bears or Wolves

Wild animals such as bears and wolves don’t usually search for contact with humans. If it happens, the most probable is that they did not hear you or did not have time to retreat. The best is to avoid this situation by making a lot of noise. If they see you, don’t run away and – very important – don’t ever turn your back to them. Instead, make yourself as big as possible and retreat without turning your back to them.

Shepherd Dogs

Shepherd dogs are usually not a risk, but in some remote places, they are not used to hikers, which could puzzle them. It is not unheard of that shepherd dogs from remote villages take other humans for a threat and attack. Even though an attack by one dog only is rarely lethal, these dogs are sturdy and can cause a bit more than just a fright.

Wild Plants

Have you watched the movie ‘Into the Wild’? We all loved the movie and its tragic end, right?So it should serve to remind us not to EAT any wild plant that we are not 250% sure that it is edible.


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