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During the walk

  • Do not attempt long or difficult walks on your own.
  • Check your timing every now and then. If necessary take a shortcut if you are unexpectedly delayed.
  • Adjust your pace to weather and other conditions.
  • Watch for changes in the weather.
  • Pace yourself for the duration of the walk.
  • Keep to the (marked) paths. Not just for your safety but for the protection of flora and fauna.
  • Inform yourself about the access laws and practises of the country you are in.
  • Close fences and gates behind you. [i]
  • Take rest breaks regularly. Eat a little and drink a lot – even if you’re not thirsty.
  • When resting, put on an extra layer in order not to cool out.
  • Take all your rubbish home.
  • Don’t take risks. If you feel suddenly unwell or experience any other difficulties, don’t take risks, turn back.
  • For the sake of the environment: „Take nothing but impressions – leave nothing but footprints“.[ii]
  • Abide by laws and regulations in Nature reserves.
  • Careful when lighting fires. Don’t light fires in prolonged dry spells, strong winds and on very hot days.
  • Where possible use public transport to get to and from a walk.
  • Livestock on land: Keep dogs on leads. Pass cattle calmly, leaving a distance of 20-50 m.

Exceptional Situations

In Thunderstorms:

  • Stay away from free standing trees, summits, ridges, rock faces or marshy areas. If there are lightning strikes, crouch on your backpack with closed feet, and don’t touch any metal objects like wires or chains.
  • Caution: Water courses can swell very quickly.

In Fog:

  • Listen for noises (see „Navigating in the countryside“).
  • Closely follow the route on the map; without visibility it is very difficult to know your exact position. If you get lost, stop and wait until visibility improves. Take care to stay on the trail.


[i] Ireland has adapted the “Leave No Trace” policy that was developed in the US to replace the older country code. Please see www.leavenotraceireland.org for more info
[ii] See above