Basic safety tips in the mountains, that you should know!

    Slovenia is an Alpine country and our mountains are beautiful. We have 352 peaks over 2000m high, 10,000 km of mountain trails and 5,000 km of themed trails. We would be delighted if you could enjoy them too and take away unforgettable memories and experiences from your holiday. You can make sure that everything is as it should be: go to our mountains properly prepared, equipped and armed with the right information. For the mountains are unforgiving to those who underestimate their grandeur and the challenges they pose. Remember:


    Slovenia can be very easy for a very long time, and then it can become very, very difficult in a very short time!


    It’s not just a matter of lacing up your walking shoes, packing a sandwich and hitting the trail. To have a safe and enjoyable experience, it’s important to take the time to prepare properly and in detail.

    By putting some extra time and effort into your preparation, you will greatly reduce the risks and the possibility of unpleasant situations, ensuring you have the best possible mountain experience.


    The most important thing is to first assess your own and your group members’ abilities, physical fitness and hiking skills, as well as any fears you may have (of heights, for example). Mountains can require you to exert yourself tremendously physically and mentally, so – if you are unprepared – it can put you at greater risk of injury and affect your decision-making abilities.


    If you don’t hire a guide, you need to make your own route plan. Make sure you spend enough time researching and using reliable sources. The most useful and, above all, reliable maps for navigation are still the classic maps, whether they are 1:50,000 or 1:25,000 scale. Do not rely solely on panoramic or tourist maps, as they lack crucial details. Also take some time to familiarise yourself with map reading and navigation techniques. Learn how to interpret and read the symbols, legends and markings on maps so that you can follow the map and the route you have mapped out accurately.


    On Slovenian maps, a red line indicates an easy route, a red dotted line a moderately difficult route and a red dotted line a difficult route requiring special equipment.


    Forget Google Maps! and opt for specialised navigation apps like OutdoorActive, designed for outdoor activities. These apps provide functions to calculate distance, altitude and estimated walking time. Be sure to download the necessary maps and GPX routes before you leave so that they will work offline, as connectivity in the mountains can be limited.


    Always have a back-up plan in case of unexpected situations or if the chosen route becomes too difficult. Your research should also include identifying alternative routes or shorter routes that you can take.

    What to pack?


    In the mountain world, weather conditions change rapidly. Be alert and prepared for any changes. By staying informed, you can adjust your plans as needed, pack the right equipment and ensure your safety in the mountains.


    Reliable weather forecasting websites such as ARSO and provide up-to-date and accurate information that can help you make decisions. In addition to forecasts, many mountain huts have webcams that offer real-time views of the surrounding area. With these webcams you can see the current weather conditions and estimate cloud cover, visibility and snowfall.


    Especially in summer, it is advisable to get to the mountains early enough to avoid summer storms in the afternoon.



    Current avalanche risk in the Slovenian mountains (Source: CROSSRISK/ARSO )

    What to do during the storm?

    During your hiking tour, pay attention to your surroundings and the wildlife, from ticks and snakes to ibex and wolves. You need to tread carefully and watch where you step. Avoid being too close to animals, even if they look harmless or friendly, as wild animals can be unpredictable and dangerous. Respecting their space ensures your safety and the well-being of wildlife. Remember, it’s not worth endangering yourself or upsetting the delicate balance of nature to capture the perfect photo for Instagram.


    Another important aspect is to register your presence on the peaks and in the hut logbooks. This is valuable information for mountain rescuers in case of accidents and helps them to find you faster. It is a simple step that can make a big difference to your safety.


    Assess the situation regularly.

    Check your own energy levels and listen to your body. If your legs hurt or you are too tired, you should rest and take necessary breaks and maybe even consider shortening your hike. Over-exertion can lead to exhaustion and increase the risk of accidents.

    Pay attention to weather conditions. Look out for any signs of changing weather patterns, such as clouds or sudden drops in temperature. Weather in the mountains can be unpredictable, so be prepared for unexpected changes.

    Adjust your plan accordingly. If the weather deteriorates or the route becomes too difficult, be flexible and be prepared to change or return if necessary. It is important to put your safety first.


    In the event of an accident, remain calm and assess the situation and the needs of those involved. Prioritise your own safety and make sure you protect yourself and others from further risks. Use a first aid kit and emergency equipment such as a blanket or bivvy sack to provide the necessary care and comfort. If you have the necessary skills, provide first aid to the best of your ability. Call 112 immediately. Give essential information, i.e. your name, details of the accident (what happened, where, when), the number of people injured and the type of help you need. Cooperate with the rescuers and follow their instructions.

    How to inform the mountain rescue team?