Hiking guides are always in season! Once the destination is set, it’s time to plan the tours: How demanding is the route? How sure-footed do you have to be? What is the best place to stop? Where are the most beautiful views?
Hiking guides with all the information, for preparation and to take along on the tours, are available in various formats. So here is our overview:
For planning possible hikes, the destination websites are a good place to start.
Here, the routes, open huts, difficulty level and highlights of the most beautiful tours are described. Often there are even hiking maps and brochures to download.
For many, this is quite sufficient.
However: These descriptions are not necessarily objective. Hints that you have to walk 1km along a busy road or cross a herd of mother cows are not found here. After all, these are marketing messages of the tourist office!
A really good hiking map in your backpack always makes sense. Because the navi almost never works in the mountains!
If you not only want to find the way, but also want to know more about flora, fauna and history, you should pick up a good hiking guide. They will provide precise details of the route and everything worth seeing and knowing along the way.
In a handy format, traditional hiking guides, such as those from Dumont, have accompanied millions of hikers and city visitors.
But: If you want to use such hiking guides, you should definitely pay attention to the publication date!
A hiking guide from 2017 carries the risk that opening times are no longer correct, landmarks have disappeared or routes have changed.
Of course, not only interactive maps and navigation systems, but also hiking guides have found their way onto smartphones.
There are also apps from providers whose information comes from their own research.
Precise information about ground conditions, gradients and orientation points is provided by outdooractive.com or bergfex.com, for example. Directions, information and links to restaurants and sights, and photos complete the offer.
Alternatives are apps that are additionally fed with information by users, e.g. komoot.de: On the one hand, these are very honest, often with insider tips, but on the other hand they are not always correct.
Hiking guides as audio info save having to read. Your eyes and hands remain free while you listen to the information.
Important with all digital solutions: They must also work offline!
A hiking guide that does not work on the mountain is not only annoying. It can even be dangerous if you can no longer find the right way safely without the (digital) map.
People from the region, who share their extensive knowledge with you. Who respond to your interests.
Who know what to do even in an emergency:
Trained hiking guides are of course the very best option!
If you want to go on a hiking tour with a professional guide, you should take care of it in time. Make sure to book your desired date a few days in advance. Or you can take part in guided hikes at fixed dates.
In both cases, the local tourist offices are the best place to go.