Ready, Steady, Hike
So you're living in Munich and the Alps are on your doorstep... well almost... here are a few top tips for getting out the door and taking that leap into the Bavarian Pre-Alps and beyond. Now there are no excuses for not getting out there...
Start in the city
A great way to start off is by getting to know the German Alpine Club - Deutsche Alpenverein. In Munich you will find service centres in the main outdoor stores Globetrotter and Sport Schuster. Even better sign-up for membership which as well as providing mountain rescue insurances, discounted rates in mountain refuges, equipment, guides and maps- provides mountain and route advice in the service centres.
No such thing as bad weather
Just bad clothing... that said you don’t need to wait until you have the top-of-the-range arcteryx waterproof jacket to go out there, but if you are planning on heading a bit further afield than the trail around the Spitzingsee lake and into mountainous terrain then you should be prepared for all conditions. Check out our suggested kit list and dressing for the mountains articles here: Dressing for the mountains and Day hike kit list.
Get on the train
One of the main advantages of Munich is its public transportation network which takes you to the head of many many different trails along the Bavarian Pre-Alps and beyond. Also avoiding the weekend traffic jams on the roads and meaning you can sit back and relax on the way home.
Find your tribe
Hiking is a great way of making new connections and in Munich there are many different social groups that offer the opportunity to connect over hiking and getting outdoors- from groups under the umbrella of bigger organisations (e.g. DAV, Internations, Meetup) to more personal-interest facebook groups. Here we have to mention our fabulous Trail Fit Club that we founded with Evolve Fitness for International women in Munich- ;-) If you are looking for that winning combo of hiking fun, fitness and friendships then check it out: Trail Fit Club - all the planning is taking care of and we support you to grow in fitness and your own outdoor adventure skills.
Tech vs Skills (Maps)
There are some great apps out there (Outdoor Active, Kamoot) with a wealth of tour possibilities and GPS support, but if you want to go further afield and into mountainous terrain, then best of all brush up on your map work and outdoors skills. It is much better that you have the confidence to deal with the unexpected than end up at the epicentre of an alpine search and rescue situation.
Know before you go
Know before: Check the forecasts DAV-Services/Bergwetter and local conditions before you go (especially in winter and cross-over season where you might encounter snowfields and need extra equipment to safely traverse). And if in any doubt, turn back. And finally always let someone where you are going and when you are due to be back.