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Warning

Before embarking on a tour including those listed on this site, make sure of the feasibility of the paths in the sections of the Italian Alpine Club (www.cai.it).
Sentieri.toscana.it disclaims any liability for the use of routes and trails described.
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Precautions

taken from sicurinmontagna

PREPARATION PERSONNEL

Go to the mountains often means walking for hours in harsh environments that subject the walker to labor is not negligible, long walks only be addressed with a good physical condition, as well as the most inaccessible places require a firm step and safe to be achieved.

Longer trips and demanding to be addressed only with already established practice, in harsh environments and isolated should not be surprised by exhaustion, or worse, from exhaustion.

On steep slopes or when crossing exposed rocky cliffs, you must maintain the right concentration and calm in our steps; give anxiety, panic, or worse, can play tricks. So, it is correct to speak of physical training but without neglecting the psychological, especially when dealing with paths or isolated, eg hiking at high altitude.

The use of two telescopic hiking poles can be a great help to optimize energy and improve balance, especially when you carry a heavy backpack over his shoulder.

EQUIPMENT: what to wear and what to carry in your backpack on.

Particular attention should be spent on equipment in the mountains, on the path addressed, must be chosen judiciously. Do the backpack is a bit 'art because it means to reconcile the weight, which should be as small as possible, with the ability to bring everything that can serve during the trip, also thinking of having to solve minor problems. Better a backpack the size do not overdo it, firmly on his shoulders, dangling objects without risking getting caught out and unbalance our way.

Clothing should be chosen according to the criterion of layers: underwear that traps the sweat, head to the intermediate heat island, waterproof and breathable outer jacket. Protection from the cold and rain in winter but also in summer, already the odds are not particularly high, it is very important and a small dry parts (to be kept in a waterproof bag) is sometimes valuable to change wet clothing and avoid dangerous loss of body heat.

Must never be left out because it is the hat from his head that dissipates a large amount of heat, remember that the mountain is not too hot in the ever died of cold. The shorts are more suited to the beach and the mountains. A Brightly colored clothing will need to be seen, which is very useful in case of difficulty.

The shoes play an important priority, there are all kinds and for all tastes, but should always be comfortable with a lugged outsole and sturdy enough, preferably waterproof and wrapping the ankle.

The guides and topographical maps are based, sometimes essential, for the preparation of the excursion. Topographic maps are used to control the course of the trip, and to seek the orientation, for example, in case of fog.

In any case it is always important to stay on the path identifying it with the help of the indications "signpost", to "omit" and signs of passage, it should be noted that, of little paths marked, the path should not be confused with the marks left by the passage of wild animals.

The only indispensable tool in the mountains, for safety purposes, is and will always and only the head. Then entrust our safety to blindly equipment and tools (phone, GPS, ...) would not only be wrong but could, paradoxically, lead to a false sense of security.

FOOD and drink under control.

The food of those who practice hiking, especially if difficult and prolonged, should be healthy and balanced diet, a healthy diet is important not only during the trip, but also in general.

Take food without a precise rule, not only during physical activity, can play tricks and cause discomfort or even soon to drop.

During the excursion is better to prefer light food and easily digestible. Particular attention should be given to fluid intake, drink little and often remembering that melt water does not contain salts and refreshes while alcohol, as vasodilators, have always advised against in the mountains especially in cold weather.

Finally, remember that in mountain hiking you need to burn a lot of energy and to avoid dangerous food shortages, it is not the place and time for dieting and slimming..

THE MEASUREMENT OF DIFFICULTY: to each his own path.

The paths in the mountains have very different problems, for this reason the excursions are always programmed at the table through the collection of reliable information or consultation of books and manuals.

The choice of the path ahead should be commensurate with the ability of walkers, or the skills and training of the weaker form the group (remember that these, including children, demanding tracts must always proceed upstream of trained companion, both uphill and downhill, and in a close position).

The seasons and weather conditions can change dramatically the difficulties of the same path. The presence of snow, a frost is not provided, the nighttime humidity on a steep meadow, a sudden storm, dramatically worsen the difficulty of a route, especially if you do not have the preparation and the proper equipment to deal with situations a priori difficult to predict . The running times are to be studied before and monitored during the trip without forgetting that, in the mountains, time is precious.

Even in the summer it is best to start early to be sure to come back and reach the goal before dark having to meet, sometimes, even to unexpected changes in the location or weather conditions.

CLASSIFICATION OF DIFFICULTY 'hiking

The CAI has defined a difficulty scale based on the following characteristics: the bottom of the ground, the path length, gradient and altitude, exposure, any orientation difficulties

Tourist Route T

Roads, mule trails and comfortable with no exposed parts. Maximum duration of 2/3 hours of walking. Well marked and no problem of orientation. Maximum altitude of less than 2000 meters.

Itinerary Excursion E

Paths and tracks more or less disconnected. You can play on steep slopes and include the use of hands for balance. Possible presence of short stretches snow. Routes on easy terrain but lasting longer than 3 hours. May have problems with orientation. Maximum altitude above 2000 meters.

Itinerary for expert hikers EE

Traces of rough terrain and / or slippery rocks at high altitudes, etc.. Traits devoid of signaling and reference points known.

EEA

Routes equipped with fixed ropes, chains or scales (railways) need to be addressed with appropriate equipment and experience.

Itinerary for Hiking in the Snowy Environment EAI

paths are identified that require the use of snowshoes, have easy access roads, take place in the valley or in wooded areas or ridges that guarantee, on the whole, safe passing ability.

NEVER ALONE

Not a few people who like to go in the mountain solitude, it is undeniable that when you are alone you can fully live the relationship with oneself and with the environment that surrounds us. But do not forget that, in the absence of companions, a small incident can lead to situations difficult to control, for example, a simple fracture can irreparably require immobility and consequent inability to call for help.

Are now ubiquitous personal communications systems such as mobile phones, satellite phones and radios, but it should be remembered that rely blindly on these devices may be disappointed because the mountains are still common areas "in the shadow" and off the field.

Without discounting the validity of being able to use these means of communication is well to consider that, at times, a good company can solve many problems and that another good rule not to be overlooked is to communicate to your family or friends place and route s 'intends to follow, do not change it, and notify dell'avvenuto return home.

THE GROUP is not just a matter of numbers.

The organization of hiking trips are a great opportunity to learn about the mountains for fans newbies who can approach, taking advantage of the experience of friends and experienced guides, the mountain environment in a gradual and "protected". It will therefore be important to rationalize the difficulties of the path based on the group which must be homogeneous and manageable. Hikers same capacity can better share running times and difficulty of the course, that would otherwise not be addressed by inexperienced or poorly trained people.

A particular speech is reserved for the children, if any, should get all the attention of those who accompany them, an appropriate choice of the route and time of travel of an organization will be essential for the success of the trip.

The excessive number of participants does not help to maintain the compact group, and in some cases better form more groups, with up to a dozen participants, which can, even on challenging terrain or in case of bad weather, combined with a stay-open group and a close-row.

In the mountains it is not difficult to lose your way to get lost. The ability of the orientation is acquired through experience and good knowledge of the area avoid losing the path, but if that happens, and usually it happens at dusk, you should always try to retrace their steps to avoid wandering random. A map, a head torch, can be very useful.

You can lose the path, but we must never lose his head. Spend a night in the mountains with an unexpected bivouac can be an enjoyable, bearable or dramatic depends on how it is dealt with. If you are in the company, you have available a minimum of equipment (clothing suitable solar cover) and the environment is not particularly adversity, the experience is easier. Rather than mess with naive choices, you should look for a quiet place to stay, away from the wind and cold, waiting for morning and someone who will be looking for us. Do not forget that when you enter in a hidden nook and cranny should be left outside, positioned in a stable way, a signal visible by rescuers.

Serious problems could arise when you are injured even mild, you do not have the ability to stay well covered and dry, or even worse, in case of bad weather, cold and wind in particularly hostile environment.

AUTO-AID

If necessary, the backpack will be a valuable from which to extract a small first aid kit (plaster, disinfectant, sterile gauze and elastic bandage), a utility knife, a sweater, a jacket waterproof and windproof, a head torch, the matches, food and drink for refreshment.

Especially the drinks are never forgotten because they are essential to combat fatigue and regain calm right to deal with any minor inconvenience. In winter, cold climate, a thermos of hot drink is a valuable resource.

Over a head torch to illuminate the path when it is getting late, it will be a useful means to launch at night, in case of difficulty, a signal that you need help. Useful in case of emergency will be the solar cover (light sheet of plastic with aluminum) and a big bag of garbage (for example, as "sleeping bag" emergency). With little weight on your shoulders you are able to solve many problems.

BAD WEATHER: if you know you avoid it.

Deal with adverse weather conditions in the mountains (storms, lightning and more) is never recommended! There are now many forecasting systems easily accessible and extremely reliable; plan any activities in the mountains without the consultation of a weather forecast is synonymous with unconsciousness. The manifestations of bad weather that may involve the hiker who attends easy trails at low altitude are not, as a rule, as serious as those that affect those who are facing, for example, the high mountains, but do not forget that some phenomena may create conditions Environmental very critical. Thunderstorms are a great danger for those who practice the activity hiking in the mountains. In addition to the risks due to electric shock should be considered also those resulting from rain, cold, sudden strong wind.

The life cycle of a thunderstorm cell is very short and in a few hours you can see the development of the phenomenon that is also because of his speed, very insidious because it leaves no time to take cover. The storm may last long when new cells replace those that wear out. The "heat storm" develops, as a rule, in good weather, in the afternoon or evening, often isolated and after the outburst classical calm is restored. These phenomena are difficult to predict. The other time are related to the passage, in general, of any "disturbance" and occur during a phase of bad weather longer and extended, these phenomena are easier to predict and then to circumvent.

The storms are avoided by carefully observing the weather before planning a trip in the mountains, better to follow more of a bulletin, preferring those that treat the affected area with more detail and come from reliable sources and officers (omitting forecasts "do it yourself" and unreliable). The definition of "unsettled weather" is a kind of warning signal. The afternoon and evening are usually more at risk.

During the day you can see some warning signs. The clouds that are rapidly growing up in the morning already (cumulonimbus) can evolve into thunderheads, especially if the weather in the valley is very hot and humid. The clouds show the direction of the higher altitude winds, which, in all probability, is the direction that will follow any thundercloud. The sudden arrival of cold wind can come from a near reverse and be recognized as an alarm signal. The noise comes from the thunder takes about three seconds to travel a mile, and from it we can estimate the approximate distance of the storm.

If, despite all the precautions listed above, we will be surprised by the time this is what you should do: you should avoid exposed areas, peaks, ridges, because these places are more prone to shocks. It will be important to avoid the places where you can drop, paths exposed ledges, because the electric fields that are generated can lead to uncontrolled movements. Better get away from the railways, from the crosses of the summit, and if possible, also with nails, hooks, axes and any metal object. There you can repair in cavities or under overhangs without getting in contact with the rocky and wet in tents rather lie on an insulated mat.

The lightning, a phenomenon typical of summer storms, is a very formidable danger. Follow the weather is the best prevention Whereas before the lightning man is almost helpless.

If you are caught in a lightning storm will be good to avoid to stay in the vicinity of trees or isolated spikes of rock, better to let peaks or sharp ridges to prefer flat areas or uniforms. If you are sheltered under overhangs or in caves you should check that these are not crossed by streams of water that can lead dangerous electric shock. Put into practice all these precautions is very difficult, sometimes impossible, it is clear that the best defense against storms and lightning is therefore to retire early.

The fog, potentially present in the mountains in any season, will greatly hinder the ability of orientation, the proper use of paper, compass and altimeter can be very useful without forgetting that, in dense fog, maintain the trail and a good knowledge the area will be the best security requirements.

Rain and hail may occur in the mountains in a sudden and surprise the hiker, in the case of particularly violent intensity may be encountered serious problems, for example, when crossing canals and streams (resulting sometimes impassable except by means of self insurance).

The paths shown particular attention should be paid to the formation of mud that makes the routes, also paved, particularly slippery.

It is always good protection from the rain and avoid completely wet garments which, once wet and in case of unexpected bivouac, they could not provide adequate protection in the cold then subjecting the walker to the serious risk of hypothermia.

Wind and cold even in summer and quotas are not particularly high, you may experience sudden drops in temperature. The effect of the wind dramatically increases the loss of heat of the human body. Often the problem is underestimated and it is not easy, especially in the absence of experience, assess dangerous situations, but unfortunately this neglect is evidenced by many accidents. In fact when you are poorly dressed, wet, or worse traumatized, it takes a relatively low exposure to cold and wind to undergo principles by exposure even at temperatures several degrees above freezing, and only a good clothing and the possibility to find a suitable guard can prevent serious trouble.

ACCIDENTS AND DISEASES IN THE MOUNTAINS: what to do and what not to do?

In case of trauma interventions self rescue can be of various types; distortions and dislocations must be immobilized (with appropriate dressings) and possibly treated immediately with the application of cool water or snow. Better not to load the limb compromise.

Fractures, although not complicated, deserve more attention, when it comes to major fractures such as those of the femur, pelvis, and other fractures, it is important, if you have no medical knowledge and professional, to avoid the worst with inappropriate interventions: better in all cases the patient does not move, repair sun or cold and immediately call the rescue.

The wounds should be cleaned and disinfected with water, then dressed with sterile bandages, remember to use protective gloves. The external bleeding should be checked immediately with a direct compression hemostasis, excessive blood loss can be very dangerous.

The shock conditions complicate all the urgencies clinics; can be determined, for example, by the external and internal loss of blood due to polytrauma.

If there are no serious problems of pulmonary edema or other position the patient is well sdraiandolo with legs raised to 30 to 40 inches to facilitate the return of blood to the heart.

Cardiac arrest must be addressed with appropriate techniques of cardiopulmonary resuscitation that can keep the patient alive while awaiting the organized help.

The patient without knowledge is not due to trauma should be kept in a safe position, to prevent airway obstruction, the patient is lying on his side with his arm that rests on the ground in position behind the back and the leg while standing bent to stabilize the position.

Hypothermia consists in lowering the temperature of the entire body of even a few degrees but such as to impair vital functions; freezing interested instead limited areas, generally peripheral, which are cooled to temperatures below 0 ° C.

Cases of hypothermia occur much more frequently than generally thought in mountain environments apparently not severe. Relatively low temperatures (well above 0 ° C), exhaustion, wet clothing, poor thermal insulation, trauma and wind persistent, can lead in a short time to the state of hypothermia. There are situations where prevention is the best weapon, however, if hypothermia occurs, action must be taken immediately.

People overly chilled, shaken by chills, pale and sometimes soporosi should be suspected in patients as hypothermic state, the person should be protected from cold and wind, with the elimination of any wet clothing and heated. If conscious use of hot drinks, solar cover and make it move, if drowsiness occurs and the person loses consciousness should be avoided movements and sudden heating of the outer parts of the body due to strong massages or excessive heat.

In the situations described above that is not manageable in an appropriate way is always best to call the mountain rescue service by dialing 118; waiting for help you can get tips sometimes decisive.

ANIMALS AND INSECTS: fierce and poisonous?

The fear of bad encounters in the mountains, along the trails and in the woods with wild animals, wolves, bears and whatnot, fishing more in the imagination than in reality, cases of aggression are almost unknown to hikers and fatigue that need to do to see these animals is very great. However, there are animals and insects, apparently more subtle, can create serious problems.

For example, the stings of wasps and hornets can be very dangerous, even more so, if you suffer from people sensitive or allergic to their venom. It would be advisable that everyone knew the precaution of his medical condition and avoided all contact with these insects, such as checking the good ground on which you walk. In the case of violent attacks the best remedy to be implemented is to apply as soon as possible to the center of the ER.

Even ticks can create serious problems that manifest themselves not immediately but at a distance of several days; better protect wearing, for example, always of long pants. At home it is advisable to inspect the body to detect the possible presence of parasites.

The viper ofide poisonous, present in different environments, has undergone prejudices and misconceptions. It should be noted that in the face of several hundreds of bites that occur each year in Italy, the deaths are extremely rare. Its danger should not be overlooked, however, especially with regard to children and those particularly debilitated.

From spring to autumn the viper can be found in clearings in the woods, on bushy slopes, sprinkled with stones near streams, in the vicinity of walls and dilapidated houses. Although not aggressive, viper bites for self-defense. A good rule is always wear long pants, do not pick mushrooms or berries without having first inspected the area, do not put your hands in the crevices of walls or under stones, do not leave backpacks and clothing on dry stone walls or on the rocks.

The viper bite is different from that of other snakes harmless to the presence of two deep holes distant from 6 to 8 millimeters. After the event, the appearance of edema hard and painful, rapidly progressive, is accompanied by intense local pain, muscle aches, vomiting, and more. The wound should not be recorded as it is not recommended to use serum antiofidico outside the hospital environment. The serum therapy, in fact, exposes the victim to the risk of serious allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock) that can be rapidly fatal if not dealt with in the hospital.

In case of biting is good practice to disinfect the wound, then wrap the limb with an elastic bandage of compression, capable of slowing down the diffusion in the circulation of the venom. The use of the tourniquet is not recommended. Who has been bitten should avoid, whenever possible, to take long walks. Hospitalization timely manner is a must.