The basic rule is the COMMON SENSE. It is what I have always applied and it has gone well for what I think is good advice for you to take into account.
Another thing you must have is the Mountain Federation card. It is the mountain license and it is a card like this:
It is not compulsory but if you are going to go out a lot to the countryside, I recommend that you do it because it mainly includes accident insurance just in case.
What things can we tell you before launching to make a route?
You must be well equipped. It is essential that you always carry a small backpack with water, with some food in case the route lengthens more than it should, with a GPS, compass and map, and with a raincoat (you never know when the weather changes). Let’s see a little more in detail:
Before making the route: Plan
The day or days before take the guide or the map and look carefully at the route. Read each step well and you’ll be a little more confident in your guidance decisions. He calculates that he is usually counted on to walk about 4 kilometers per hour. That step is the one that you have to take into account at the time of getting up early or doing or not the route (in case it gets dark). This rhythm can be taken as a reference in more or less level lands. If the route is uphill such as the Ascent to Pico Ocejón or the Peña Cebollera Vieja, the pace can logically be slower. In those harder routes, more than distance, what you should look is the profile to know the difference and get an idea. It is from the box that you choose the routes that best suit your physical conditions. If the route is hard and you are not used to mountain, do not do it, go practicing with more affordable routes.
Make a list of the things you are going to take to have everything prepared in your backpack. Watch the weather on the Internet, on the television news or on your mobile application that you usually use. The AEMET (Android version) is great. It is IMPORTANT that you know the time you are going to do. And, especially in winter, when the conditions are hardest, you should know what time it will take if it is advisable to postpone the route to another date. Here are some Civil Protection tips on how to act with snowfall risk. If the conditions are not good and you see that there may be problems such as ice in difficult areas or large amount of accumulated snow, suspend the route. Nothing happens by postponing the date of an exit because that route will always be there waiting for you.
A very useful last tip, tell a relative or acquaintance the route you are going to make, with whom you are going to do it and when. That way they will be aware that nothing happens to you and you will have someone who cares about you in case something happens. It’s just being cautious but you know, better prevention than cure. As we always say, COMMON SENSE.
During the route
Whenever you go to a route in your car, try to park it in the places enabled for it that are usually found at the entrances of the towns. A good advice to save on gasoline and to pollute less and occupy less space in the parking of the routes is to meet with the people you go and try to go as many people in the least number of cars possible. You know, Common Sense.
Control the water you drink. There are always some of those who go who tend to go a little less prepared so you will sometimes have to give water to them too. Raciona to have throughout the tour if necessary. Take the guide to hand to resort to it whenever necessary. Be well aware of the brands that will sometimes guide you along the route in case you go along long, medium or long routes. In the figure above you can see how the signs of the trails are.
Basic material (depending on the climatic conditions of each route)
Footwear: depending on the route you can go with normal shoes, mountain shoes or mountain boots. Each route will demand one thing or another. Remember to bring spare shoes because if the route has a crossing of rivers or snow you will come very well. Do you know how to tie your boots properly?
Poncho, raincoat, windbreaker: always take one of these elements to especially shelter a bit of harsh conditions such as storms or strong winds. I assure you that you will thank him at the time.
Gloves, panties, Buff: all those little things that free you from the cold especially if you go to the mountain. If you are going to make routes in winter it is clear that you will have to be well wrapped. The gloves are very important. If your hands freeze, it’s hard to warm them up again.
Sun cream: when it is hot and above all sun, it is good to cream so as not to burn your face. Even in winter you can burn yourself. Do not underestimate the sun and give yourself sunscreen to protect yourself.
Sunglasses: This item comes in handy and should be mandatory in your backpack to protect the eyes from UV (ultraviolet) radiation. Every 330 meters you ascend, 5% UV radiation rises. Even in winter, although the sun is only 4-5 UV level, the fact that there is snow raises the radiation quite a lot. Curiosity: the closer you get to the equator, that is, the latitude, affects UV radiation. In the Canary Islands, for example, level 15 indexes are common in the Teide area.
Food and drink: here is a world. You can take energy bars or a ham sandwich. You choose, but always carry some food. They advise fruits, cookies, and especially drink, carry water. The canteen is a great option to carry water on your routes. You know, common sense. If the route is long then more provisions and so on.
Backpack to carry all things inside well organized.
Plastic waste bag: leave absolutely no residue in the field. Wherever you go you should always leave things as you have found them. In the bag put everything you have as waste and then throw it in a container when you finish the route or you take it in the car until you find a place to throw it. And if you see garbage where you go, it costs nothing to pick it up and carry it in your bag. Together we clean the mountain!
Razor: there is nothing more useful for many things like our dear knife. Always carry it with you in your backpack.
Map, compass, GPS, hiking guide: always take elements so you do not get lost and to read the tips and stories that come in the guides. If you do not know the minimum notions of orientation, it is time to study the subject a bit because it is very useful, especially in situations where you can become disoriented. In this link you will see some basic orientation tips.
Staff: this element is very useful especially in descending slopes and in case you can leave an animal (it will allow you to have a better defense than if you did not have it, at least you can distract the animal or drive it away). It’s that second leg when you need to ford a river or when you need to go through rocks. Many studies show that it serves to relieve leg weight with the energy savings that implies. Look at this link where they explain more things about the canes.
A small medicine cabinet: this is one of the most problematic points. Things happen in hiking and especially if you go in the mountains. Bring a first aid kit will rid you of many browns in the middle of the road and it will help you a lot so make yourself one but now. Many people even laugh at this fact as saying that you are an exaggerator. These people surely have not stepped on a mountain in their life because if they were like that they would not say those things. It is more than recommended.
Frontal or flashlight: although it is not usually used too much, it is good in case you have miscalculated the hours of the route and suddenly it begins to hunt you the dusk and dark. With the front you will have enough light to follow the route without getting lost. If they are battery operated, always carry a spare just in case.
Replacement clothing: if the route is complicated, with river passes, with the possibility of rain, snow, etc … it will be good to bring a change of clothes just in case. And although it is not complicated, it is always good to wear shoes, and change of spare parts to avoid filling the car with mud and bad odors.
Mobile phone: it is a very useful tool if you want to register the GPS route or if you need to make an emergency call. Take it well charged with battery. The emergency telephone number of the Civil Guard is 062. Learn it by heart just in case.