Recently, we featured some of the best “off the beaten path” locations in Serbia. Without any reservation, those places in Serbia are gems that are yet to be discovered, even though they attract more visitors every year. As we emphasize the safety of our travelers in every instance, we prepared this text for you, so we can remind you of some basic hiking safety tips.
Hiking safety in nature
Serbia is, as a matter of fact, a very safe country. The destinations we promoted have all the necessary tourist infrastructure. They are easily accessible by vehicles, and they have well-marked hiking trails. However, we would like to remind you of a few crucial rules, to ensure your safety outdoors.
Be aware of the weather conditions. Always have sunglasses and sunscreen on hand, even in winter. Remember, being in southern Europe, Serbia has many sunny days and the sun can be quite strong – even in the winter. Heatstroke (and frostbites) can occur suddenly. Weather conditions can change very quickly. In any case, we advise you to check the weather forecast beforehand.
Have a first aid kit. Even the basic one will do. Have some band-aids and bandages, antiseptic wipes, safety pins, and pills such as ibuprofen. If you use any regular therapy, don’t forget to bring it as well! Flashlight and swiss knife are very practical tools too! You never know when are you going to need them!
Wear appropriate clothes and shoes. Flip-flops, high heels, and sandals are not adequate footwear for hiking, no matter how short or easy the trail may be. Running shoes and hiking shoes would be best. Waterproof shoes are highly recommended regardless of the season. If they have anti-slip soles, that would be even better.
Watch your step. Beware of slippery areas. Some areas can be unpredictable, so, at all times, respect the posted signs. If you are on the cliff or above the water, make sure you do not get too close to the edge. This rule especially applies when you are taking pictures! We know that you do not want to miss the perfect shot, but keep few meters of distance from the edge.
Don’t forget the water!
Bring water. Regardless of weather conditions, it is important to have at least one bottle of water. Do not rely on streams – you never know if the water is potable or not.
If you are bringing food for the day, make sure it is not perishable. We suggest granola bars, dried fruit, nuts, and trail mixes. Fresh fruit is good as well, indeed, it is much better than the juice. Anything of high-energy will help you satisfy your hunger while on the trail. If you are bringing sandwiches, make sure they are kept cold in your bag.
Do not overestimate your fitness. The route may seem appropriate for beginners, but in fact, it is more difficult. You know yourself the best! If you think the hike will be too hard for you, choose another, simpler route. This is extremely important when you are with children. If you are in the group, remember – the slowest one sets the pace!
Keep your pet on the leash. Hiking safety does not apply only to humans, but on pets too. Do not let it wander far from you. Keeping it on the lash can prevent unwanted contact with other animals.
Hiking safety also means picking up your trash!
It goes without saying – do not litter. Bring the recyclable or reusable bag and bring your trash with you. If the trash bins are placed along the trail – use them. Even if you see the trash along the way or see other people littering, that is a bad example and something we are not condoning!
Prevent forest fires. This is a crucial matter of hiking safety. The fire should be set up only at places which are specially marked. If you smoke, properly dispose of the matches and cigarette butts. Do not throw them on the ground under any circumstances.
Respect wildlife. You are a guest in nature. It is the home of many species, and some of them are endangered. Do not harm them and do not feed them! Also, some of the animals and plants can be dangerous. Wolves and bears live in Serbian forests, but the encounter is extremely unlikely. Venomous snakes also live in Serbia, but the attacks are virtually unheard of. As a matter of fact, snakes are really shy and afraid of people! That is one more reason why adequate shoes are important.
Protect the plants as well, as they are an important part of the ecosystem too. Do not eat any fruit or mushroom unless you know for sure that it is edible!
Important phone numbers
In case of any emergency, you can reach the appropriate department on the following numbers.
Police – 192
Fire Department – 193
Ambulance – 194
Mountain Rescue Service: +381 62 464 646
- Kopaonik: +381 63 466 466
- Stara planina: +381 63 466 461
- Zlatibor: +381 63 466 467
- Divčibare: +381 63 466 427
- Belgrade: +381 63 466 465
- Kruševac: +381 63 466 468
- Boljevac: +381 63 466 463
- Požega: +381 63 466 438
Remember – leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories!