Practical stuff

If you're thinking of going walking in Alpine countries, here's some practical detail to help get you started.

Things that can go wrong

It's possible (though unlikely) that something serious could happen when you are out walking, resulting in someone else having to pick up the pieces.

Examples include: your being injured by a fall or an avalanche, your succumbing to a heart attack or perhaps having your backpack (passport and money) stolen. You might become separated from your backpack, so it will help your rescuers if you carry details of important stuff on your person, for example, if you fall, and lose consciousness, someone will then be able to identify you and start arranging insurance and letting your next of kin know.

I suggest you print and laminate a small card to hang around your neck - Army dog tag style, with at least your name, nationality, passport number, date of birth, phone number for next of kin, insurance contact number, policy number, blood type and any medical conditions/regular medication.

It's useful to give someone at home a copy of all this, plus your insurance policy, your will, and details of your bank cards and other accounts in case you need to call for money.

If you have a mobile, consider removing any password on it and using obvious names in the directory - 'husband', 'mother' etc, so that a rescuer can set about contacting people easily.