Is Hiking Possible in Bavaria? Here’s What You Need to Know

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This post takes information directly from here, the official website of the DAV (Deutscher Alpinverein), AKA the German Alpine Club. All the info is accurate as of May 9, 2020, but if you are reading this later, we advise double checking the official website for the latest rules and updates.

With restrictions being relaxed across the board in Bavaria – one question is on a lot of eager Munich minds…. when can I hike again?

Well beautiful bored of people of Munich, the answer is actually now. While the DAV had previously told hikers to stay home, they released a statement on Tuesday stating that hiking is once again permitted, so long as certain rules and regulations are followed.

So, what do you need to know about hiking in Bavaria? Here is a translation of the most important takeaways from the DAV’s announcement:

Hiking is once again permitted… with certain restrictions

Rejoice – hiking is once again possible! BUT before you call up 20 of your closest Berg Buddies and lug sandwiches to gobble at the mountain top huts, there are some very important rules and restrictions you should know about.

The DAV has released a clear set of rules to follow here. For hiking, they are as follows:

  1. Avoid risk: Hikers are advised to minimize risk by only taking on hikes “below one’s personal performance limit”, meaning you should only do hikes that you can confidently manage without endangering yourself or risking your personal safety. This is important due to the current burden on hospitals and of course, the difficulties involved in rescue operations.
  2. Hikes are only permitted in small groups: Specifically, they state that hiking is only allowed in the “number and composition of people authorized by the authorities”. As of May 8 in Bavaria, this means a maximum of two households together. They further state that high-traffic areas should be avoided, no border crossings are permitted and any meetings should take place outdoors so long as the minimum distance is observed. Speaking of…
  3. Hikers must maintain a distance of at least 2m between each other. They further state that you must cover your nose/mouth (i.e. wear a mask) if this distance requirement must be breached for any reason like emergency first aid. Moreover, hikers should avoid long rests at the summit of the hike when others are wanting to go up.
  4. Avoid “customary contact rituals”. There’s no good translation for this, but they are basically advising hikers to not engage in unnecessary touching or social rituals like shaking hands, hugging, sharing water bottles, or Gipfelbussi (which after searching up #Gipfelbussi on Instagram, we think means sharing kisses on the summit!)
  5. Bring nose/mouth protection and disinfectant. Nose/mouth protection like masks and disinfectant should be kept in your backpack at all times. They state that this is of course in addition to the general emergency equipment you usually bring. As far as we can tell, this doesn’t mean you need to wear a mask on the trail, it is just in case you find yourself in a situation where a mask might be needed, like for example on public transport or when providing emergency first aid.
  6. Nose/mouth protection must be worn in (permitted) carpooling situations. Carpooling is allowed subject to current state restrictions which again, is 2 households in Bavaria. During carpooling, masks should be worn if the minimum distance of 2m is exceeded.
  7. In an emergency, perform first aid as needed. This essentially means that if you notice someone needs help, you should NOT stay 2m away. Instead, perform first aid (under accepted first aid guidelines of course), but use as mask when doing so.

Other mountain sports such as climbing, mountain biking and Via Ferrata are permitted as well

For official rules on other mountain sports like climbing, mountain biking, Via Ferrata, etc., visit the official DAV website here.

Alpine huts are still closed for the foreseeable future

While restaurants and other gastronomic businesses will be allowed to open by the end of the month, the DAV still does not have an official date for the re-opening of huts this season. You can click here for the latest updates, but as of May 4, the possibility of re-opening alpine huts is still being discussed.

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