Observations on mountain trails in Bavaria

If you are thinking about hiking in the Bavarian Alps in the summer, here are some thoughts:

Equipment – mountain boots for sure. The ground is challenging and ankles need support. I have worn successfully my North Face boots. Comfortable, sturdy, quite rigid. My partner used a pair of AKU CF Custom Fit boots (right). They are Gore-Tex lined and have a Michelin sole. They are unusual in that they are actually made in Italy. Combine with walking sticks for stability.

The weather can change very quickly; so, the usual advice is, be prepared. Take layers and make sure you have some waterproof clothes. Weather forecasting in Germany is different than in the UK. The British are obsessed with weather forecasts and can anticipate three new forecasts per day to be broadcast on TV and radio. The Germans seem satisfied with one. We have relied on ZDF. Non-German speakers can get the gist from this forecast. More importantly for making decisions about where to go and how long to walk are the weather radars available on the internet. These have helped us to make decisions even when we have been on the train heading out. If rain is forecast, these radar charts give a pretty good indication of exactly when it will arrive or whether it will stop.

Water – we are using Camelbak Chute bottles (left). They are 750ml capacity and watertight. I loathe bottles that leak. We have four of these. 3l gets us through a day of 6-8 hours with afternoon temperatures between 25 and 32 degrees.

Maps/guides – we started off using the Hikeline Wanderführer (authored by Katharina Spannraft) as our guide, but then bought a map (right) to give us a bit more flexibility and a better idea of alternatives. Paths are numbered and relate to the footpath signs on the route. Easy.

Food – we made our own sandwiches. However, there are Alm houses on most routes where food is often available. We did well when we visited; but they do close usually by 1700.

Transport – exclusively using Bayrische Oberlandbahn from Munich (left). There are three destinations, each with their own walking options – Bayrischzell, Lenggries and Tegernsee. A Bayern off-peak (after 0900) day ticket was €31 for the two of us. Cheaper than buying single tickets.

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