- Knowing how to orientate yourself and get your bearings is the key requirement in the field.
- Reading a map at a scale of 1:25,000, using a compass and using an altimeter should be as natural as walking.
- Check the weather before you head off, and leave as early in the morning as possible.
- Keeping an eye on the weather and responding correctly to deteriorating weather conditions should be the constant concern of trekkers.
- Special care should be taken while crossing snow, as hardened snow does not forgive mistakes. Also, crampons and ice picks are often useful tools at the beginning of the summer.
- Keep an eye on weather forecasts before you set off in the mountains, calling the Météo France recorded message for the department : Tel. 00 33 (0)8 92 68 02 06
- From September to December ensure you observe the most basic rules of good sense, as hunting is an ancient and much loved activity of the local people: wear bright clothes, do not deviate from the marked paths that hunters know, and announce your presence audibly...Temporary signs affixed during "battues" (the chasing of animals from their hiding places), especially wild boar, warn trekkers of specific dangers on pedestrian routes.
- Use TOP25 maps (scale: 1:25,000) jointly published by the National Geographic Institute and the Conseil Général, as this is the best tool for use on the ground. The precision of these maps (1 cm = 250 m on the ground), their level of detail and their personalisation make them indispensable.
Eight of them (haute Siagne, haut Estéron, vallée de l'Estéron, moyen Var, moyenne Tinée, vallée de la Vésubie, vallée de la Bévéra, vallée de la Roya) relate to the Moyen Pays of the Alpes-Maritimes.
Seven of them (haute vallée du Var, haut Cians, haute Tinée 1 and 2, moyenne Tinée, vallée de la Vésubie and vallée de la Roya) concern the Haut Pays of the Alpes-Maritimes.
- Respect pastures, traditionally not enclosed in the Alps.
- Do not disturb the flocks - stop to let them cross, or go around them without startling them.
- Note! Since the return of the wolf to the Mercantour, some flocks are guarded by Pyrenean sheep dogs (large white dogs).
These dogs attack any animal or person that approaches the flock. If the shepherd is not present you should be extremely careful.
Take a whistle with you in the mountains, so in the event of danger or an accident, you can make your presence known and call for assistance:
- Blow 2 short consecutive whistles.
- Every 10 to 15 seconds.