Everyone setting off on a journey like this needs to be aware of certain risks and minimise them.
Dangers on the way
Dangers you need to count with when doing any outdoor activity (hiking, picking mushrooms). These include: sudden changes in weather, summer storms, getting lost, injuries, sunstroke and the like.
The right equipment, a first-aid kit and monitoring the weather are some of the basic measures that minimise these risks and make your way as smooth and safe as possible.
In case of emergency, do not hesitate to contact the universal emergency service in Slovakia. Similar to other European countries, the emergency line is available 24/7 under the phone number:
Some sections go along roads for vehicles and this implies some dangers. Although these roads are not really busy ones and are mostly used by locals, they are often narrower, with many curves and rarely have a marked white shoulder.
Although walking along such roads is comfortable, increased caution is always necessary.
Slovakia is a mountainous country, so you need to be aware of the fact that forested areas are inhabited by wild animals. However, observing the following two rules will minimise the chances of meeting them, mainly bears.
The first rule is to plan your stages so that you do not walk through bear countries after sunset or before sunrise, i.e. at dusk.
The second rule is to make noise in places with denser vegetation in order to announce your presence from a distance by singing, hitting your walking sticks, talking, etc.
For increased safety, you can hang small bells on your backpack or buy a special spray against bears. However, the spray only makes sense when you carry it on your belt. Otherwise it is a waste of money and a useless burden.
It is very important not to leave leftovers of food and empty cans! Not only because they pollute the country, but also because they attract animals from afar, thus increasing the risk for pilgrims walking behind you of meeting them.
Note: An experienced pilgrim from our Civic organisation says that although he has hiked many miles, he has never seen a bear. But he is sure a lot of bears have seen him.