Less is more
You don't need much to hike on the Elbe Sandstone Mountains Malerweg trail. Those limiting themselves to the most essential items are not just less laden-down, but also safer en route.
Reduce the luggage.
A hiker's rucksack should be slimly packed so that it is possible to pass through narrow rock passages. Hiking poles can also be a hindrance when climbing steps or ladders. If you do not want to have to do without the poles, telescopic hiking poles are your best bet. We recommend tackling the stages of the Malerweg with a small, light rucksack, and arranging to have your large holiday luggage transferred to your next accommodation for you. All establishments with the "Wanderfreundlich am Malerweg" certificate offer this service for an additional fee. Organised trips along the Malerweg, which can be booked via an agency from the region, include a luggage transfer service.
Even though the rucksack is small, the following items are a must:
- Sufficient water and snacks (there are very few sources of drinking water)
- Walking maps and/or walking guide
- Small first aid kit
- Rainwear, windproof jacket
- Cash (not all guesthouses accept card payments)
- Personal identification
- Mobile phone (phone signal is, however, patchy in the rocky landscape)
Optional: Sun cream, camera, cushion, hat, binoculars
Your clothing should be durable and suitable for the weather conditions. Jackets and trousers that can be converted into gilets and shorts with zips are very practical. In addition, layering is highly recommended, so that you can adjust your outfit to suit changes in temperature. The gorges and ravines are often considerably cooler than the surrounding rocky plateaus during the summer months! Waterproof and windproof jackets are very useful. Sturdy and comfortable footwear is a must.
The right shoe.
Sturdy footwear is essential for walking – and this is no different in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. Walking boots are ideal. But other sturdy footwear with a good tread and grip are suitable.
If you don't have any walking boots, or forget to bring them, you can borrow a pair from the tourist information centre in Bad Schandau for a small daily fee. You can find information, prices and the address here.
Prepared for emergencies.
In the case of emergency it is good to know that there is a mountain rescue service in Saxon Switzerland, which is able to rescue hikers from even impassable locations. It is, however, a good idea to have the most important numbers to hand in the case of a forest fire or another emergency. You do, of course, need mobile signal in order to call for help and this is not always available. Mountain rescue boxes are located at various points along the trail, and they contain first aid kits.
- Kurort Rathen mountain rescue service in Amselgrund, near the stairs to the Open-Air Stage Tel. 035024 70447
- Fire Service 112
- Police 110
- Ambulance 116117