© Achim Meurer

Hiking Equipment

Not much is needed for hiking on the Malerweg Trail in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. Packing only the most essential things means not only less weight but also more safety.

How to pack the hiking backpack?

Walking is more fun with lighter luggage. For the labyrinthine rocky landscape of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, bulky backpacks become cumbersome in narrow passages.

This might be a good reason to choose one accommodation along the Malerweg Trail as a starting point for your hikes. If you prefer to stay overnight in different places, you should enquire about “Hiking without luggage” packages or book your personal luggage transfer service online here.


Packlist Malerweg: What belongs in a hiking backpack?

The good thing about hiking is its simplicity. But there are some essential things you should have on you:

  • versatile clothing: even on hot days you might need a light jacket as the gorges are always cool

  • sufficient water and snacks: There are hardly any potable water springs.

  • hiking map/hiking guide: mobile phone reception is not available everywhere

  • a small first-aid kit should never be forgotten.

  • bad weather gear to cope with sudden rain or wind

  • cash: not all inns accept card payment

  • identity card or passport, in particular in the area close to the border

  • mobile phone in case of emergencies. Google Maps is absolutly not recommended. We recommend the hiking app Outdooractive.

  • litter bag for a clean environment

  • toilet paper: paper handkerchiefs take a very long time to rot

  • optional items are sun screen, photo camera, seat cushion, hat, binoculars, telescopic hiking poles

What kind of shoe wear is suitable for hiking?

Rauenstein© Yvonne Brückner

The best hiking shoes are comfortable and provide optimal grip in uneven terrain. Tough shoe ware is essential for hiking in general and also in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains where you often go up hill and down dale.

Tip: For the Malerweg Trail we recommend well-worn trail runners, hiking or trekking shoes. If you don’t have good hiking shoes you can buy a pair or borrow it for a small daily fee from the Bad Schandau Aktivzentrum.

>> Aktivzentrum Bad Schandau



What outfit to wear while hiking?

Nationalparkführer© Florian Trykowski

Clothes for hiking should be sturdy and chosen according to the weather. Zip-off pants and jackets are very useful to be turned into shorts and sleeveless tops. Light shirts which are easy to dry are also very popular hiking wear.

Apart from that, we recommend wearing many layers to cope with changing temperatures. In summer, the temperature in the valleys and gorges is often quite a bit lower than on the surrounding cliff tops

A rain jacket and a windbreaker are also useful items to take with you. Depending on the season, a hat, baseball cap, loop scarf or even gloves should complete your hiking outfit.


Are hiking poles needed on the Malerweg trail?

Wandern mit Wanderstöcken© Florian Trykowski

Hiking poles are a great invention and have become an important item of hiking equipment. They provide support while walking and help to get safely through uneven terrain.

But please keep in mind that in Saxon Switzerland, there are many ladders, stairs and steps where you need both your hands to keep a firm hold on the railing. Hiking poles there become a hindrance rather than a help and are better carried in the backpack during these sections.

If you insist on hiking poles, telescopic models are the best choice.

Be prepared for an emergency

Notruf Standort Wegweiser© Yvonne Brückner

In case of emergency it is good to know that Saxon Switzerland has a Mountain Rescue Service trained to recover hikers even from impracticable terrain.

But in case of a fire or other emergencies, you should also have the most important telephone numbers ready. Unfortunately, mobile phone reception is not available in all places.

At certain positions you find Mountain Rescue Kits containing first aid equipment. If you need to call for help you should read off the number indicated on the reverse side of the signposts to the Mountain Rescue Service so they can find your exact position.

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