How To Hike Safely
Updated: Jun 13
As much fun as hiking can be, it can still be a dangerous activity. Every year many people get hurt or lost and need to call emergency services. With these tips, you can continue to hike but safely.
Choose a safe Location
First and foremost, choose your hiking spot carefully. Consider the route you will be taking and whether it is something you can cover and return easily. Hiking in the wild is not the time to be pushing your limits. Choose a terrain you know you can handle for sure. Once you’ve mastered that route, you can move on to more difficult paths but it’s unwise to choose a hiking trail just because you’ve seen others do it. Be humble, it might just save your life.
Consider The Season
The season matters immensity. Depending on the season you will have to deal with different predators, different vegetation and different hazards. Is this season prone to flooding? Or flash floods? Or mudslides or forest fires? These all change with seasons and is something you definitely want to keep an eye on. Likewise, different seasons you have different animals out. Is this the season you are likely to run into grizzly bears or mountain lions or how about rattle snakes? Of course there’s more so always keep on top of what the season is and what to avoid during that season.
Always pack some food. You may not need to pack much for a a short trip but no matter how short, you always want to have at the very least some high calorie cereal bars or chocolate bars to keep you going.
Its tempting to think since we can have all our maps on our phones we don’t need to print anything out or buy physical maps but keep in mind that you will be going out away from civilisation so it is likely you may loose reception/signal. You could also loose battery but even if that weren't the case, without signal your phone would be useless. Be safe and pack some physical maps.
Pack Extra Batteries and Power Packs
This one doesn’t need much explaining, you can power packs for cheap now, just have an extra pair on you just in case.
Seems obvious but you’d be surprised how many people sprain their ankles because they wore the wrong shoes or that had to be air lifted into a hospital from heat stroke because they didn’t wear the right clothes. Don’t be one of those people. If it’s going to be cold, wear plenty of layers - you can always take a layer off if you need too. If it’s going to be wet, pack waterproof clothes and spare clothes. If it’s going to be hot, dress in white and clothes you can take off. If you need to strip to your underwear - be ready for that. If that situation comes, you are already in a pretty serious situation and you shouldn’t really be worried about your outfit but every year, that is exactly what happens - people nearly die form heat stroke because they didn’t want to take off their full sleeve or trousers.
Tell Someone About Your Trip
This may be one of the most important tips on this list. Tell someone - anyone, that you trust that your going hiking. You need to tell them three important points: When you are going, where you are going (the entire planned route) and when you will be back. This way, they can check back when your supposed to be back and if you don’t answer they can alert the authorities. If you get lost, every minute counts. Every year too many times authorities get alerted by friends or neighbours hours if not days after someone got lost just because no one knew they had been missing till then. You can imagine how some of those situations didn’t have happy endings. Don’t be another statistics. Plan ahead and be smart.
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