Tips for Hiking Safely
When planning for your next hiking trip you need to think about all the ways you plan to utilize the your trip. You need to know if you are going rock climbing, hiking, camping, fishing, biking, or any other type of out door activity. This may sound obvious, but planning accordingly can help make the trip more enjoyable and safe.
Often times people tend to plan for a hiking trip just for a couple hours or a day, but you need to also be prepared for the worst case scenario. If you think you are only going for a day, plan to have items for an overnight trip or extra amenities for getting lost or other unfortunate occurrences.
There are too many times we read of people going on a hiking or outdoor trip/excursion to find that they have got lost, had a bad tragedy and not have enough amenities to get them out of the situation they are in. For the experienced outdoors person many of these tips are self-explanatory and come with the territory, but for the newbie hiker or person just now getting into outdoor activities then this information is vital.
To start the process often times people go to the internet to find the best trails near them and if you look at the previous post we did, we have information that can help you for the west coast, east coast and southern regions of the United States. This blog post will help you plan your trips for the best most well known trails in your region of the country.
The next task you most do if figure out what do you and your family/friends plan to do while you are in the outdoors. Hiking is just one type of outdoor activity, but many of these trails have other activities that you can partake in. Biking is another popular activity that be enjoyed while on many of these outdoor excursions. Just figure out the list of activities you plan to do and plan accordingly.
For hiking, you need to plan for an appropriate amount of rations (food, water, etc.). If you plan to be there for a few hours of a day, plan to take a couple days worth of rations. It is better to have too much than not have enough. Plan for foods that are non-perishable and light so they are easier to carry and won’t weigh you down after you eat them.
Water is a must and should be on the top of the priority list. While other drinks like juices are okay, nothing provides the thirst quencher like water. Also water does not take any of your energy away like other drinks can do. You have to make sure that you do not get dehydrated while you are outside in the sun and non sugary drinks are best for this, which water is at the top of the list.
Have comfortable walking boots that help protect your feet and ankles from the harsh elements you will encounter on your trail. You will most likely be walking for hours and you need to have comfortable walking shoes/boots. Comfortable but protective clothing is another most when going on one of these hiking trails.
Plan to have some type of trash dispenser handy, whether that be a trash bag or an empty compartment in your sack. Many of the trails have garbage cans, but you may wonder in an area where there are not many around and you do not want to litter on the trail and make it less safe for the travelers that follow you. If the park or hiking trail has trash cans they are not likely to have the big garbage disposal units that you would find in a more urban area. For more information on disposal units or dumpsters see your local dumpster rental location.
In addition to the clothes, rations, and some type of disposal units, you need to have location items like maps, compass, and digital equipment to help in the event you get lost. Using your cellular phone or tablet is a start but should not be your only means of mapping equipment. You may wonder to an area of the park or hiking trail where there is little cellular data service and relying on a digital device in these circumstances is useless.
Pack your bag with all the necessary items: flares, utility knife, walking stick, clamps, matches, first aid kit, sun protection, etc. For a list of all the necessary items visit this link. Be prepared to have a regular map and compass to help guide you in the unlikely event you get lost and you do not have a signal. You want to make sure you have a backup plan in the event anything goes wrong.
This may sound simple but you need to tell people where you are. When people know you are going on a hiking trip and for the length of stay, if you are not heard from soon after that then this can trigger people getting to the bottom of what happened and where you are. When people know your location then you have a greater chance of being found in the event of an unlikely event.
Just remember to plan accordingly for your trip and be safe while you are hiking. Becoming on with mother nature can be a lot of fun, but can also be dangerous if you are not prepared. If you remember safety first, you will have an enjoyable time and come home in one piece.