Hiking Safety Tips That Can Save Your Life
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Millions of people hike every year. This includes day hikes and multi-night backpacking treks. But you need to take time to prepare. This way your trip will be fun. And that you should return home in one-piece. Read this article to see which are the best preparation tips.
Prepare for Your Hike
Good preparation is absolutely essential if you want to enjoy a successful hiking trip. Map out your route ahead of time. Give a copy to a friend or family member and take one with you as well. Tell at least one person where you are going and when you plan to be home.
It’s always better to be safe instead of sorry, even if you have been on the trail before. After all, accidents do happen all the time. If you will be hiking in an area that you are not familiar with, then taking along a hiking friend is best.
Check the Weather Forecast
It is important to find out what the weather is supposed to be like when you are hiking so that you can wear the appropriate clothing. Although the forecast may end up being wrong, these days weather forecasting is much better thanks to advances in technology.
If it is cool or cold out, dress in layers. You can always take some of your layers off if you start to get too hot.
Make sure to take a waterproof covering with you like a raincoat or poncho. If it starts to rain, it can help to protect you when it cools down and keep the chill off. Take extra clothing with you if possible and be sure to have extra socks with you as well.
Take The Right Equipment
Hiking safety, of course, means you need to take the right items with you. Water is the most important item of all. Make sure to take enough water to last for the entire duration of your hike, along with some extra, just in case. Before you start hiking, drink one or two cups of water. Coffee can dehydrate you so avoid drinking it on days you are hiking.
When trekking across rough terrain, hiking boots are a necessity. Never wear boots that are brand new while hiking. To avoid blisters, they need to be broken in first.
If you going on a short hike, you can just carry the basics. Always have the following items with you:
- Insect repellent
- First Aid kit
- A way to make fire such as a Bic lighter, candle, and waterproof matches
- A good knife or multi-tool
- A good headlamp
- A poncho
- 2 brightly covered bandanas or an orange-colored 3XL t-shirt.
- GPS and/or Compass with Map
- Plenty of water
- Something to eat
- Additional weather appropriate clothing
- Glow sticks
- A whistle
- A survival blanket
- Some cordage like paracord
If something happened and you needed to spend the night out in the woods, those items will carry you through. They are not too heavy but be sure to get carry them in a hiking bag.
Carrying a can of pepper spray with you is a good idea. It can be used for self-defense purposes and could end up saving you if any wild animals get too close to you.
These days everybody carries their cell phone. So, of course, you should take your cell phone with you. Make sure to fully charge it before you go and take a solar charger or backup charger with you.
Wear a watch so you always know what time it is. Even better, get a smartwatch.
Always have a first aid kit with you containing medicines for headaches, burns, blisters, cuts, bee stings, and poison ivy. There should also be scissors along with bandages and medical take. If you have any medications that you take, put them into your first aid kit as well.
Take It Slow at First
When you are hiking up a hill, go only about one-third as far as you think you can.
Keep in mind that you also have to hike back. You could end up getting too tired while you are hiking back, and then if you turn around, you may realize you have too far to go to make it back.
If you are going to be hiking in a high elevation area or mountain, the air is warm and much drier. You will burn faster and thin air may cause your breathing to grow labored. You might not notice you are sweating, which could lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. To prevent overheating, stay in the shade as much as you can.
Numerous plant life and animals live out in their natural habitats. Always bury any items you cannot carry back with you, put out your fires, and pick up any trash. That will help to keep wildlife safe and leave the forest in a state the future generations can enjoy.
Hiking is an excellent way to not only enjoy the serenity and peace of your natural surroundings but also get in a good workout. Don’t take any unnecessary risks. Hiking is full of plenty of misadventures and mishaps.
Use the hiking safety tips above to fully enjoy your hikes. Also, share these tips with friends who love to hike just as much as you!