These hiking safety recommendations may seem obvious, yet far too many hikers get into dangerous situations because they lack information or preparation. Your hike can stay where it belongs—in your good memories—with a little basic planning.
On the trial, tense events can start as a series of seemingly unimportant errors. The trail becomes slick after a light rain, and your clothes get wet. When you go looking for your water bottle, you find that it has spilled its priceless contents all over the map. You end yourself taking the incorrect trail as a result, failing to leave before dusk. You’re now chilly, thirsty, and in for an unpleasant experience instead of having a celebration meal and beverage with the other hikers. Here are some important hiking safety tips to prevent you from landing thinking of the situation: –
1. Inform Someone Whenever You Are Going Hiking.
It’s a good idea to let someone back at home know when you are going for a hike, even if you’re hiking with a friend. Make a trip itinerary and give it to a trustworthy person.
The National Park Service advises including these items in your itinerary:
- A map showing the planned route and itinerary
- Date and time of anticipated return
- Your car’s make, model, and license plate number
- What Color you and other people are wearing
- List of those accompanying you (including any essential medical needs of people in your group)
- Make plans for an Overnight Stay – Even on Day Hikes.
Day hikes can abruptly evolve into overnight stays in the woods, during which you won’t be roasting marshmallows. It’s crucial to be ready for the possibility that you might have to spend the night on the path since getting lost, twisting an ankle, or assisting a fellow hiker with one, could prevent you from returning to the car in time Two of the most common reasons for hike fatalities are falls and hypothermia, both of which are more likely to occur at night.
That is, even if you intend to hike beyond sundown, always and without fail to bring along at least one trustworthy light source (such as a flashlight), a few additional snacks, and an extra layer of clothing. Avoid wasting your phone’s battery by utilizing it as a light source. Without a light source, if you get lost, halt going and wait for help or sunrise.
- Bring some snacks and refreshments.
Hikers typically carry only as much water as they anticipate they’ll need because it’s required. Dehydration, particularly in the winter or in dry air, is a common issue on the route. Make it a practice to bring a second bottle. (You might run into another person who needs water.)
In case you run out of water, think about investing in a filtering system. You should probably filter any water you find; it’s better to err on the side of caution and stay away from the neighborhood parasite. Should you become stuck, a LifeStraw, Sawyer Mini, or another filtering tool will address a significant issue while weighing very little. Snacks are crucial for providing the required energy and mood boosts. Low blood sugar makes it more probable for a “hangry” hiker to make unwise decisions.
4. Begin the day early.
The benefits of starting your hike earlier are numerous. The afternoon is when thunderstorms most frequently occur, the light is better for photography, and birds and other creatures are more active. More significantly, you’ll have more time before it gets dark to fix problems if they arise.
5. Try to Stay Dry Always.
While experiencing “hiker’s hypothermia,” as it is known, is possible in temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit, hypothermia is not just a wintertime issue. Expert hikers are aware of the proverb “cotton kills.” While wearing improper gear, getting wet from sweat or rain can quickly reduce body heat. Exertion, exhaustion, and dehydration—conditions hikers experience—frequently aggravate the condition. Fortunately, hypothermia can be quickly avoided:
- Wear layers to better regulate your body’s temperature.
- Contrast cotton and denim with layers that wick away moisture.
- If you’re already chilly and wet, don’t push yourself to reach a windy mountain.
6. Don’t hike with headphones.
On a lengthy hike, many individuals like to listen to music, but doing so costs you one of your most vital senses. You won’t just miss the birdsong; nature frequently sends us warnings through noises, allowing us time to react. You must hear the sharp crack of a fallen limb, the annoyed snort of a grizzly, or the rattling of a rattlesnake. While music is enjoyable, you should save your celebratory mood after a successful hike.
7. Always come along with a Whistle
The sound of a whistle travels far further than your voice if you need assistance, and it takes up very little space. If there is an emergency, blow three times on your whistle (SOS). Don’t bury it in your backpack—keep it accessible in a pocket or on a lanyard!
- Avoid interacting with wild animals
Although seeing wildlife while hiking is usually a blessing, you should be prepared for encounters. In general, keep a safe distance from any wild animals. Ranger advice for Yellowstone National Park calls for a minimum distance of 100 yards for bears and 25 yards for elk, moose, and bison. Make noise while hiking to let a bear know you’re there. Ranger advice for Yellowstone National Park calls for a minimum distance of 100 yards for bears and 25 yards for elk, moose, and bison
As you hike, make noise to let a bear know you’re there (and therefore, avoid surprising it). Try not to draw attention to yourself if you do spot a bear, and then gently retreat the way you came. Never attempt to flee if you’ve already attracted attention.
According to the National Wildlife Federation, grizzly bears can run at 35 mph4. Instead, keep an eye on the animal (don’t take selfies), walk slowly back up till you are secure, and then slowly move sideways in a wide circle around it. While making noise and waving your arms, avoid acting aggressively. Make it clear to the animal that you are not a danger or tasty prey. (Experts also advise against climbing trees because bears are far more adept at it than you are.)