Hiking is a great physical activity that is easy to understand and get into for beginners. Meanwhile, it is also challenging for those who would like to test their limits. Not to mention that it can be a short trip or it can take up weeks to finish.
This flexibility that hiking has makes it a very friendly and open activity that a lot of people from all over the world can try out.
Regardless, that doesn’t mean that hiking is all fun and games all the time. If you’re not careful, the most straightforward hike can lead to dangerous situations.
Therefore, you want to come into it with the most preparations and knowledge at your disposal to avoid putting yourself and others at risk during a hike. On that note, here are seven safety tips that are worth knowing about before you start hiking:
Learn first-aid treatment
Knowing how to treat the most basic injuries that you might encounter during a hike will help you in case of an emergency. Knowing how to patch up minor wounds and abrasions, as well as sprains, during a hike will be helpful.
Another vital information to identify is knowledge on how to prevent dehydration, hypothermia, or heat stroke during a hike.
What will be a big help in your health and safety during a hike would be bringing a first-aid kit with you. Don’t go on a significant hike without one as much as possible. Also, make sure that your kit has all the basics.
Armed with the first-aid kit and knowledge is going to help you prepare and will make you more confident in case of emergencies.
Check your hiking ability
To avoid getting yourself in dangerous situations in the first place, you should know your limit when choosing a hike.
If you do your research before you commit to a hiking trail, you can find information about its level of difficulty (i.e. beginner or advanced). That way, you’ll put off hiking trails that you’re not at par with.
If you’re hiking with a group, it’s also essential to know everyone else’s level of expertise. It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert hiker. If everyone else in the group isn’t, then you should stick to the trail that’s most manageable for their level.
This simple prevention is going to help you avoid getting you and others in tricky and dangerous situations.
Hike with someone if possible
Hiking is an activity that you can do by yourself or with people. Although you can hike by yourself freely, it is not ideal.
As much as possible, get at least one person to hike with you. If no friends or family are available, you can join hiking groups instead, so you have people with you.
But if you insist on hiking alone, then make sure you let someone know where you are going. Let loved ones know not only your destination and your starting point but also your plans for each stop in the trail.
Inform them of how long you think it is going to take you to finish your hike. Once you return from the trip, let them know as well.
Remember to drink water
Keeping yourself hydrated while you are hiking is crucial so that you do not end up passing out in the middle of a hiking trail.
In fact, if there is one thing that you should not skimp on, that would be water. So remember to drink when hiking. That way, you will not suffer from a heat stroke or dehydration.
Research about the area
Doing your research helps you figure out whether you can manage a hike. It also lets you know what to expect and enables you to familiarize yourself with the area a little bit.
The research will also help show you the best trail to take based on what you want to see from the area.
Wear appropriate gears
Depending on several factors, you need to prepare the appropriate gear to keep you and the people with you safe whenever you hike.
One of the essentials for any hike would be a high-quality rain jacket. The layers underneath are also crucial to your hike. These clothing items will help protect your body from the fluctuations of the temperature.
Aside from that, hiking boots are also especially helpful because it helps protect your feet from damage after all that hiking.
Since your feet are responsible for carrying you throughout the hike, you want to make sure that you are in tip-top shape. Hence, the need for a sturdy but comfortable pair of hiking boots.
Have an emergency plan
If the worse comes to worst, you want to be able to know what to do. Of course, you don’t want it to happen, but it helps to know that you have a plan in case it does.
Keeping navigational tools with you is a big help. Those that don’t rely on technology are ideal.
Having a contingency plan in place, like telling someone where you’re going, and then asking them to check on you if a specific time passed, can be your shining light in dark and dangerous situations.
Hiking is a fun activity, but much like any activity, it can be dangerous if you don’t do the right preparation. The seven safety tips listed above are a few of the basic things you need to keep in mind before you go hiking to keep yourself safe. Just make sure that you remember these safety tips and that you don’t do anything too risky that it will put your life in danger.
Good luck, have fun, and keep safe!