Hiking is a great physical activity that is easy to understand and get into for beginners. However, it also offers more challenges and hurdles for those interested in testing their limits. 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.
With that said, even though anyone can try it, it doesn’t mean that it’s 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, if you want to go hiking, then here are seven safety tips that are worth knowing about before you start hiking.
1. Learn basic 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 emergencies.
2. Check your ability level.
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 the suggested hiking level or the difficulty of a hiking trail. You can then know to avoid the paths that are going to be too difficult for you at your current level.
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.
3. 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’s not ideal that you do that. 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.
If you do plan on hiking alone, then make sure you let someone know where you’re 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’s going to take you to finish too. Once you return from the trip, let them know as well.
4. Remember to drink water.
Keeping yourself hydrated while you’re hiking is crucial so that you don’t end up passing out in the middle of a hiking trail. If there’s one thing not to skimp out on when you’re packing, it’s the water that you bring with you. Remember to drink as you hike so that you don’t suffer from a heat stroke or dehydration.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Have an emergency plan
If the worst 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, is going to 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 above are a few of the basic things you need to keep in mind before you go hiking to keep yourself safe while doing it. Make sure that you remember these safety tips and that you don’t do anything out there too risky that it will put your life in danger.
Good luck, have fun, and keep safe!