Hiking needs proper packing and planning regardless of whether it is a short day hike or a mountain hike, make sure safety is at the forefront of your plans as you lace your boots to set out on the adventure of hiking.
There are a lot of factors that must be considered and planned for if you want to have a good and safe hiking experience. The factors that may cause hiking to go wrong may include thunderstorms a surprise snowstorm, lighting, dangerous wildlife or an unstable rock pattern are all kinds of hazards that may be encountered when you go hiking. Make sure you are in a good physical and mental condition and also pay close attention to your surrounding so that you can enjoy yourself.
The following safety tips are important when you go hiking;
Make a Gear List: whether you are going for a short hiking that includes few hours or you are going for hiking that may take day, you don’t want to have a horrible time. Hence, it is important to make a list of everything you need before heading out; there are some items that are a must have, these include water, extra water, map, compass, rain gear, and extra food.
Map: this is probably the most important item that you should have when you are going for a hike. Do not rely solely on GPS as there might be limited service and the battery power might disappoint. Make sure you have a map and also learn how to read it. GPS should only serve as a backup plan for you and if at all you must go with one, then you should also get a power bank fully charged in case the battery runs down, you will be able to use the power bank to charge it.
Know the Area: Make sure you are familiar with the area you are going, check for the following information before heading out:
- Local poisonous plants
- Local hunting seasons and areas
- Local wild animals and ensure you know what to do when you come across any
Hike During the Day: have it in your plan to schedule your hiking during the day; it is much easier to get lost in the dark and there may be wild animals in the area you are hiking so it is safer to go during the day.
Check the Weather Forecast: make sure you put the weather condition into consideration up on to the time you leave. This will help you know what kind of gear that you will need whether it is a sunscreen, rain jacket, warmer clothing or extra water in case of a hot weather. In case the weather forecast indicates the possibility of a rainfall, make sure the trail you will be passing through will not be slippery and will still be passable in such conditions.
Be Confident: know what you can do and what you cannot do whether you are hiking alone or you are hiking with a group of friends. When you are hiking with your friends you may be persuaded to do something you are not prepared for, make sure you are careful so that you do not risk getting injured. Know your limits and be honest with your level of skill so that you don’t get into trouble.
Keep Your Location Known: Tell people around you before you go hiking. This is very important so that you can let them know when you are going and when you will be coming back so that when they don’t see you they can make attempts to look out for you.
Stay Together: when hiking with a group make sure you are together as it is safer to be together than isolated when you go hiking with friends.
Stick to Your Plan: Always maintain your designated trail
Keep Hydrated: Go with enough water and sports drinks, taking alcohol or soda when you go hiking can cause dehydration.
Wear Boots: make sure you have something sturdy on your feet that will provide good ankle support.
Pack Light: Make sure you carry only what you need, avoid carrying items you will not lead so that you can have less load to deal with.
Hiking is fun when you have the necessary items in place, if you haven’t tried why not give it a trial in your next vacation and you are sure to be in for a good time and I’m sure you will thank me later.