Hiking has many health benefits, partly because of the extended opportunity for exercise and partly because of the fresh air and scenic beauty. But there are risks to our health too, as various dangers await.
So, whether you’re traveling far and wide for your next hiking adventure or staying closer to home, there is one word that you have to take to heart: Safety! In this article, we will give you a few tips on staying safe, so heed the following before you lace up your hiking boots.
#1: Pack your essentials
Be prepared! That’s a motto many of us learned at scouts when we were younger and it’s a motto that we should never forget, especially when it comes to hiking. Make use of this hiking checklist, as you don’t want to be without those essentials that could save your life when you’re out and about. Bottles of water will prevent problems associated with dehydration, a warm change of clothes will serve you well should the weather change, and a first-aid kit will be vital should you injure yourself while hiking. Look at the checklist for more essential items.
#2: Pack navigation tools
It can be easy to wander off the beaten path when out hiking as there is always something that catches our eye elsewhere. This is all well and good until we realize we are lost and have no idea how to get back to where we need to be. So, consider this problem for yourself and carry something that will help you navigate your way around. A simple map and compass might suffice, but here’s an excellent article listing the best handheld GPS devices if you want something a little more hi-tech. Not only will these devices help you navigate but some can trigger an SOS rescue search if you need help from an outdoor professional.
#3: Become familiar with the hiking area
If you’re taking an established route, there should be information online about the area you will be walking around. It’s important to check this as you might be alerted to certain dangers. Poisonous plants, steep drops, and deadly wildlife are just some of the hazards you will need to be aware of. There should be advice online telling you the best time of year to visit the hiking area too. Heed this, as you don’t want to hike during hunting season or when the weather is likely to take a turn for the worse.
#4: Let people know where you are
If you do get lost or injured on your hiking trip, your situation will be worse if you then find yourself stranded, with no way to get to safety. Things will become even more problematic if people have no idea that you’re on a hike. This is why you should let somebody know where you’re going. If you don’t arrive home at a certain time or if you don’t check in with the person occasionally, they can call the emergency services if they suspect you might be in trouble. So, let somebody know your hiking plans before you set out and arrange callback times with them.
So, don’t forget these safety tips. Your life could depend on them, so take all the necessary precautions before you head out on your travels.
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