How To Keep Yourself Safe While Hiking
Do you know how to keep yourself safe while hiking?
Your hiking safety is your concern. By this, we mean taking charge of your trail safety from all dimensions. For instance, you have to protect yourself from snakebites, attacks and many more.
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In addition, to ensure hiking safety, you also need to check your health. For example, if you are asthmatic, you should carry your inhaler and prepare yourself well. That way, wild pollen will not trigger an asthmatic attack.
Keep reading as we see more information about hiking safety tips.
For outdoor lovers, nature and discovering new places is at the top of their list. Whether you go hiking for leisure, staying fit, for spiritual purposes, or just to get away, this is for you.
Hiking during the day or for long periods has many health benefits. In addition, it is a fantastic workout, which is refreshing for the mind and soul. However, to enjoy yourself fully, you need to know the rules of safe hiking.
How do you keep yourself safe when hiking alone?
If you are planning to go for a hike alone, it is important to always stay on the trail to avoid getting lost in the wilderness.
It is always good to be prepared and alert. In addition, whether you are hiking for just a day or many days, you need to be well equipped for the trail.
The following trail safety tips are vital to saving your life in case something goes wrong:
Know your trails well
This is one of the most important hiking safety tips. You see, when you start researching the trails that you will be hiking, you can find out the most probable dangers and prepare for them in advance.
For example, if they are isolated trails, you can hike in a group or with your partner. Two are always better than one!
In addition, if the trail has bugs, you will know what sort of bug repellent to carry with you. In addition, you can find out things about water, snakes and other things.
Basically, during your route planning, you will need to consider every possible trail safety hazard and prepare for it.
Pack these 11 essential hiking gears
If you are planning a 1-day or 7-day hike, it is important to prepare early and pack the right hiking equipment. Therefore, you might need the following.
- Water to stay hydrated
- Food -extra and more energy giving foods
- Trail map compass, Personal beacon locator in case of an accident or if you get lost you can activate it and be rescued easily
- Fire matches, lighter, stove
- Flashlight plus extra batteries
- Sleeping pad
- A knife and rope
- Collapsible tent
- First aid kit including Mosquito and insect repellent
- Sunscreen and sunglasses, wet weather hiking clothes
- Good pair of hiking shoes and extra clothes for prolonged hikes
- Extra pair of warm socks and hiking shoes
- Water purification system
All these things are vital to your safety. It is important to pack for the no of days you will be gone. Make sure your hiking backpack is not too heavy to avoid slowing you down on your hike.
In addition, always pack for day and night. After packing all the essential gear, you can add a few more essentials to make your hike more comfortable. On the same note, do more research on your trail, check for reviews online so that you are well prepared for the trip
Let someone know of your plans
This is one of the vital hiking safety rules.
Always inform a friend or family of your plans to go for a hike. Whether it’s a short or long trip, give them a brief overview of the trails you will be taking. In addition, remember to mention your return date.
If you fail to return on the said date, your family can raise the alarm and get you help sooner. For instance, if your plan was five days, make sure to return to avoid causing panic to your loved ones.
Evaluate your health and know your limits
One of the golden rules for how to stay safe while hiking is to know that you are up for it. For instance, if you have a bad knee, it will limit you. However, you can still hike with it.
You know your health best and how fit you are. However, be realistic on the no of days you can be able to hike.
Know any health concerns that may endanger your life. If you are fit enough, you can plan for longer days or weeks. However, it is advisable to take shorter trips if you have some health concerns. Remember to take any medication that you may need.
Find out the exercises for hiking that you can take for hiking. This might call for a few leg days in your local gym. In addition, doing lunges, squats, stretches and other leg workouts a few weeks before the long hike helps a lot.
Prepare your body and mind before the hike by taking walks to strengthen your muscles. Be aware of the terrain and the weather. There can be hills or crossing rivers so you ought to prepare adequately.
Carry trail maps
Trail safety tips include knowing the trail that you will be hiking.
Therefore, remember to pack your maps and know how to use them to navigate your trail.
In addition, study and understand your map as part of your preparation. You can also find out the resting points. In addition, find out about features such as waterfalls on the trail.
Additionally, you can also highlight the path that you will follow as well as the physical features along your trail.
It is important that you choose the safe hiking trails. There have been instances where hikers have lost their life.
Pay extra attention if you are alone
Hiking alone can expose you to a lot of danger.
Therefore, remember to mind your business when you encounter strangers. In addition, it is better that you don’t mention to them that you’re alone especially if you are a woman.
Study people closely and stay away from those who are intoxicated or people who seem to have a hidden agenda.
Always choose the safe hiking trails. You see, such trails will have more hikers and so you will feel safe. You can be very sure of safe hiking if you choose isolated trails.
Lastly, trust your instincts about strangers and don’t take anything from them unless it’s a matter of life and death.
Keep a keen eye on the weather
For your hiking safety, check the weather before you can take your hike. In addition,do more research on the weather patterns in the area you’re planning to go for a hike.
Any slight weather changes can affect the rest of your trip. If you experience thunder and lightning, avoid high open fields, trees, or water bodies. In addition, if wet weather is in the forecast, you can pack befitting hiking outfits.
If it is very hot, or even not, stay hydrated all the time. Actually, if you wait to feel thirsty so that you can drink, it means you are already dehydrated.
Stay on the trail
Your hiking safety relies heavily on you staying on the trail. Do not go wandering away from the trail, maybe to see an animal or take pictures.
In addition, if you get lost off the trail, it may be difficult to find you in case of an accident. It can also be difficult to find your way back to the trail because the vegetation may look the same.
Now you know the trail safety tips to bear in mind all the time, it is time to get ready for the hike. If you are doing this in 2020 or 2021, you may want to find out the hiking safety rules from the concerned authorities. You see, the coming of the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the way we enjoy the outdoors. Therefore, the hiking safety rules might change from time to time.
Finally, to wind up, it is easier to maintain hiking safety in the daytime than in the nighttime. Therefore, if this is your first hike, take it during the day.