Spending time in nature can be a breathtaking and relaxing experience to get away from everyday life. However, if you want to hike safely, you need to be aware that nature can be unforgiving and deadly.
Every year, hikers and adventurers head into the wilderness unprepared and ill-equipped. Tragically, not all of them return. To avoid being one of those affected, you must take hiking safety seriously.
From sudden weather changes to unexpected encounters with wildlife, the risks of hiking are real, and you can’t afford to take them lightly.
Today we’ll give you some tips on how to protect yourself while hiking and spending time in the great outdoors.
Is hiking a high-risk activity?
Like any outdoor activity, hiking has some risks that you should not overlook. However, hiking can be a safe and enjoyable experience if you take the time to prepare, educate yourself, and exercise caution.
Typical hiking risks include poor weather conditions, difficult terrain, getting lost, dangerous wildlife, and injuries from falls or other accidents.
Although many risks can be mitigated and avoided, outdoor adventures are often unpredictable.
Some hikes and wilderness areas are riskier than others and present their own challenges. To maximize your safety, you need to be aware of the hazards in the area where you plan to hike. Prepare yourself physically and mentally for the challenges you might encounter.
When should you not go hiking?
No matter what epic hike you have planned, there are times when you shouldn’t hike. The most obvious time not to hike is when the weather conditions are bad.
These include thunderstorms, heavy rain, or other bad weather conditions. They drastically increase the risk of hypothermia, getting lost, and injury.
Also, think twice about hiking if you have a health condition. Hiking could aggravate an illness or medical condition. It would put you farther away from medical professionals should your condition worsen.
You should also avoid hiking during trail closures. Authorities often close trails due to maintenance or hazardous conditions.
Fallen trees, dangerous sinkholes, or aggressive wildlife could be in the area and be the cause of the closure. Do yourself a favor and respect the closure. This may mean taking a different trail or waiting until it reopens.
What should you do before a hike?
Whether you are new to hiking or have been hiking for years, there are some things you should always do before hiking.
The longer you hike, the more these things will become second nature. However, newbies should create a checklist to adequately prepare for the adventure.
First, review the trail and familiarize yourself with the route you plan to take. Make a note of the length, elevation gain, and potential hazards.
At this stage, you should thoroughly assess your physical abilities. If you are hiking for the first time, it may not be best to cover more than 20 miles or climb thousands of vertical feet.
Don’t forget to check the weather forecast for the place where you will be hiking. This will help you decide what clothes to wear, what equipment to take, and whether you can hike safely.
Remember that the weather can change in a very short period of time, especially at higher elevations. A chance of rain can quickly turn into monsoon-like conditions.
You should also always let others know about your plans before you head out. Tell them where you plan to go, what route you will take, and when you expect to return. This can be helpful if for some reason you do not return on time.
You can pass the information on to the proper authorities so they can begin searching in the event of an emergency.
What should you pack for hiking?
One of the keys to hiking safety is packing the right gear. Unfortunately, there is no universal packing list for every hiking adventure. However, you should take a handful of items with you when you are out on a hiking trail.
First, make sure you have a sturdy and comfortable backpack. It needs to be big enough to carry the gear, food, and water you’ll need on your trip. You don’t want to miss out on anything because you don’t have enough room.
Maelstrom Daypack Backpacks, 40L Green
High Quality Material: The hiking backpack is made of high quality rip-stop 210d nylon fabric, which is water repellent,…
Ergonomic and Comfortable Design:Thick padded back with ergonomic breathable design paired with adjustable,…
Next, you need to carry the essentials, including food and water, in your backpack. Your snacks and food are your source of energy during the hike, so make sure you pack plenty.
If you want to lighten your load, you can use a portable filtration system to carry less water if you have fresh water sources nearby.
Don’t forget other essentials like a navigation device, first aid kit, and emergency kit. The equipment you need depends largely on the length and difficulty of the trail, weather conditions, and your personal needs.
Remember:Keep your strength up during your hike with these tasty hiking snacks!