12 Safety Tips Every Hiker Needs to Know
It’s no secret that hiking is a fun activity in which the entire family can participate in. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy observing the natural elements that surround us?
Even though hiking is an adventurous sport with many advantages, such as beautiful scenery and health benefits, it can also have disadvantages, such as falling rocks and poison oak.
Listed below are 12 safety tips that every hiker needs to know prior to their excursion.
- Always plan ahead. Before visiting a certain park, speak with the park ranger so he can let you know the best and worst (dangerous) areas of the park.
- Be familiar with the environment of where you’ll be hiking. You should always research the plants and animals in the area because so many should be avoided.
- You should never hike alone. Hiking is a group sport and because the chances of becoming lost or injured are much higher when you’re alone, it’s best to have at least a couple of fellow hikers with you.
- When you plan to go hiking, be sure to tell someone. Also let them know where you’ll be and when you plan to return home. Doing this will let them know where they can find you in case you don’t return home when you’re supposed to.
- Start your hiking adventure early. You’ll want to avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day, so the sooner in the day you begin, the better.
- Know where to go to get medical care. Prior to arriving to your hiking location, make sure you know how far you are from the nearest hospital in case you were to have an accident.
- Bring bottled water. You’ll need to avoid drinking water from the springs and lakes because it could be filled with bacteria that could make you very sick.
- Bring snacks, such as sandwiches, chips and granola bars in tightly-sealed containers. Animals can smell food and will go prowling into your bag unless your food is in a properly sealed container.
- Don’t forget the sun block. Even if you’re hiking in a shady area, you should still use sun block. Wearing a hat and arm coverings will also help you avoid getting sunburned.
- Bring your cell phone. You should always keep your cell phone with you in case of an emergency.
- Remember to bring a first aid kit. In case you have a minor scrape or cut, this kit will most likely take care of it so it won’t become infected. Hopefully you won’t need the kit, but you’ll have it on hand just in case.
- Be sure to watch where you step. So many hikers step on things like exposed tree roots, rocks, etc. and end up spraining their ankle. There are also many hikers that step on snakes while exploring the trails. So, while you’re observing the beauty around you, don’t forget to watch where you step.