By Donald Saunders
Hiking provides millions of people with a great deal of pleasure and a sense of adventure each year and 99% of the time it is far from dangerous. However, people do have accidents and get lost every once in a while and it can then become a very dangerous activity very quickly if you are not prepared.
Here are just 4 simple safety tips to ensure that your hiking trips don”t land you in difficulty.
Safety Tip No1 – Take a partner or friend along.
There”s really no need to worry about heading out by yourself if you are taking a short hike in a local area on easy terrain, however, if you are hiking through wilderness areas with steep canyons and winding trails then the likelihood of getting lost or suffering an injury becomes very real and you ought to consider carefully whether or not it is sensible to head out on your own.
Having someone along has many advantages, especially if that person is an experienced hiker. After all, ”two heads are always better than one” and if you do become lost or run into trouble you’re much less likely to panic if you have somebody with you to help sort out the problem.
Safety Tip No 2 – Ensure somebody knows where you are going.
If you are new to hiking then you ought to certainly stick to clearly marked and well traveled trails and ought not stray from these trails to explore until you have gained some experience and have learned the basics of map reading and compass work. But, it will not be too long before you are ready to try some more adventurous trails and the likelihood of getting injured or lost will arise.
Consequently, you should always tell somebody where you are going and when you expect to return so they can send help if you do not return as expected.
Safety Tip No 3 – Take along some basic equipment.
It is vital to have a basic survival kit with you. What we’re talking about here are such things as matches and a lighter, a first aid kit, a good knife and a flashlight with fresh batteries.
Additionally, it is a good idea to take a map and compass along and a fully charged cell phone.
Safety Tip No 4 ? Take along some basic provisions.
Water or other fluids like sports drinks are clearly essential because you can lose water very fast even over a couple of hours on a hot day. You should remember that water is heavy, so take enough but not too much. Don’t plan on streams or springs for water as they can be loaded with bacteria that can make you very sick. Also do not forget to take enough food to last you. It is no fun to be hungry while you’re out but don’t forget that you can last a lot longer without food than without water.