Feb 12

Hiking Safety Tips

by in Guest Posts

Many travelers will find that hiking is a great, inexpensive way to explore the places they visit. No traveler is comparable and all have their own unique way of planning their upcoming hiking exploration. Regardless of on or off trail hiking outings, outdoor safety should always be the fundamental key. There are always basic fundamentals of safety that every hiker, tenderfoot or advanced, must know. It is easy to become too confident, however, so these are some safety tips and advice that hikers should always take into consideration. Listed here are five of safety tips that could save the life of a hiker and the lives of any group members they take along with them.

Whether you are headed out for an hour-long stroll in the jungle or a multi-day trek in the mountains, you will want to consider some or all of these suggestions. Additional outdoor safety advice can be found at outdoorsafetyinstitute.com.

Plan out the Trip

Organizing the trip, for many hikers, may seem like a safety tip that takes the fun out of impromptu hiking outings. When you plan a trip you do not inevitably have to stick to a specific plan or plan out every second of the hiking excursion. Rather, stick to the basics. Pick a route that fits with your competencies. This means that if you don’t know how to use a topographical map and compass well, then you should always follow well marked trails instead of traveling off trail. Above all, make sure you select a hiking route that fits your own personal health and body limitations. When traveling in areas you are unfamiliar with, especially in foreign countries, it is wise to seek out local knowledge about any unique hazards that may be present.

Inform Others

Let more than one person know where you are going. Again, you do not have to give a full itinerary of every moment you will be gone. Just let them know a simple plan and when you plan on being in touch. Scan or take a photo of the map and draw your route on it and then email it to dependable family or friends. You can even post the sketch of the route on your Facebook page or other form of social media that family and friends can access conveniently. Set the trail image to private and allow only those very close to you to be able to access it. This will allow them to give the trail map to nearby officials if a crisis arises. If somebody knows when you will be coming back, is waiting for a quick email, cell call or online post from you and doesn’t hear from you then they will be able to contact the proper authorities with the proper information to find you easily.

Bring the Right Stuff

Gear up according to the anticipated terrain and conditions for the hike. Make sure you have the proper gear and clothing to handle the hiking route you have selected and the possible weather conditions. Extra food, water (or water purification tablets), headlamp (or flashlight) and spare warm clothing are items every single hiking party should have. A small first-aid kit, map, compass, and fire-starting tools (waterproof matches or lighter and a candle) are also crucial, but also come with the responsibility for learning how to use them. A pocketknife or Leatherman type tool can also be beneficial and sunscreen, sunglasses and a sun hat are likely essentials depending upon conditions.

Take a Communication Tool

A hiker or avid outdoorsperson may think of bringing a satellite phone, but let’s face it, not many folks have access to such luxuries. A far less pricey option is a “Personal Locator Beacon” such as the Fast Find models which actually have no monthly service fee and can send a satellite “SOS” from almost anywhere on the planet. The fact is that a great number hikers and outdoorsman rely on their cell phones for communication while on or off the trail. The primary downside to a cell phone is that there is not good coverage in isolated hiking spots. For extended trips consider bringing a spare phone battery with you for circumstances where you find yourself caught in a crisis situation and need the additional battery life span.

These are just a few of the tips and advice hikers and all devoted outdoorspeople need to keep in mind. Safety on the trail is one thing, but safety before ever packing a pack or gearing up is also one thing to consider (and if you happen to be looking for a pack – check out our assault pack reviews for elaborate breakdowns of the pros and cons of the best brands). For more online resources check out the tips from the adventure safety experts at the Outdoor Safety Institute.

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