Hiking is an outdoor sport that anybody who loves adventure would enjoy. It is an activity that people of any age can do in tune to their capacity and limits. The thrill that you experience by just wandering off into the wild and enjoying the wildlife can’t be put to words. The beauty that unfolds before your eyes on setting up the camp on a peaceful spot is truly a sight to behold. Watch the sun drown across the horizon, painting the skies with mesmerizing shades of blood red, orange and crimson, which finally transcends into the dark surreal void of the night as you lay amidst the twinkling stars, would only make your hair, stand on end, and send goose bumps all across your skin.
But hiking is not just all thrill and adventure. You have to ensure you have taken the correct safety measures and precautions before you head out on a hike or trip. Or else there are chances that things may indeed turn perilous, if you don’t take proper measures.
Common careless mistakes are enough to put your life in danger
Following are some safety tips that you must follow to have a safe and fun filled hike.
- There are ten things that you must carry whenever you head out for a hike. In this era of minimalistic luggage and light travel, this might seem unwanted. But it’s always better to be on the safer side than regret later. The ten hiking essentials that you must have with you are insulation, fire, hydration, nutrition, first aid, sun protection, navigation, repair kit and tools, illumination, emergency shelter.
- Do not go off on a solo hike if you are inexperienced and new to hiking. This will just increase the chances of you risking your life. It’s always better to take someone along with you, it just means more company for you right?
- You should know where you are headed. As long as you have a map or guidebook and you are sure you won’t get lost in the woods, it’s okay to improvise on your trail. Otherwise its best to stick to the original plan you drew out.
- Check on the weather forecast before you leave for the hike. This will help you avoid any unwanted dangers like a thunderstorm or heavy rainfall. This will not just spoil your plans but also turn a little risky.
- Don’t try to be all macho and try to go for a three-day hike when you haven’t even exercised for years. Understand your capabilities and limits and plan according to that. Don’t push yourself too hard and get stuck in a condition where you are not able to go any further be it uphill or downhill. Take a rest every hour even if you don’t feel the requirement. This will help you save up on energy. And anytime you feel over exerted take a good long break till you recover.
- Being hydrated is one of the most important requirements of a hike. If you won’t drink water, you are just going to feel more dehydrated and tired that will increase the difficulty level of the hike. Your body requires water to function properly, so don’t deprive your body of its essentials.
- Food is also as important as water. Do not ever hike on an empty stomach. Eat before and after your hike. Since you can’t carry too much food with you on the hike, try carrying energy bars which will provide your body with the carbs and energy it requires while hiking.
- Dress appropriately while hiking. You might find this tip absurd and wonder why, but trust me this might just keep you safe when you least expect it. Dress in layers, this will help you to adjust to the surrounding climate and always carry raingear with you. You can never trust the weather, can you?
- If you are feeling sick or exhausted and detect any injuries, make sure you tend to them before continuing. Don’t over exert your body. Take a break whenever you feel yourself tiring.
- Don’t forget to carry your sunscreens with you even on a cold day. Hikers will be exposed to u-v rays as there are no trees to provide protection. So carry sunglasses and sunblock whenever you head out for a hike.
- Make sure you have the right amount of illumination. You don’t want to go blind in the dark do you? Carry torches and extra batteries with you. They will help you find your way around in the dark.
- Don’t touch or try to eat any of the wild fruits or leaves. You never know which fruit might be poisonous. And the last thing you would want is to die because of some wild plant like the guy in the movie,Into the Wild.
- You should know how to start a fire. This will not just keep you warm but also help in keeping the wild animals away from your camp spot. A waterproof match would do the job.
- Leave the site the way you found it, as making even the slightest change as shifting rocks might cause something as big as a rockslide. And remember not to leave any food on the trail as that will entice the wild animals which will lead to risking the lives of other hikers.
- Leave a note with at least two of your friends describing about your plan and the timing you should be back by. So in case you don’t reach by they know they have to contact the required officials. This will help you in case you are in a middle of emergency.
- Don’t try to threaten animals as they will tend to attack you. So maintain a good distance from them and only pelt stones and other things to shoo them off, if they don’t advance towards you.
So make sure you keep all these points in mind before setting off on a hike or trek.
Have a safe and fun filled hike.
HAPPY TREKKING GUYS!