Posted on March 6th, 2015
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Hiking And Camping Safety Tips To Help You Out On The Trails
It’s getting to be that time of the year. It’s time to start getting things ready for a nice Spring hike. Along with having a Trail Saver in hand, below are some great hiking safety tips.
Make sure to check out our complete hiking and camping safety product, the Trail Saver.
- Avoid hiking alone because the “buddy system” is safer during any type of activity. If traveling with a group, never stray from the group. If hiking alone, pick a well traveled trail.
- Tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
- Don’t forget to check in with them when you get back.
- Stay on marked trails. Making shortcuts and “bushwhacking” causes erosion and greatly increases your chance of becoming lost. As you hike, pay attention to trail blazes (paint marks on trees) and landmarks. A double blaze indicates a change in trail direction or intersection, so be sure to follow the correct trail.
- Never climb on waterfalls. A high number of injuries and deaths occur on waterfalls and slippery, wet rocks.
- Always carry quality rain gear and turn back in bad weather. If you become wet or cold, it is important to get dry and warm as quickly as possible, avoiding hypothermia.
- Dress in layers and avoid cotton. Today’s hikers can choose from numerous fabrics that wick moisture, dry quickly or conserve heat. Many experienced hikers wear a lightweight shirt that wicks moisture, while carrying a fleece pullover and waterproof jacket in a daypack.
- All hikers (especially children and older adults) should carry a whistle, which can be heard far away and takes less energy than yelling. Three short blasts is a sign of distress.
- Carry plenty of drinking water and never assume stream water is safe to drink. Frequent hikers might consider buying a water filter or water purifying tablets at an outdoor supply store.
- Don’t count on cell phones to work in the wilderness, but if they do, be able to give details about your location. Telling rescue personnel that you’re lost by a big tree won’t help as much as telling which trailhead you started from and how long you’ve been hiking.
- Don’t rely on a GPS to prevent you from getting lost. Batteries can die or the equipment can become damaged or lost.
- Invest in good hiking socks and boots such as those found at sporting goods stores. Avoid blisters by carrying “moleskin” (available at drug stores) and applying it as soon as you feel a hot spot on your feet. Available in the foot care section of drug stores, moleskin is like felt that sticks to your skin.
- Wear bright colors. Don’t dress children in camouflage.