Guest post by Joel Syder
It’s easy to see why hiking is such a popular activity for people of all generations around the world. Whether you’re discovering a desolate beach or a dominating mountain range and everything in between, there’s no denying the world is a beautiful place.
However, while hiking can be one of the most enjoyable and most rewarding activities out there, there is also a number of safety risks involved. These can, of course, depend on where you are, but by being mindful, you can ensure you minimize the chances of them becoming a problem.
With this in mind, today we’re going to explore ten of the most essential hiking safety tips you need to know in order to ensure you and your loved ones have the best hiking experience.
#1 – Take a Map
Whether you’re traversing through mountains and forests or somewhere like a Canadian wasteland, it’s surprisingly easy to become lost with one wrong turn, and if you find yourself in a position with no phone, battery or signal, things can turn south very quickly.
Instead, get yourself a map and make sure you know how to read it!
#2 – Stock a Compass
Hand in hand with the consideration above, you’ll also need to make sure you’re carrying a compass. The ability to see north accurately is essential when it comes to locating yourself on a map and finding out which way you need to go in just a few minutes.
#3 – Extra Gear
Despite the weather forecasts trying to get their reports as accurate as possible, this isn’t always going to be the case, which is why it pays to be prepared. You don’t want to be hiking, and everything gets soaked in a sudden downpour of rain. Even if this happens, the problems caused from it can be minimized by making sure you have spare clothes and a raincoat, even if you don’t think you’re going to need it!
Stay off the wet or cold ground with a handy Crazy Creek Chair. The Hex 2.0 Original Chair is the perfect light-weight option for backpacking. Roll it up (as shown below) and pack along for a quick, comfy seat!
Photo credit @will_slough
#4 – Water (Purification)
Of course, water is so important when you’re hiking because even when your hike is successful and without problems, you still need water to drink during your adventure to stay hydrated. Failure to do so can lead to dehydration and some serious health problems.
“In some cases, you may need to survive longer, and you may not have bottles of water with you to consume. Instead, you can take water purification tablets as a last resort, so you’re able to purify the water in your local area; making it safely drinkable” shares Audrey Taylor, a trekking specialist for 1 Day 2 Write.
#5 – Buy Spray/Protection
Depending on where and when you’re going hiking, you might be susceptible to being attacked by bugs; especially where some of these bugs might cause further health issues.
If you’re abroad, make sure you’re researching to see whether you need any jabs to protect yourself, and any products you may also need to take with you.
#6 – Bring Basic First Aid
It’s important to make sure you bring at least a basic level of first aid supplies with you on your hiking adventures, but the more you can bring, the better. You never know when you’re going to cut yourself or what situation you’re going to find yourself in, and being safe means being prepared.
If you slip on something and cut yourself, you’re going to want a bandage to keep the cut clean and prevent infections until you’re able to deal with it properly. A small first aid kit should have enough.
#7 – Sun Protection
Under this category, you’ll want to think about a number of different products that can help to protect you from the sun. This includes anything from lightweight clothing and sunglasses to umbrellas and SPF sunscreen.
Since you’ll be outside for a long period of time, constant contact with the sun can lead to many health conditions, such as overheating, sunstroke and increases the risk of skin cancer.
Photo credit: @the_fauxtographer
#8 – Only Hike During Daylight Hours
“This might seem obvious to some of you, but while you’re out in the wilderness, it’s very easy to fall susceptible to the temptation of trekking at night, especially if you’ve got somewhere to be. However, even if you know where you’re going, travelling at night is only going to increase the risk!” explains Paul Daniels, a hiking instructor at WriteMYX and Brit Student.
#9 – Do Your Research
As we’ve talked about above, the best way to stay safe while hiking is by being prepared, which means researching the area you’re planning to travel too. Look into the area, look at the trails available and pre-plan your route for minimal risk.
Photo credit: @mike.rice.14
#10 – High-Energy Snacks/Food
While we spoke about water above, another vitally important thing you’re going to want to think about is the type of food you bring with you on your hikes. This includes high-energy, slow release foods, such as bananas or sweets like Wine Gums; anything to give you boosts of energy. Plop down in your Crazy Creek chair for a yummy bite after a long trek through the back country!
Stay safe out there friends!
Joel Syder is hiking buff at Originwritings.com and Academicbrits.com. He enjoys helping people to learn more about hiking in the great outdoors as well as creating articles about things that excite him for Australia2write.com, like expanding comfort zones.