How to Hike Safely

Going hiking is great fun and you can see many lovely and beautiful things. The atmosphere on a quiet mountainside can be extraordinary, with not another soul in sight you can feel like the last person in the world. It can be breathtaking.

Steps

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    Plan your route. Get a good map of the area you are going to and decide on the route you will take. You could use local guidebooks to decide on a route or if you are familiar with the area just use the map.
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    Make sure to tell someone your route and when you will be back from your hike. In case you have a problem people will know where to start looking for you.
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    Wear sensible clothing for the conditions and carry extra in case the weather changes for the worse. For high-altitude and exposed hikes, wearing or bringing synthetic (non-cotton) clothing is strongly recommended!
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    Take wet weather gear with you a waterproof jacket and leggings or gaiters.
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    Wear comfortable, sturdy walking boots. They should be able to support your ankles and have tough enough soles that your feet do not get bruised on hard tracks and trails.
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    Use a comfortable backpack that you can fit all your gear into.
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    Take something to eat and drink while you are out for your hike.
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    Wear blaze orange. Bright colors help you more visible to hunters, other hikers, and rescue teams.

Warnings

  • This article applies to day hiking. If you plan on doing overnight hikes, you will need more equipment and know-how than during a day-hike. Make sure you are aware of all the suggested precautions and that you have packed the appropriate equipment.

Things You'll Need

  • Day pack
  • Water bottle & water
  • Rain jacket/wind jacket (some are combinations, if not, take both)
  • Layered clothing (peeling off is easier for releasing heat & popping back on is best for quickly gaining warmth)
  • High-energy snacks (nuts, chocolate, fruit bars etc.)
  • Lunch (sandwich, fruit, cheese etc.)
  • Good quality hiking or walking shoes/boots
  • Good quality hiking socks
  • Leggings (thermal)
  • Gaiters (good for swampy, marshy, muddy hikes)
  • Sunglasses & sun protection
  • Map or guidebook
  • Compass
  • Companion(s) - include 4-footed kind if permissible where you're hiking
  • Small emergency kit consisting of emergency blanket, matches, high-energy bars, flashlight/headlamp, band-aids etc.
  • Insect repellent
  • Whistle
  • Toilet Paper

Article Info

Categories: Backpacking and Hiking