8 Safety Tips to Know Before and During Hiking
Hiking is undoubtedly a fantastic experience. The fresh air, stunning sights, and of course, getting active. For this fun experience, there’s a few hiking tips to keep in mind before venturing out. Thankfully with safety precautions for hiking and pre-planning, you can easily avoid or manage any risks.
Here are the hiking and backpacking safety tips to make your hiking expedition fun and safe:
Make a Plan
When you decide to go on a hike, the first thing you need is a plan. It would be best if you shared the plan with all your hiking partners. Your hiking plan should compromise of the following:
- The starting point of the hike
- Estimated finish time
Always come up with a plan that is agreed upon by all your hiking partners. One of the best practices to devise your hiking plan is to consult a park ranger about the hiking point. Depending on the length and area of your hike, it’s good to know if there’s any wildlife and where bathrooms might be located along your trek.
Wear Hike Special Designed Shoes
The hiking trail is unpredictable. The roots, branches, or rocks can cause ankle rolling or other foot injuries. It’s important to buy proper hiking boots because of the length of time you spend on your feet. A good hiking boot should fit well, feel comfortable, and be waterproof. Shoes designed for hiking usually provide extra cushioning inside and good grip outside. To further reduce the risk of foot injuries, make sure that you wear the right pair of socks. Avoid wearing cotton socks on the hike.
Recommendations for Hiking Boots and Socks:
Oboz footwear comes with a vast collection of high-quality hiking safety boots that deliver unmatched fit, unrivaled feel, and exceptional performance.
You can find comfortable outdoor socks at Wigwam, where they make socks to keep feet dry and prevent blisters and odor.
Take Hiking Safety Gear
Trails can be unpredictable at times, as well as the weather. You should be prepared for any dire situation during the hike. Here is are hiking essentials to consider packing before heading on a hike:
- Navigation like maps, GPS, compass, etc.
- First Aid Kit
- Headlamp and flashlights for evening/night hiking
- Fire matches or lighter
- Extra water and food
Recommendations for Hiking Essentials
You can find great navigation tools and headlamps at Silva.
Take Weather Precautions
One of the hiking safety tips is to take weather precautions. While checking weather updates for a hike the day before going is a good practice, you can’t entirely rely on it. The typical weather dangers on hikes include lightning and excessive rain.
To avoid any mishap, it’s best to take warm, waterproof apparel and footwear. It’s also best to layer your clothing for any hikes you take in cold weather. Another safety precaution is to prevent open and high areas, tall trees, and water bodies with significant tide changes.
Extreme weather conditions are risky; sometimes, even small weather changes can result in extreme risk. Many times constant light rain has easily turned the hiking terrain perilous. To deal with such conditions, you need good hiking gear that includes water-resistant apparel.
The North Face is known for quality jackets that are an excellent match for outdoor activities. They are water-resistant and keep you warm. They offer a wide selection of jackets to choose from depending on the amount of warmth you’re looking for.
A Good Backpack
An important item that you must check on the hiking essential checklist is a highly functional and durable backpack. When it comes to hiking and backpacking safety tips, your backpack must have the following features:
- Spacious and extra pockets
- Comfortable shoulder straps
Recommendations for Outdoor Backpacks
At Deuter, there is a wide range of highly functional, durable, and lightweight backpacks with a ventilated contact back.
Never Hike Off-Trail
One of the hiking and camping safety tips includes staying on the trail. Though off-trail hiking is thrilling and gives you a different experience, it is always better to avoid it. Off-trail hiking is risky, especially if you are a beginner. So it’s better to hike on trails to prevent any dire situations.
Don’t Forget Sun Protection
One of the critical hiking safety tips that most people often overlook is packing sun protection gear. Sun protection doesn’t just include the SPF creams. When you are going on a hike, especially before or during the summer, make sure you have the following with you:
Recommendations for Sun Safety Gear:
Outdoor Research has great sun hats to give you the extra bit of protection beyond your everyday SPF.
Always Have An Emergency Plan
The outdoors can bring many unforeseen events. It is always best to have an emergency plan. In case of an emergency, you should know how to call or send for help. It would be best if you carried a cell phone with a reliable cell service provider. Make sure that you have all emergency numbers saved on your phone.
Taking safety precautions for hiking is essential. Avoiding or knowing how to deal with unforeseen circumstances makes for a more prepared and relaxing hike. Choosing and investing in the right hiking gear is just as important.