Going into the wild means exposing yourself to possible harm. While the chances of acquiring an injury can range from small to huge depending on the mountain you’re willing to explore, following safety precautions can help you survive the trek.
Since we’re talking about the outdoors, you have to closely be in contact with basic life necessities like shelter, food, and water to get you through the end of the hike. But aside from that, you also need to bring your basic needs that most of us often take for granted.
That is why planning a hiking trip well can actually save yourself from incurring accidents in the middle of the mountain.
Create a gear list
When packing for a trip, creating a list is an important step that you shouldn’t miss during the planning process. Likewise, preparing for a hike can be a walk in the park if you know what gears to bring.
A gear list will help you identify what stuff to bring for you to survive whether a 10-hour hike or a week of camping outdoors. Leaving something behind can cause you to stress, so to save yourself from worrying, get a pen and a paper and start your list. Don’t forget to include trekking poles in it as it will be a vital part of the trip.
Choose the right trail
Beginners will not easily complete a hike that is meant for pros. And I’m sure anyone without a hiking experience wouldn’t want to put themselves in a position where they could possibly meet an accident or an injury.
That’s the exact reason why choosing the right trail is very important. You have to assess whether a particular trail is right up your alley. If not, do yourself a favor and pick a different one. There are a lot of options that you can choose from, so you don’t have to worry if you feel you’re a newbie.
We live in a world full of natural parks and mountains made for your adventurous soul; all you have to do is pick the perfect path for you.
Research about the area
Any surprise sighting of a wild animal can be a fantastic experience. But are you ready for it?
Doing some research first before you decide to explore a new hiking trail can save you from future trouble. Knowing what to expect when you go out, there can prepare you for what can happen. You should be on the lookout for wild animals and how to act when they are around. It’s their home, and you’re just a mere visitor, so you have to respect their space.
You should also take into consideration poisonous plants that you might encounter. It’s good to appreciate the plethora of flora around you, but would you dare hold a plant and regret it as soon as you realize that it’s poisonous? Researching the area can save your life. Trust me.
You might also want to take note of hunting seasons and hiking alerts before going on that trip. You can easily find that information on their local websites.
Check the weather
The weather can determine how your hike would go. So be sure to check the forecast from time to time until before you leave your house.
This is how you will know whether to bring an extra rain jacket or whether to load on sunscreen. Either way, it’s another survival lesson that you have to always to put on your list.
Knowing the weather on the days of your hike can help you identify whether to continue with the trip or park it for a while. It’s not very ideal to go trekking if the weather is terrible. It could make trails unpassable, so you have to double-check if it’s safe to go or not.
The local parks and recreation department can help you decide on that because they have access to real-time information.
Have an emergency plan
An emergency plan is your escape route in case any unfortunate situation happens. If anything like that happens, you have to be quick on your feet and act accordingly.
During situations like this, you don’t have the luxury of time to plan your actions meticulously; that is why planning ahead will keep you safe. Know the answers to these questions, and you’ll surely have a good time hiking with less worry:
- How far is your location from the nearest safe outpost?
- Is cell service reliable?
- Will my GPS work here?
- What emergency contacts should I keep on my phone?
- How should I get help if none of the above works?
Be sure to coordinate with the park rangers about emergency plans to increase your survival rate if anything terrible happens.
Bring a first-aid kit
A first-aid kit is a must!
This is one thing that you shouldn’t forget to bring with you. Scrapes and bug bites are unavoidable, but with a first-aid kit with you, you won’t have to worry mending them.
A pre-made kit for hiking can cause you less worry. It’s complete, and it has everything that you need for curing minor hiking injuries. It already contains adhesives, wrap bandages, and an antiseptic.
You can also add several items on your kit based on your needs. If you have maintenance pills, be sure to include that. It’s also safe to add few paracetamols and pain killer tablets.
If you plan to DIY your kit, Red Cross can help you with that.
Your whole outfit should also be an essential part of the planning.
Dressing appropriately for the occasion may seem too superficial for some, but it can help keep you safe. Layering your clothes and picking the right thermal jackets to wear during winter hikes can protect you from the dangers of hypothermia. Even wearing the right hiking shoes can spare your ankle from strains and injuries.
Exploring natural parks and mountains can be harsh, especially if we don’t prepare for it. It’s essential to have fun during the hike, but it’s more important to always put our safety first above anything else.