Hiking provides millions of people with a great deal of pleasure and a sense of adventure each year and ninety-nine percent of the time it is anything but hazardous. This said, people do get lost and have accidents every once in a while and it can then become a hazardous activity very fast if you are not prepared.
Here we look at are just 4 basic safety tips to make sure that your hiking doesn't get you into trouble.
Safety Tip No1 - Consider taking a partner of friend along.
There's really no need to worry about heading out by yourself if you're taking a short hike in a nearby area on easy terrain, but, if you are heading out into heavily forested wilderness areas with winding trails and steep canyons then the possibility of getting lost or sustaining injury becomes very real and you ought to think carefully about whether or not you are wise to head out alone.
Having a friend or partner along can have many advantages, particularly if that individual is a seasoned hiker. After all, 'two heads are better than one' and if you do get lost or get into trouble you're far less likely to panic if you have someone with you to help solve the problem.
Safety Tip No 2 - Let someone know where you're going.
If you are a novice hiker then you should stick to clearly marked and well traveled trails and ought not to stray from these trails to explore until you have some experience and have mastered the basics of map and compass work. But, it won't take you too long before you are ready to tackle some more adventurous hiking and the possibility of getting injured or lost will arise.
As a result, you should always let someone know where you're going and when you plan to return so that they can dispatch a search party if you don't return when expected.
Safety Tip No 3 - Ensure that you take along some basic equipment.
It's essential to carry a basic survival kit with you and your local hiking club will give you advice on the items which this should include. What we're looking at here are things like a lighter and matches, a good knife, a first aid kit and a flashlight.
In addition, it is a good idea to take a map and compass along and a fully charged cell phone.
Safety Tip No 4 - Take some basic provisions along.
Water or other fluids such as sports drinks are essential as you can lose fluid very quickly even over an hour or two on a hot day. You should remember though that water is heavy, so take along sufficient but not too much. Don't forget though that you must not drink from local streams as natural water sources may appear to be inviting but they are often filled with bacteria and could make you sick very quickly.
Also do not forget to take along enough food to last you. There's no pleasure in being hungry out on the trail but don't forget that you can last a good deal longer without food than you can without water.