Hiking Tips and Safety

Hiking is a wonderful activity, going into the wilderness or mountains are definitely soul refreshing but like any other outdoor adventure there are certain precautions that needs to be followed to avoid getting into trouble. Here are some basic safety procedures that you should know specially for beginners: It is possible to get lost especially when you run into the forest so you should not travel alone. But there is also an exception, If you’re just going for a stroll in a nearby, well-traveled area you’re as safe there as anywhere. Travelling with an experienced hiker, will help you in many ways. He or she can assist you in steep grades and help you apply first aid when needed. Hypothermia has killed more than one lost hiker. The dangerous lowering of body temperature under wet or cold conditions can lead to death due to exposure.

You should know where you’re going. Of course you do not want to get lost, stay on clearly marked or well-traveled trails until or unless you are experienced enough to take the uncommon route. A map, a compass and/or a GPS unit is a must for any kind of serious hike. Naturally it has to be usable in the area you hike. Not all units will continue to function in every area. Get the details of where you plan to go and ask someone who knows.

Bring some of the basic equipment needed for hiking. Bring some lighter or matches and a knife. Lighter or matches has its disadvantages, a match can get wet and a lighter may run out of fuel but you will still need it to light up a fire. A knife is a basic tool with multiple purposes. It is genuinely useful and can be a lifesaver.

A simple first aid kit is also important. Gauze and bandages, anti-bacterial cream and other standard items are essential. Anti-itch and sunburn pain reliever can be greatly appreciated sometimes. Aspirin is one of pharmacology’s most under-appreciated drugs. All these things are small and lightweight you can even have them inserted in your pocket.

A flashlight is also a number one tool; you can also bring a handy toilet paper with you.

Hydration packs are definitely important. water or other fluids like sports drinks are an obvious essential. You can lose a lot of fluid even over a two-hour period on a hot day. Heat stroke can kill, but is easily preventable. Even dehydration can radically reduce physical performance. Take enough food to last you the anticipated hike time. About 1 lb per day (depending on what you bring) is average for a medium-sized male. You can last longer without food than water, so trade off when you have to.

After some modest hiking instruction and preparation, you can now be ready for excellent hikes. And when you start gaining your own hike experience, you will now be ready to branch out into overnight or longer more intensive hikes. Within a few months or less, you can tackle even the toughest hiking trails.
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