There are lots of reasons people go hiking. Some plan a hiking trip to take in the beauty and peace of nature, for the adventure, the experience, or the fauna and flora, while others do it just to have fun. Whatever your reason for hiking, the one thing that should always remain of paramount importance is hiking safety.
Apart from making sure that the weather is ideal for hiking the trail you’ve chosen, you need to always remember to pack the right hiking gear. Not only will it make the trip more fun, it will also make it safer.
For your hiking safety, these are the most important tips to keep in mind throughout the trek.
Start with basic gear.
A sturdy pair of hiking boots is a must.
You have to have a good grip on the pathway to avoid falls, slips and accidents. You’ll be pleased you invested in a good pair of boots!
Always pack food and water stored in spill-proof containers. Carry additional clothing such as a warm jacket, wet weather gear and hat.
Always take a first aid kit.
Nature may be beautiful but it’s also unpredictable. Apart from the usual bruises and scrapes from falls or tripping over a tree root, there are insect bites to be prepared for as well as reactions to toxic plants. Whether you’re new to the trail that you’re going to follow or not, anticipate the worst. You should never be too competent to think that you will never need a first aid kit just because you’ve followed that trail before. If not for yourself, it may be a fellow hiker you meet along the way the needs help.
Keep your eyes on the trail your taking
Apart from the possibility of getting you lost, it may also cause you to overlook trail obstacles and hazards that could not only put a sudden and dramatic end to your hiking trip, but also your life.
This is also why it’s a good idea to take a map, compass and a GPS. Whether you’ve booked a hiking trip with a tour guide, or have someone with you who knows the trail well, don’t rely on him or her too much. You can still get lost for many different reasons. It’s wise to have everything you need in case you have to map out your location. It won’t take much room in your backpack and you’re prepared in case the worst should happen. On the slim chance that you need them…you’ll be pleased you did.
In line with preparation, always carry a multi-function pocket knife – the Bliz Tec Survival Knife is your best friend. This is the ultimate camping and hiking tool and it can help you survive in the wilderness. Don’t put the pocket knife in your bag. Keep it somewhere that’s within easy reach.
A flashlight can be handy, even if you’re not planning to go on a long hiking trip.
Do everything possible to lighten the load in your backpack.
Think carefully about what you are packing and how much you will need.
If you try to carry too much in your backpack you won’t be able to walk comfortably. If your backpack is too heavy (a) there is more chance of losing balance which can lead to an accident, or (b) back pain – which mans a painful hike back to camp and pain that can last long after your trip is over.
If you’re planning on embarking on a long hiking trip you will need to carry a lot more gear including sleeping bag and tent, cooking gear and fire-lighting tools.
Be aware of your surroundings.
Take in the natural beauty of the area but continuously watch for landmarks that are easy to remember so that you’ll be able to easily follow the trail or retrace your steps if necessary.