With the weather heating up, especially in Western Canada many people find themselves heading out for hikes. Whether your hiking path is short or long it is important to remember these safety tips:
1. Bring Enough Food and Water
Hiking causes your body to expend a significant amount of energy even when your hike is short. Be sure to bring enough food to feed not only your energy levels, but others you are hiking with as well. In case of an emergency you do not want to be put into a lengthy situation without food. Water is just as important as brining food on your hike as it will keep you hydrated. Be sure to bring extra water on warmer days as your body will be releasing more fluids in attempt to regulate body temperature.
2. Ensure Good Physical Condition
Prior to heading out for a hike check conditions and trail ratings. Never out yourself into a situation you aren’t physically fit enough for. This reduces chances of injuries at all levels. If you desire a certain trail to venture onto, but feel you aren’t ready for it make it a goal to go in a few weeks after you have attempted easier trails first.
3. Check Conditions
Weather can make a huge difference on the difficulty and danger levels of a hike. Opt for hiking in moderate and mild temperatures and avoid days with extreme hot or cold warnings. Another important condition to check before heading out is whether or not animals have been sighted in the area or if there is an overall warning for cougars or bears. If you choose to continue to head out in these areas bring necessary equipment to keep yourself safe from these animals if you happen to cross paths, i.e. bear spray.
4. Stay Alert
As mentioned above it is important to stay alert for animals in the woods. Avoid hiking with headphones in as this could prevent you from hearing something important while hiking. Signs and warnings are also things to stay alert for on a hike, this can include: warning signs for mud or rockslides, dangerous areas, animals, cliffs, etc.
5. Make a Checklist
Before heading out make a checklist for items necessary to bring on your hike. Examples can and should include:
- GPS Unit/Compass
- Change of clothes
- Comfy shoes
- Food and water
- Insect Repellant
- Hikers First Aid Kit
- Folding shovel
The Hikers’ First Aid Kit (available in a Standard and Deluxe version) is a perfect addition to any hike or adventure as the kit is small and compact. Although these kits are small and easy to carry they contain all of the necessary supplies an individual would need for basic hiking related injuries.
Lastly, it is very important to let someone know where and when you are going for a hike. Let the individual know when you expect to arrive home and call to check in.
Wishing you a safe and happy hike!
Life is Precious. Be Prepared.