Fire Safety Awareness

Hiking Safety

Couple on cliffside outdoors walking

As prime hiking season gets closer, avid hikers are readying their boots, backpacks and trail maps for their first big trek out into nature. Before you set off into the great outdoors, it’s important that you don’t let safety take a hike as well.  We decided to go to the American Hiking Society for some hiking safety and etiquette tips and here is what we found.

Bring the Essentials.

  • Trail shoes or hiking boots are necessary depending on how long and difficult of a hike you are planning on undertaking.
  • You should make sure you have an updated map and a compass with you before you set off into unknown territory.
  • Always keep snacks and water in your backpack. You could plan on reaching your destination and having a meal at a certain time, but there could always be a delay.
  • Besides a snack and water you should always keep wind proof matches, a flashlight, a whistle, first aid kit, sunscreen, sunglasses and a knife or multi-purpose tool with a knife included in your backpack.

Leave No Trace of Yourself Behind.

  • Always properly dispose of any and all of your waste. Food wrappers, tissues and even biodegradable waste should never be left behind. If you see trash left by other hikers, shake your head in disapproval and pick it up for the good of the forest.
  • If you hike overnight, keep campfires small to minimize their impact on the surrounding area.
  • Keep your distance from wild animals and do not interfere with them or feed them.
  • Leave what you find behind. If you are interested in souvenirs from your hiking trip, bring a camera and take as many photographs as you’d like.

Hike Safely.

  • While hiking, you should bandage any and all blisters as soon as you notice them developing. Your first aid kit should be fully stocked with bandages or second skin.
  • Always consider that bodies of water can often move faster and run deeper then they appear before you deciding to cross them. Turning back is always the safest option.
  • If you decide to go hiking during hunting season, remember to be aware, be seen, be smart and be heard. Check the state and local hunting restrictions for where you will be hiking and avoid busy hunting times. Wearing blaze orange gear with reflective panels is highly recommended. Ask other hikers if they know which places are best avoided and if you hear hunters nearby call out to them or use your whistle to let them know that a hiker is close.
  • Dehydration is extremely dangerous. Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeinated beverages which can act as diuretics. Snacking on something salty, like trail mix, can help you avoid sweating out all of the salts in your body which help you regulate liquids.
  • Avoid the dangers of heat exhaustion by wearing clothes that wick moisture, using sunblock and staying hydrated. You can also soak a bandana in cool water and place it on your head and neck to help cool off.

Mind Your Campfires.

  • Check the fire regulations before you decide to camp and build a fire. If an area is particularly dry a campfire may be restricted do to the risk of wildfire.
  • Use existing fire rings or pits if they are available and keep the area around your fire free from flammable materials.
  • Never leave your camp fire unattended.

Regulate Sun Exposure.

  • Try to limit the amount of time you spend out under the midday sun (between 10 AM and 4 PM) and wear a hat that covers your eyes, ears, face and the back of your neck.
  • Make sure your sunglasses block UV rays and reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours.

Be sure to follow these basics in hiking safety the next you venture into the wilderness, so you can be sure you make back home safely with nothing more than fond memories.








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