Hiking and camping in the summer sets its own challenges including the increase in temperature which is where many of the dangers stem from. Below are some simple hiking safety tips to help you prepare.
Preparing for your trip is essential on an enjoyable experience.
You're just going on a day hike, so why is it smart to carry extra supplies? Don't make the mistake of thinking that you could never end up spending the night in the wilderness. Experienced hikers have gotten lost, become ill or been injured before you. It's wise preparation to imagine a worst-case scenario where you'll need to be ready for a night spent outdoors. Don't leave essential items behind - when in doubt, pack it along.
A GPS device is a great navigation tool, so bring it along if you have one. Most hikers rely on a map and a compass. The Outfitters recommends that you take a GPS course and ensure you know map & compass along with using your GPS device.
Courses are offered through places like The College of the North Atlantic
You can suffer heat stroke and dehydration. Bring along plenty of water and keep sodium levels high with salty foods or sports drinks. In hot climates, time your hike earlier in the morning or later in the day when temperatures are cooler.
Before your trip always tell someone. Write down who you are going with, when you are leaving and when you plan to return. It should also include instructions on who to call for help if you haven't returned by a certain time. The person entrusted with this plan should be reliable enough to follow through and check that you have returned at the specified time.
Remember to research the area where you are headed. Things such as animals, storms and other hazards that me be unique to certain areas are possible.
A wilderness first aid course is a great idea for any camper or hiker. You'll learn basic first aid skills, like how to dress a wound or treat a broken bone, what to do for altitude sickness and heat stroke, how to recognize hypothermia and how to administer CPR. Hopefully these are skills you'll never need to use on the trail, but knowledge is power. Preparation is the smart way to ensure a safer summer hiking season.