Last week, I shared some of my favorite tips for hiking here! It was all about how to prepare for a hike, what to wear, and what to bring. The post was getting a bit too long so I decided to save some safety tips for when you get out there on the trails for today.
I talked about this last week, but it’s so important to know as much as you can about a trail before you go. Go on official websites to figure out what the trail is like, how long it is, how steep it is, if it is sunny or shady, if there are stream crossings, what the weather is like, etc, so that I can plan appropriately. Some official websites will have tips for specific trails, like this article from the National Park Service about hiking in the Grand Canyon, or this article, also from the NPS, about hiking in Yosemite National Park.
Once you are out there, stay on the established trail. It is made that way for a reason. It may be tempting when you think you see a shorter way to go or when you want to explore further, but do not leave the trail that has been set. You could get lost or hurt and you could end up harming the trails and possibly disrupting the wildlife.
Don’t go out alone, and always stay with your group or partner. Make use of what you bring with you – drink water, eat snacks, and reapply sunscreen as needed. Hold onto your trash until you finish the trail.
Finally, be aware of your surroundings and use common sense – if something doesn’t look right or if the weather looks like it’s getting bad, turn around.
What else would you add to this list?
I’ll be back tomorrow with a more fun post about whale watching on Oahu!