Safety and useful tips for hikers from experts
Hiking is a wonderful hobby and way to spend your leisure time, but at the same time, it is not perfectly safe. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind when hiking, which can help you survive in unexpected dangerous situations in the wild:
- Make sure you tell your friends, family or others where you are going and how long you are planning to stay. Sharing your plans will make your friends look for help if you fail to return as planned.
- Always look at the weather forecast before going hiking. A nearing storm means that you probably should postpone your hiking trip for another time. Respect Mother Nature and its forces which are impossible to beat.
- Make sure you have a pocket knife or multi-tool (check Perfect Blades for options), a map of the area and a compass. Also, always have an emergency first-aid kit, a lighter, matches, water and food with you. Always carry additional warm clothes, especially when hiking in cold conditions.
- Keep in mind that when you are in the wild, it is very possible that you run into a wide variety of wild animals. Carrying a bear repellant spray may seem a bit extreme, but even though bear attacks are pretty rare, they can happen and do happen.
- If you get lost, remember to not panic and resist the urge to start running around looking for the right way. You need to stay calm and sit down and act predictable, so that the rescuers can find you faster. You should make a shelter, start a signal fire, and make sure you plan whether you will need additional water and food. Remember to stay where you are visible, and to build the fire in a way in which it will be visible and will not endanger the trees and cause a wildfire. If you have bright clothes, make sure you put them on top. Also, blow a whistle periodically. You may want to make a sign of three piles of stones, leaves, branches, or other which are visible from the air. This is an international distress symbol.
- Try to remain calm and keep a clear mind. Do not let the panic and pangs of fear crawl in and take control. Try to use the adrenaline and fear to keep you motivated to do something which needs to be done, such as making a shelter of sorts.
- If it is taking more than you have anticipated to be found or to complete your hiking trip, you will need to find water. Water can be found as dew on various plants, plaintain trees and tropical vines are also excellent sources.
- Purify the water you get from a lake, river, puddle or other source. Either use purification tablets, boil the water or filter it.
- Insulate your shelter with grass, leaves, snow or other to keep the wind, rain and insects out.