For those of you who are just beginning to get into hiking, there are a few important hiking safety tips that you need to remember.
1. Use a Buddy System - You should avoid hiking alone! Try to find another person to go hiking with you. If one of you should become injured, the other one can go for help.
2. Let someone know when you are leaving, which hiking trail you will be on and when you expect to return. Check in with them along the way and if you don't check in at the agreed upon time, that "safety person" can call for help & tell rescuers where you are.
3. Whenever possible you should hike on designated and well-marked hiking trails! Try to avoid wandering off the trails. If you become injured or ill, it is easier for rescuers to find you on a designated trail.
4. Always dress appropriately for the season! If possible, take an extra set of clothing with you just in case you get lost or have to spend the night out in the wilderness.
5. Take some provisions with you! These should include: shelf stable foods high in protein, shelf stable snacks, extra bottles of water, waterproof matches for starting a fire, small LED flashlights, collapsible mini lantern, a pocket knife, a basic first aid kit and a small canister of mace or pepper spray if they are legal in your area.
6. Fully charged cell phone is essential when going out on a hike! If you have an emergency, you may have a cell phone signal to call for help. If you become unconscious they may be able to track you down by pinging your cell phone on a local tower. If you feel you will be using your cell phone a lot or will be hiking for several days, invest in a solar powered charger, made specifically for those who spend a lot of time outdoors.
7. Leave a note inside your car on which trails you will be taking, what time you left for your hike, how many people are in your party and when you expect to be back. If rescuers find your car, they will search through it for more information and this information can help them find YOU!
These 7 hiking safety tips for beginners may just help to save your life in a real emergency. Always practice safety first!
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