Hiking 101: Stay Safe On The Trails


Hiking 101: Stay Safe On The Trails

You hear the reports on television and read the articles in the newspaper about lost hikers in the wilderness. Hiking is a favorite activity in Colorado, as it is elsewhere throughout the country, and one of the primary reasons hikers get lost and injured, or worse, is the lack of preparation. Following are some helpful tips that will help hikers enjoy their adventure while staying safe:

Preparation is a top priority. Whether you’re going on a long or short hike, let someone know where you are going and agree on a time to check in. Pack for a variety of scenarios, including rain, heat, injury, hunger, and thirst. Take a replenished first aid kit, and consider using a water filtration kit to keep the weight of your pack down and your water levels up. Dehydration is dangerous.

Facing rain is a concern, even when forecasts call for sunshine. The weather can change rapidly in the Rocky Mountains, so take light rain gear on every hike. Pack a poncho, plastic storage zipper bags, dry bags, and a tarp to make a shelter. Take extra caution when hiking in the rain because trails can be slick, and flash floods can strike without warning.

Pack a change of clothes since staying dry is critical to survival. Hypothermia can be disastrous. Always hike with a friend. A buddy can help with such things as injury and building a shelter. Hiking with one or more friends can also distribute the gear for lighter packs.

No cotton clothing. Long distance hikers will know that cotton clothes will get wet easily and stay that way for a long time. If you’re in an arid climate, such as Colorado’s, cotton might be great to keep you cool, but it’s more suited for a bandana instead of a shirt.

Your gear should fit you. If you’re pack is too tight or your shoes too big, you will be miserable in no time. Wear broken-in shoes and a backpack that has been adjusted to your frame. Packs with padded waist belts and adjustable torso supports will allow you to shift the weight to different positions while hiking.

Stay organized throughout the hike. If you get it out, put it back in the same place. Sometimes on a hike you need to be able to respond quickly with water or a compress. It’s important to have these kinds of items handy and know just which pocket it is in. It’s always more fun when safety is a priority prior to every hike and other excursions.

Jan 30, 2017 Real Estate