At Devel Fitness, we love hiking. There’s nothing quite like getting in touch with nature, and getting a darn good workout at the same time! But Mother Nature can be harsh if you’re not prepared – so we’ve put together this list to help you stay safe on your next long hike, and ensure that your next outdoor adventure is an unqualified success!
- Always Tell Someone Else Where You’re Going – And When You’ll Be Back
If you’re going on a hike alone, DO NOT NEGLECT THIS STEP. If you get into trouble while hiking, your cell phone probably won’t work – and if nobody knows where you are, you could be in enormous danger.
This is exactly what happened to hiker and rock climber Danny Boyle, made famous by the book and movie 127 Hours. He didn’t tell anyone where he was going, so when he got stuck in a slot canyon while hiking in Utah, he had nobody to look for him.
While he managed to escape miraculously, he lost an arm while doing so – so don’t forget to tell someone where you’re going!
- ALWAYS Stick To The Marked Trail
Trails are marked for a reason. They help you stay on course and avoid getting lost, and going off-trail can lead to hazards like unmarked cliffs, dangerous wildlife areas, and more.
In addition, going off marked trails can be illegal. You may damage wildlife habitats, and be faced with stiff penalties for doing so, if you’re caught. So stick to the marked trail – we promise it’ll be just as fun!
- Don’t Forget To Grab A Map!
Trail maps are usually available at trailheads and visitor’s centers at most major national, regional, and state parks. Alternatively, you can usually print out a trail map from the park’s website, to ensure that you’ve got one on-hand when you start your hike.
Even if you don’t think you need one, you should pick one up and bring it along. If you get lost or turned around on a confusing trail, you’ll be glad you have it.
- Understand The Length And Difficulty Of Your Hike
To prepare adequately for your hike, you need to understand how long it’s going to take, and how hard it will be. This is especially important if you’re hiking with a group that includes folks with different fitness levels.
- Dress Appropriately – For Any Anticipated Weather Conditions
Always check the weather before hiking, and plan your attire appropriately. Going on a morning hike? It’ll be chilly at first, but you’ll want to peel layers off as you continue hiking throughout the day. Going on a trail with a large elevation change? Remember that temperatures drop by 15-17° per 1000ft of elevation, and bring extra clothing to mitigate the chill.
In addition, you should have the proper footwear. Trail running shoes or boots are ideal, though shorter hikes can often be done in simple running shoes.
- Bring Plenty Of Food And Water
At a minimum, you should bring 2 quarts of water per person on an all-day hike, but 3-4 quarts are recommended. Have each hiker carry their own water – and be sure to drink as much water as you can before you start hiking!
In addition, a 160lb person will expend around 440 calories per hour of hiking, so you’ll want to bring plenty of energy-dense, high-calorie foods like trail mix and energy bars.
- Be Aware Of Local Hazards
Always be aware of any dangerous local hazards you may have to deal with, such as potential wildlife like bears, dangerous weather conditions like rock/mudslides, or other hazards. Take appropriate precautions to minimize the danger of these hazards.
Follow These Tips – Stay Safe In The Great Outdoors!
If you follow these tips, you’re sure to have a great time during your next long day hike. So get out there, and enjoy the incredible beauty of the natural world!
So whether you’re here for our SuperBands, or just stumbled across this page, thanks for visiting, and feel free to leave a comment below, and discuss your favorite hiking tips!