“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” ~John Muir
It’s time to start hiking, so read on for tips and information to help you get prepared to pack, plan, and stay safe outdoors. Click the image for our full booklet.
Packing for a Day Hike
Take the essentials you need to be comfortable if things go as planned and survive if they don’t. Your gear is only as good as your knowledge of how to use it, but water, rain protection, and an emergency whistle should be on everyone’s list. Here are 10 common items hikers carry:
- Safety Whistle
- Emergency Shelter
- First-Aid Supplies
- Rain gear and extra clothing layers
- Protection from sun and insects
- Extra food and water purification
- Map & Compass
- Survival tools: knife, fire kit, rope, etc.
Planning your Route
Ask yourself some questions before you pick your trail:
- What’s the weather forecast? Is it safe to hike?
- How much time do you have?
- How much distance do you plan to cover?
- What is the goal of your hike? Bird watching, exercise, waterfall chasing, etc.
- How strenuous of a hike can you handle? Know your limits!!!
The longer you hike the more intuitive your trip planning becomes, and each person has a different list of questions they’ll need to answer for themselves. With these answers you can easily find the right trail. Use an App like AllTrails to help you find your path.
Staying Safe Outdoors
Let someone know
Always tell a trusted person where you are going, who you’ll be with, and when you plan to return. Then touch base with them when you are out safe. It helps to let them know what to do if you don’t return as expected too.
Carry ID and make an Emergency Trail Card (ETC)
These should be on you at all times. Your ETC should include: allergies, medications, previous medical history, and emergency contacts.
This is information will be vital to first responders if you are unconscious or unable to answer these questions. Get your FREE ETC by downloading our Hiking 101: Pack, Plan, Stay Safe booklet. Donations welcomed, details inside.
Stay on Trail
Staying on trail will limit your encounters with poison ivy, ticks, and snakes, as well as protect sensitive vegetation and prevent erosion.
Know common wildlife and potential trail hazards for the area you are hiking. Carry the supplies you need to protect yourself, and stay aware while on trail.