Image Courtesy of The Hill
Millions of people worldwide enjoy getting out into the great outdoors, if only for a few hours or a couple of days. Trails and paths are excellent for your nature fix, especially under lockdown conditions. But although it appears to be just like taking a walk, it isn’t. Safety, communication, and respect for others are tips for hiking beginners for acting carefully and thoughtfully.
Get the Right Gear
Before you do anything, ensure you get the right gear for hiking. Your two-year-old pumps simply won’t do. Therefore, you may need to invest in some purpose-built hiking boots. If boots aren’t your thing, many sports manufacturers like Nike and Adidas make comfy and sporty heavy-duty trainers for hiking. In addition, hiking experts like Jerome Clavel share their tips on blogs and social media. Backpacks and appropriate pants are also a typical requirement when hiking.
Control Your Dog
While your dog will love to get off its lead and run wild, it’s not the best thing to do when on a hiking trail. First, it could be dangerous. Many hiking paths are near rocky outcrops, mountainsides, and steep hills. Your dog could fall off and injure itself. Or even worse, could jump on somebody who then falls to their death or injury as they try to avoid your dog. Additionally, uphill hikers, horses, and cyclists have the right of way, especially when you have a dog with you. So, stop and let them pass to keep everyone safe.
Always Check the Weather
There are many reasons people get lost when hiking. But around 17% of cases are because a hiker failed to check the weather before setting out. In some climates, you might get away with glorious weather all year round, such as California. But in the UK, for example, the weather is very unpredictable and can change without much warning. Fortunately, you can check the weather in seconds using websites, or you can watch the news on TV. So, there really isn’t any excuse for getting caught in bad weather. If the weather is set to turn, stay indoors.
Don’t Stray from a Path
Another common cause of getting lost when hiking is when inexperienced hikers don’t stick to the paths. Straying from the laid-out path is extremely dangerous. You don’t know where drops and falls are, the terrain gets rough, and you could trip over rocks and divots. Therefore, most experienced hikers don’t leave the path, so don’t try to prove yourself. Staying on the track keeps you safe, eliminates risk, and ensures you have a clear route up and down the trail. Additionally, you could contribute to the natural erosion of hillsides and cliffs.
Take a Spare Phone
You should always tell someone when you go out hiking. Maybe you hike to get away from stress and anxiety. But always let a friend or family member know where you are going. This way, you increase the chances of being found if something goes wrong. You can further increase your chances by taking a fully-charged spare phone as well as your personal phone. The mobile phone signal strength might be choppy in rural areas. However, rescuers can trace you, and you might be able to get through to someone in the event of an emergency.