When you are camping, one of the most fun things you can do is go on a hike. It is great exercise; you can enjoy the outdoors, and you can see beautiful scenery. However, there are some dangers to hiking and you should be prepared for all events in order to remain safe and ensure you have a good time. Planning is essential so that you are not caught in a situation where you are not prepared.
Use a backpack to store your items that you will take with you on a hike. Put heavier items toward the bottom to help balance your center of gravity. If hiking with a group, distribute items equally amongst the group in case of an accident. If a backpack is lost and it was the only one that held the water or food, you might have a difficult time.
Dress appropriately for the weather and bring a spare set of clothing. If it is cold, wear layers and make sure to wear a hat for maximum warmth. Wear two pairs of socks and good hiking boots so you do not slip. Wear sunglasses and use sunscreen. Even if it is cold, the sun can give you a very uncomfortable burn. Also use insect repellant to protect you from pests and bites.
Bring emergency supplies in case of an accident. This should include a first aid kit, rope, a utility knife, matches and a flashlight. Always have plenty of food and water. You need to keep hydrated and nourished during a hike. Beef jerky and trail mix are excellent energy boosting foods and will help get you through the day. Water is essential but you may also pack drinks like Gatorade that have electrolytes.
Do not overdo it. Take frequent breaks and rest when you feel tired. Pushing yourself to exhaustion is unsafe. Use a walking stick to help keep you from getting tired and help you in climbing and keeping your balance. If you feel weak or light headed, sit down, take your backpack off, and eat and drink a little until you feel rested and ready to go on.
Be aware of your surroundings. The picturesque scenery is a great time to take photos or sketch. These can be enjoyable past times but it is also a chance to run into wild animals, snakes and have an accident from not paying attention. Do not venture off trails into brush that may contain snakes or other poisonous creatures. You may want to carry bear repellant and a whistle in case you come across a wild animal. A whistle can also be useful if you fall or are trapped.
Research the area where you will be hiking and plan what you will need to take accordingly. Do not be surprised by sudden climate changes. Take pictures and sightsee. Enjoy the outdoors and have a lot of fun, but be safe and prepared for anything. With a little planning, you should be able to make the most of your hiking experience.
Monday, April 27, 2009
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