Backpacking and hiking can be a very fun activity, however it is crucial that you maintain your safety and do everything you can to avoid injury. By taking proactive steps forward you’ll be able to maintain your safety while enjoying everything the natural world has to offer. When you’re in the backcountry or even just simply hiking you can be away from regular medical treatment, and getting hurt or injured even has the possibility to lead to an eventual death. In this case, taking preventative action can really go a long way.
In this article we’re going to cover the five things you need to be doing in order to maintain your safety while hiking and backpacking.
1. Bring the right attire for weather changes
When you’re out immersed in nature the weather can change very rapidly. When you’re at home you can simply wit in your car or inside your home, but when you’re camping or backpacking no such shelter exists. You’ll want to make sure you have extra clothing just in case the weather changes.
A bright sunny day can turn into rain showers very rapidly. Would you rather be freezing and wet, or warm and dry? Packing ahead of time will bring a great deal of mental ease to your trip as well, as you won’t have to worry about the weather and can simply enjoy your day.
2. Don’t go alone
Whenever you go off into the backcountry or even a small day hike, it’s important to make sure you of with a friend. That way you’ll ensure that you remain safe and if you do happen to get hurt you’ll have someone who can help you if needed. Having another person also helps in making decisions if the worst it to happen.
As an extension of this, make sure you tell someone where you’re going who isn’t going to be hiking with you. That way if you don’t come back by a certain time you’ll have someone who can alert the correct authorities if needed.
3. Have a proper first aid kit
There are several things you’ll want to watch out for, including animal and bug bites, as well as scratches from branches, rocks and falls. By having the proper first aid kit you’ll be able to bandage and take care of anything as it arises, instead of having to put something off until you get back, which increases the possibility of infection.
By being prepared you’ll reduce your chances of sustaining any long term injuries, and will be able to take care of you or your partner if an unjust is to arise.
4. Do your research
Make sure you spend time researching the area you’re going to be hiking in before you take the plunge into the wilderness. This will ensure you know the safer routes to go and will help you from getting lost. It’s better to have a general idea of the area you’ll be exploring than nothing at all.
Also, make sure to bring a map with you so that you can make sure you stay on the right trails and will be able to navigate back to safety if you do happen to get lost.
5. Know proper campfire safety
When you’re planning on staying overnight you’ll want to make sure you employ proper campfire protocol. Burn injuries are very common and can be very debilitating especially if you’re out in the wild. Make sure to keep fires small, and that the fire is completely out before you go to sleep.
I hope this article has been valuable and you have the ability to keep yourself healthily and injury free when you’re out enjoying the beauty of nature.