Hiking is wonderful, but it can also be incredibly dangerous. Hiking is a very physical activity and it puts a lot of strain on our bodies – the more rigorous a route, the more your body is going to have to cope with.
As such, it’s easy to become tired, dehydrated, and light headed whilst hiking, which can be a nightmare if you’re out of mobile signal range or have strayed off a main track. The main reason hikers run into trouble is because they make common mistakes, and I myself have been a victim of my own stupidity.
Common Mistakes made Hiking
A simple mistake can spell disaster for a hiker. Even the most experienced of outdoor adventurers make mistakes sometimes, but at least they have overcome them before. If you’re a newbie, it may be a little bit tougher. Here are the most common mistakes hikers make:
Keeping their hiking routes a secret
This goes without saying, but if you happened to injure yourself and you’ve got nobody with you, how is anybody supposed to help? Simply, nobody can. You should tell people where you are hiking before you go so that if the worst were to happen, people have a rough idea of where to search.
Not understanding the terrain
This is a biggie, and it brings in perhaps the biggest recommendation I can give hikers – always dress appropriately. If you are hiking in winter, make sure you have thermal outdoor clothing. If you are hiking in wet weather, make sure you have jackets that are waterproof.
Also, you should always wear comfortable and good-fitting walking boots. You should also have a good walking pole.
Not packing a first aid kit
Anything can happen whilst you are out hiking, from slipping on a rock and cutting your knee to twisting your ankle in a mole hole. A first aid kit is an essential item for hiking because it could save your – or somebody else’s – life. Basic first aid kits include plasters, stretch bandages for pressure, antiseptic creams and some also have stitching thread and needles.
Not turning back
It is important with any outdoor activity that you understand your limits. The trouble is, hikers can get too worked up with their surroundings and beautiful scenery, with little regard for how dehydrated or tired they may be. Understanding your limits and being able to turn back without any dent to your pride is a safety mechanism you simply must learn.
Not packing properly
This ties in with the first aid kit – hikers simply must pack for the trip. A good rule of thumb is to always pack a little bit more than you will need – a good supply of fresh, clean water, energy bars and a few pieces of fruit should be enough to keep your energy levels up for a 50 – 100 mile hike. If you are going longer, or camping out for a weekend hike, you are going to need sandwiches and plenty of protein and carbohydrates – a great food option is tuna pasta.
Stay Safe whilst Hiking!
To stay safe hiking, make sure that you understand and address the common mistakes made above. Be sure to have a good supply of water and food, a first aid kit, appropriate clothing, a good pair of walking boots and a walking pole for support. Understand your limits and always tell people where you are going.
Photo Credit By: nationalgeographic.com