Hiking can be a fun pastime however if you’re not prepared for severe weather it can quickly become very dangerous. Before you embark on your next hiking trip, check these tips to ensure that you’re safe.
1. Proper Gear
If you’re hiking in the winter, be sure that you have the proper gear and are prepared to stay the night if an emergency arises. To do this, you’ll want to plan ahead. Proper gear should include proper hiking shoes or boots, extra socks, plenty of layers of warm clothing, a backpack that is easy to carry and appropriate supplies.
2. Know Your Area
Know the area that you’re going to be hiking in and be sure that you take a few experienced friends along with you on your hike. To learn the area, you should study maps and do your research. You’ll need to know how to get to where you’re going and the amount of time it should take to get there. Talk to others who have gone before you and be sure that you let your family or friends know exactly where you’re going to be hiking and what time to expect you back.
3. Plan To Check In
If you don’t check in when you’re scheduled to ask them to notify the proper authorities, have prearranged times or areas to check in and be sure that you follow up and do so. If for any reason you don’t check in your friends should immediately be concerned and call the proper authorities. Better to be safe than sorry. Always have a plan like this in place.
4. Watch The Weather
Keep an eye on the weather forecast as well. Inclement weather can sneak up on you in the winter months, and a freak winter storm can easily stand you in the snow. More than one hiker has found themselves unexpectedly stranded. Don’t be that hiker. Plan ahead. Know places you can hold up on your trail. Learn ahead of time how to build a snow shelter in case someone is injured or if you plan to stay the night. You can also tote along a tent to sleep in should the need arise but remember that it’s going to be cold so plan accordingly.
5. Know Your Trails
Know your trails and what conditions to expect as well. If it looks unsafe, don’t use it, go back and plan for another day. Don’t risk your life just because you’d planned a hike and still want to go ahead even if it’s not safe.
Safe hiking during severe weather takes some planning and detailed skills. If you’ve never done so before buddy up with someone who has before you embark on your own. Never hike alone especially in unfamiliar areas. If you can take a cell phone all the better, if all else fails you might be able to climb a tree and get a signal for help. Always plan for any weather anomaly when you’re hiking.