A popular overseas activity for the outdoorsy and adventurous folks is mountain hiking. People love to hike because it provides them with the opportunity to get close to nature. Above all, the scenery at the peak is the best reward for a tough uphill climb.
Ranging from short one-hour walks up a marked trail, to full-day expeditions to the peak, hiking comes in various levels of difficulty. But no matter the length of your hike, hiking in the mountains comes with its fair share of dangers.
Before embarking on your hiking trip, it will be well worth it to get familiar with these safety precautions for hikers:
Check the weather
It goes without saying that hiking is an outdoor activity, and it is subject to the weather. If it is raining, it may not be a good idea to proceed as the trail will be slippery, increasing the risk of falling. Similarly, if it has just snowed, it will be dangerous to hike due to ice on the ground. Always check the weather forecast before you set off to the mountains, and before you start to hike. In the event of adverse weather, it is best to postpone your hike.
Be appropriately equipped
Depending on the difficulty and length of your hike, you should be appropriately dressed and equipped. A hike on a snowy mountain would require warm clothes, as it can get even colder with the winds as you ascend. Proper shoes with good grip are also crucial for hikes, to reduce your chances of slipping.
As you will be away from the conveniences of the city, you should make sure to bring along enough liquids and food to sustain yourself. This means bringing along sufficient water and food to replenish your energy when the hike gets tough. For longer hikes, you are advised to stock up some reserves in the event of any situation that leaves you stuck in the mountain for longer than planned.
Map out your route
In the preparation stages of your hike, you should conduct ample research on the mountain you will be hiking on, and select a route that is suitable for your skill and fitness level. This way, you will not be caught unawares with a trail that is too challenging for you. It is also recommended that you bring a physical copy of the map with you, rather than rely on the unpredictable mobile networks on the mountain for GPS.
In addition, having your route planned out allows you to inform your loved ones before you embark on your hike. In the event that anything happens to you on the hike, this makes it easier for emergency staff to locate you.
Follow a guide
If you are unconfident about hiking on your own, your best choice is to follow a guided tour. A tour guide will be familiar with the hiking trails and how to stay safe in the mountains. As a bonus, they can also introduce you to the sights and sounds on your hike, giving you a deeper appreciation of your surroundings. Most importantly, it is always good to have someone familiar with the area and terrain to be around in the case of any unexpected events.
The problem with having an emergency in the mountains is that it is usually quite inaccessible. Hence, it is crucial that you know what to do in the event of an in the event of an emergency in the mountains. Have your emergency numbers ready in case you need to make an emergency call for medical evacuation or an air ambulance.
At the very least, you should be ready with some essential first-aid equipment and knowledge so you can treat yourself first if you are injured. Having some basic mountain survival skills is also useful and can help you last while waiting for help to arrive.
Hiking is a fulfilling and exciting holiday activity, but it should not be taken lightly. Having the necessary precautions will allow you to enjoy your trip with peace of mind and live to experience countless more.