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Someone once said “Let’s wander where the wifi is weak.” In that spirit, hiking with your family is one of the best things you can do. It lets you get away from screens, bond as a family, and get some fresh air and exercise. While hiking can be risky, if you are careful, it is safe for the whole family. Here are some tips to help you stay safe during your hiking trips.
Safety Tip #1: Never Hike Alone.
One of the best and easiest things you can do to stay safe during hiking is to never hike alone.
There is any number of things that could happen to you during a hike: you could sprain your ankle, get bit by a snake, collapse from heatstroke, or get lost or trapped.
If you are hiking alone, an otherwise minor mishap can become major if you are unable to get yourself to help. But, if you are hiking with someone, they can help you if something does happen.
Safety Tip #2: Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate.
We have a friend who is a fitness instructor and hiking guide. She always says “Hydrate or die.” While it may sound dramatic, it is true. There is nothing more important when you are hiking than drinking water.
Be sure you take enough water with you to last the entire hike and a little longer.
You need to drink plenty of water while you are hiking, especially if it is hot outside. Even if you don’t take food with you on your hike, you need to take water so you can stay hydrated while hiking.
Safety Tip #3: Tell Someone Where You’re Going.
Even if you have one or more people with you on your hike, you need to tell someone who is not going with you where you will be hiking.
In the unlikely event something happens that prevents your return, you will want someone to know where to look for you. They will also be able to notify the authorities and send out a search party for you if necessary.
Safety Tip #4: Wear Appropriate Clothing.
Another easy way to stay safe during hiking trips is to wear appropriate clothing. Not only should you wear clothing that is well suited for the terrain, but you also need to make sure your clothing is right for the weather.
Wearing the perfect clothing also means wearing shoes that are appropriate for the hike. You need to wear, at the very least, closed toed shoes with good grip.
Safety Tip #5: Watch Out for Wildlife.
Our next hiking safety tip is to watch out for wildlife when you are out in nature.
When hiking out in the wilderness, you could potentially encounter any number of animals that can hurt or kill you. Depending on where you are hiking, what animals you need to watch out for will vary.
There is no need to be scared of hiking because of the possibility of encountering an animal. You just need to know what animals to be aware of, keep your eyes open for them, and know what to do if you encounter one.
But remember, most of the time, animals won’t bother you unless they feel threatened. So, as long as you keep your distance from them, most of the time, they will leave you alone too.
Safety Tip #6: Respect the Sun.
You need to respect the sun when you are hiking. If you are not careful, you can fall victim to heatstroke or get severely sunburnt before you realize it.
So, when you head out on a hike, wear sunscreen and other sun protection, such as a hat and sunglasses.
And be sure to take a break if you need to and drink plenty of water.
Safety Tip #7: Watch the Time.
The next tip on our list of ways to stay safe during hiking trips is to watch the time. You don’t want to be caught out on the trail after dark, especially if you don’t have a flashlight with you.
So, make sure before you start that you have plenty of time to finish your hike before sundown. If you run out of time, turn back. Quitting your hike early is much safer than trying to continue in the dark.
Safety Tip #8: Stay on the Trail.
One of the most important tips to stay safe during hiking is to stay on the trail. This is especially important if you are hiking through a forest or an area you are not completely familiar with.
It is extremely easy to get lost if you get off the trail. Also, you are much more likely to encounter a snake or bear if you get off the trail.
So, stay on the path and don’t wander into unknown areas.
The last thing you want to happen during your family hike is to have to call for a search party to come rescue you because you got off the trail and got so lost you couldn’t find your way back.
Safety Tip #9: Check the Weather.
Lastly, be sure to check the weather before heading out on your hike. Make sure that a storm or inclement weather is not expected to hit during the time you are gone.
You definitely don’t want to have to wait out a thunderstorm or snow storm out in the wilderness without shelter because you chose the wrong day and time to go for a hike.
If you do find yourself caught on the trail when bad weather starts, head back to your car or shelter immediately the moment you recognize the change in weather.
Hopefully, you can get back before things get really bad.
Hiking is a great way to spend time with your family. It allows you to enjoy nature, see some beautiful scenery, clear your mind, and create great family memories. But, it is something that can turn bad if you aren’t careful.
These tips to stay safe during hiking trips will help your family have positive hiking experiences. It really comes down to this: be smart, stay safe, and use your common sense.
For more family travel tips, see:
- how to have amazing vacations on any budget
- how to take a vacation when you can’t afford it
- why you should travel with your kids
- how to plan an epic family vacation
- tips for improving your vacations
- how to travel more for less
- how to instantly improve your vacations.
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