Hiking far more dangerous than most people realize. I guess it’s kind of like rollercoasters at the state fair; everybody does it – but eventually, some unlucky soul is going to meet their end as a result.
Don’t worry though; there’s good news! If you study these methods for safe hiking, you’ll have almost a zero percent chance of wildly sending your limp body into a crowd of falafel-eating onlookers. Now, let’s get into it!
Do: Inform Friends and Relatives
When you go on a hike alone, you’re at risk of getting caught up in a bad situation. Hikers often get too confident in their ability to plan and maneuver through the desired terrain, but every once in a while those hikers will get trapped or lost – and who’s going to come and get them? Probably nobody for a few days.
By telling your friends and relatives where you’re going to be when you’re going to be there, and for how long, you’re giving them vital information that could (possibly) end up saving your life.
If you are ever trapped or lost in an area and you start getting hungry, make sure to pull out that MRE you brought with you. What’s an MRE you ask? Well, it’s a Meal Ready to Eat, and it was developed for military combat units who don’t have access to food.
They were designed to be lightweight too, so you don’t have to worry about your MRE(s) taking up too much room in your pack. They also contain anywhere from 1000 to 1800 calories in them, so you don’t have to eat it all at once.
Don’t: Stray from the Trail
When you’re undertaking a traditional hiking expedition, it’s tempting to wander off of the trail in search for interesting landscape and flora – do not do this. By wandering off of the trail, you’re putting yourself in harm’s way even more.
Hiking trails (especially more remote ones) are known for containing wildlife of all kinds. Sometimes you see a chipmunk or a deer, but every once in a while a hiker will cross paths with animals that are much larger.
By being on the trail in a lesser-known hiking location, you’re already in the danger zone, as far as wild animals go. So, if you stray off from the trail, you might find yourself going head-to-head with a mountain lion – and nobody wants that.
Getting lost in the forest is another result of people wandering off the trail. And I think we already went over how horrible that is.
Do: Research the Trail
Researching the trail should be the very first thing you do when preparing for a new expedition. It can be a lot of work learning about all of the plants, animals, etc. But trust me – it’s worth it.
Hikers that don’t research their trail before heading out for a hike are often at risk of getting lost or eaten. I mean, I don’t want to be crude, but yeah.
It’s important to research the local flora because if you pick a berry from a berry bush and it’s looking too juicy to resist – it could kill you. Or even worse – just have you rolling around in pain for hours while nobody comes to rescue you because you didn’t tell anybody where you were going.
Now, obviously that’s the worst-case scenario, but it’s a scenario that can and will real if you don’t rigorously prepare for your future hike. And as long as you follow my advice, you’ll be out there storming the mountains that have been sitting there since the beginning of time, and you’ll be breathing in that fresh air. You’ll also be relaxed to know that you’re ready for anything. Good luck out there, and stay safe goddamnit.