As summer approaches, more and more people books days out of their weekends to escape the city and find adventure on whatever forested slopes they can get to. For many people, a hike is a casual affair — a day trip involving a few snacks, maybe a bottle of water, and perhaps a backpack. Some people wear hiking boots. Others wear running shoes, or perhaps even flip flops. A lot of people hike as a social event. It’s a chance to catch up with your friends while also getting exercise and fresh air. There’s hardly anything more wonderful than a good summit on a clear day.
Because so many people treat hiking with such a cavalier attitude, it can become a much more risky outing than it seems.
Hiking with friends is always a good idea. In the case of emergency, safety is found in numbers.
- Wild animals are less likely to bother you.
- It’s easier to stay warm, in a group.
- Mentally, company is good for moral support. And two or three heads are better than one.
You may have only planned to be out hiking for a few hours, but if you get lost, or someone injures themselves, you could end up being on the mountain for much longer than anticipated. This is why it pays to be prepared.
No matter how short your hike is supposed to be, it’s always a good idea to be prepared to spend the night outside. Here are some suggestions:
- Even if it’s a hot day, bring warm layers.
- Bring more water than you think you’ll need.
- Darkness may fall faster than you think. Bring a flashlight.
- Tell someone where you’re going.
- Bring a cellphone, and make sure it’s fully charged before you leave home.
- Bring extra, light-weight food such as our new Soldier Fuel Energy Bars.
- Wear gripped, supportive, close-toed shoes!
For more ideas about which emergency items might be useful to bring with you, take a look at some of our other blog posts about wilderness survival:
- Efficient Use of your Cell Phone during an Emergency
- Camping Gear to the Rescue – Part 1
- Preparing for a Long Hike