It’s a great day for a hike to escape the ordinary and get into nature. No calls. No meetings. Just you, your group and the trail that lies ahead of you. But let’s consider one thing before you start out on the trail – hiking safety. What happens if you’re miles away and someone in your group sprains an ankle? Or has a deep cut? What kind of equipment will you have on hand or any at all?
Unfortunately, a lot of hikers don’t think about this part of the journey until something happens and they’re stranded, far from the next safety station or park resource. So let’s tackle it together with SOS Technologies’ plan to add some core ingredients for hiking safety to your backpack. They’re all worth it.
Plan Your Equipment And Nourishment For Every Day
Water. Food. Rain ponchos in case Mother Nature has ideas about a downpour. A map (meaning a real, physical map – don’t count on the GPS on your phone if your phone dies). These are good starting points for the number of days you’ll be hiking. But even if you are hiking within the day and it’s more a matter of hours for your hike, don’t skimp. Prepare accordingly.
Now let’s talk hiking safety gear.
One of the very best resources for equipment you need in case things go wrong – someone slips and falls, gashes their leg, gets stung by an insect, etc. – is our Mountain Series Guide Medical Kit. In one order, you’ll have a number of critical pieces of gear that can last you as long as two weeks, so you’ll have easy, quick access to bandages, medication, blister and burn care and more as soon as you need it, minimizing the chance you’ll be shorthanded to help the wounded.
Who Else Knows Where You’ll Be?
One common mistake that hikers make is to set out on the trail without communicating their location in advance to people outside of the group. Tell the local park ranger or other key officials who won’t have to guess your location, when you started your hike and how many people are in your party. That way, even if you don’t have cell phone service, you’ll at least be able to give emergency teams a more precise sense of what direction you headed in. Having this advance knowledge is huge when timing in an urgent care situation is critical.
Know The Trail Rating And Your Skill Level
Many hiking trails will have Easy, Intermediate and Difficulty ratings that will share the level of obstacles and steep climbs. Don’t overestimate your group’s capability! If you have a fairly overweight person in the group who has to do a very challenging climb, you may be putting their heart health in a precarious position. It’s always better to select the trail that your group can do with confidence. A mild challenge is probably fine but if it’s clear that some people in your group are seriously lagging compared to other, more experienced hikers, you need to stop and discuss whether or not you need to turn back for an easier trail.
Sandals On The Trail? Not A Good Idea.
It doesn’t matter how experienced or fit you are. If you don’t have the proper hiking shoes or boots along with hiking socks, you could risk rolling an ankle or getting a painful blister mid-hike. Why hiking socks instead of regular, everyday socks? Hiking socks are made of a different type of material that can prevent friction as well as moisture from gathering. Don’t muster through the pain! Our Medical Kit has blister remedies but you may also want to apply its GlacierGel™ Blister & Burn Dressing even before your hike to cut down on the chance of a blister developing.
You know you have to drink water. That’s probably a given. But what you may not realize is just how much water you need to consume for every hour of your hike. 2-4 cups of water per hour is the range of consumption you should find yourself safely in. Now, if you’re trying to conserve the weight of how much you can carry and you’re confident that there will plentiful amounts of opportunity to refill your water bottle, you don’t need to carry an ultra-large amount of water as much as a water bottle and purification materials. Don’t just walk up to a stream, dip your bottle in the water and drink – you don’t know what’s in that water in its unpurified state. A filter is essential to keep your water relatively pathogen-free.
Corporate retreat? Big family and friends outing? This is the equipment and know-how you’ll be glad you have before you place one foot on the hiking trail. Start your next adventure off right with a call to SOS Technologies today and let’s talk about rounding out your hiking safety needs to make everyone feel better. Because while we can’t prevent all that nature throws your way, we can get you ready for it as much as possible.
Call the Midwest’s #1 resource for hiking safety equipment and training at 888.705.6100.