Hiking is definitely among the most favorite outdoor activities for many people. It does not matter if you are an amateur hiker who simply enjoys the great outdoors and loves spending time in nature or an experienced professional with thousands of hiking miles and camping trips behind them. Enjoying untouched nature and becoming one with the flora and the fauna is for everyone and we should celebrate it. What is more, people should be more regularly encouraged to unplug and go outside to experience the wilderness even if it is just a few miles outside of their city.
With all this being said, there is a much more important thing to talk about they simply planning to go on more hikes. And that is safety while navigating the often treacherous and dangerous paths of hiking. Make no mistake, nature does not really care about the comforts of human beings and it never has them walking where they please in mind as it grows and expands. Therefore, we are the ones who must prepare and be careful while we walk in it.
In case you want to know how to avoid the most dangerous things while hiking and what they even are in the first place, keep reading this article carefully and thoroughly. Such advice can save you from bad experiences and life-threatening dangers.
1. Bring Poor Gear
Spending time away from home and in the wilderness implies bringing along the right amount and type of survival equipment. You cannot hike in just about any footwear, nor can you pack things in any kind of bag.
Enough tools and supplies are also prevalent if you are to both have a good time and to remain safe and protected. Depending on the season, the things you will have to carry vary a lot. If you want to learn more about the right hiking gear and where to get it, make sure to check out this site.
2. Go off the Trail and Look for Shortcuts
Hiking usually implies following well-beaten paths in the forests and mountains that are somewhat already known in your community. That is why they are called hiking trails. If you ever think that going way off the beaten tracks and search for your own trails and shortcuts, you better think again. There is no saying what you may find and if anyone knows that there could be other roads to take. It may be difficult to come back, you may easily get lost or hurt yourself on rough terrain.
Worst of all, you cannot possibly know where it ends and going back, as said, is not always possible. Extreme conditions and unlikely scenarios occur far more often if you decide to take things your way without much thinking or planning.
3. Yell and Play Loud Music
It is all about respecting nature when you are out there hiking and enjoying the outdoors. This implies being polite and behaving yourself in terms of not disrupting the ecosystem in any way. Therefore, yelling all the time and playing loud music from your portable speaker is not advised and even forbidden in some cases. Birds and small critters will be spooked and you will disturb wildlife for miles around you.
Remember that wild animal have incredible hearing and they cannot begin to understand what this new and strange noise is. The frequencies and sounds will mess with their senses and their lives can be disrupted beyond repair. Why would you want to ruin the sounds of nature with music you can listen to anytime anyway?
4. Wear Headphones
Since banging loud music is not advised, you may think you have cracked the case by opting to bring and wear your favorite pair of headphones. Bad idea and for a number of reasons. You will be fully unaware of your surroundings if you eliminate your sense of hearing in nature. Eyes alone cannot satisfy your needs in the forest and high up in the hills. You will not be able to react quickly if there is an emergency or some strange noise behind or to the sides.
Landslides, rock falls, avalanches in the distance fires even. Approaching animals to have the best advantage on you if you cannot hear anything. You will become an easy victim to all these emergencies while enjoying your tunes. Leave the headphones home for this one outdoor activity and you will be doing yourself a huge favor.
5. Eat Whatever You See
Eating wild fruits like seemingly juicy and fresh berries or opting to pick and consume mushrooms is the best way to become sick and risk getting poisoned. You cannot expect to know what type of forest vegetation is poisonous if you were never there, so do not eat anything unless you have specific knowledge about it. Most hiking and camping emergencies occur when people eat random things they find in the forest in an attempt to feel adventurous and prove they can survive off the land. Use common sense and educate yourself on the flora of where you are headed.
6. Wait for the Night
Hiking and navigating the forest in general when it gets dark is no easy task. Not only will you experience complete darkness as you can never experience in the city, but you will have absolutely no way of knowing how much the activity out there changes after dark. Avoid remaining on the trails when you realize the night is falling and opt to set up a tent and spend the night in one place. You cannot believe how easy it is to get lost and separated in the forest and mountains at night even if your group is as careful as it can be.
Bonus Advice and Tips:
7. Do not take photos while walking since you can easily fall or slide down on unpredictable terrain. Take a few minutes and stop completely if you find a good spot for snapping a few pics.
8. Do not litter. This is a no-brainer but it should always be mentioned in order to save and preserve nature.
9. Try not to hike while under the influence. As mentioned, all of your senses need to be operational and extra sharp out there, so consuming alcohol and abusing other substances can be dangerous.
10. Rivers and streams are not toilets. There could be villages and camping areas close by that rely on freshwater down the stream.