Time is flying.
Everybody reading this, has done a couple of hikes, or keen to do hikes, and the thought of this great outdoor life awaits.
But what happens if things go wrong? Will you be able to “Bear Grylls” yourself out of any situation? Can you recall any of those Boy Scout knots?
Honestly, this is the last thing we think about, nobody wants to go out onto a trail, expecting a disaster, either medical or situational.
Now I know this seems like a boring blog, compared to some of our other content, but safety and preparation is very-very important to me.
Some tips that I live by:
- ALWAYS carry a first aid kit with you.
- ALWAYS make sure you have enough water with you. I’d rather carry an additional litre with me, than run out of water (again, happened to me twice, so trust me on this one.)
- ALWAYS have a solid/nutritious breakfast before hiking, and snack during the walk. Once the sugar levels drop, it’s very difficult to get them back to a stable state.
- Never walk alone, get a buddy hiker that you are comfortable with.
- When walking in a group, the first and last walkers have an important jobo First walker:
- Needs to look out for trail markers, animals on route, sudden terrain change. Effectively this person is the hiking leader at this moment, and should assume all responsibilities of this position.
- Last walker: Make sure that nobody falls behind, if someone stops, you stop with them. Another VERY important task is, look out for and pinpoint the last 2-3 trail markers, just to confirm that the group hasn’t veered of the trail.
Other useful tips/recommendations for hikers.
- Go do a level 1 & 2 First aid course (when in a group, 2-3 people should have basic first aid skills)
- Learn to navigate with a map & compass, don’t rely solely on a gps watch/device.
- Do a basic outdoor course, similar to the “Personal Recreational Hiking Competence” course that the guys from The School for Mountain Leadership (www.sml.co.za) present. (FYI ,I haven’t done any courses through them ,but have read some good reviews)
In most situations, one will probably never, ever need any of these tips, but rather be prepared and nothing happens, than not be and the emergency hits you without warning.
Any tips that you’d like to share with us?