Top Tips for Safe, Enjoyable Hiking Trips
Follow these top tips for safe enjoyable hiking trips and get outdoors on a brilliant adventure.
Hiking in Great Britain
Great Britain is home to 15 National Trails, covering over 2,000 kilometres in total. Popular with both British people and hiking enthusiasts from abroad, these trails are examples of the kind of adventures you can enjoy in the country, either on your own and as part of a group. Along with taking the right things with you on your hiking trail, it is important to take the appropriate safety precautions before embarking on a hiking adventure. Doing so will put your mind at ease, as well as those dear to you, and enable you to enjoy your hiking trip to the max.
Be confident and safe with your camping gear
One of the most important aspects of multiple day hiking trips is the quality of your camping gear, as well as your ability to use it. Fully familiarise yourself with your tent, for example, making sure you practise setting it up and dismantling it, to help you minimise danger in the great outdoors. This will also ensure that you will be kept warm and protected in certain conditions, while giving you the confidence to handle the gear efficiently when the times arise. Meanwhile, be sure to pitch your tent in a safe and secure place, away from safety hazards such as an open fire.
Wear bright clothing
It may sound over the top, but being visible to others when you are hiking could potentially save your life. This is particularly true if you are traveling solo or as part of a very small group. Choose bright coloured-clothes in order to make yourself easily identifiable if you get lost or injured while hiking. Reflective vests are a good idea too, as these will enable people to pick you out in the dark or during winter months. It goes without saying that your clothing should be warm, whatever its colour.
Do the appropriate training beforehand
Hiking is a thoroughly rewarding activity for people of different ages and abilities. However, for beginners in particular, it is vital for your own safety that you ensure you are fit enough for the hike. Without preparation you are at greater risk of injuring yourself and either having to be assisted by emergency services or turning (painfully) back. Set aside sufficient time to exercise and complete some shorter hikes before your trip, gradually building up your strength and stamina. Consider training alongside a friend or other fellow hiking enthusiasts. This can make it easier to pace yourself appropriately and might make the training more enjoyable.
Tell someone your hiking plan
Tell someone where you are going and leave details of the route of your planned walk and your estimated time of completion. Remember to let them know once you are safely back.
Always carry a means of calling for help and keep it within reach.
Having a reliable means of calling for help is vital when you’re hiking, particularly in a remote area. This might be a mobile phone although you’ll need to make sure you have sufficient battery and ideally a back-up battery. You also need to consider whether you’ll have mobile reception in the area you’ll be hiking. A good alternative is a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) a small, handheld personal safety device designed to alert search and rescue services (using satellites) in the event of an emergency. Most PLBs are also equipped with GPS receivers, thus being able to calculate and send your accurate location.
Being safe is smart
Hiking trips make for fun, challenging and rewarding adventures, wherever you are in the world. When you are preparing to go, it can be tempting to focus on the excitement of the trip and the sense of achievement you will feel when you complete it. These things are undoubtedly important, but taking the appropriate safety measures for your hiking adventure is paramount. This will put you in the best position possible to complete the hike, allowing you to cherish the memories all the more.
Check out our pick of the best unusual hiking and trekking trips here.