This post is part of the Backpacking Gear for Beginners course.
Every time we head out for a hike (even just for a few hours) we need to do a few things first.
Make a plan
Asking a few questions every time you go hiking can help prevent problems before they even start.
- What’s the weather and temperature going to be?
- Is there cell reception on the trail?
- Is this going to be an easy, medium, or hard hike for you?
- Who else are you going with? Will this be an easy, medium or hard hike for them?
Knowing the answers to these questions and packing accordingly will lead to a safer hike.
Leave a hiking plan
If something goes wrong on your hike, someone else should know where you are and what you’re planning to do. If you don’t finish your hike at the proposed time they can contact Search and Rescue to hopefully come find you. If you’re just going to be late and have cell reception or a satellite messenger then you’ll be able to contact your emergency contacts and let them know you are fine and will be late.
Try to hike with others
There’s no rule that says you have to hike with others but if you get injured or lost, having others around can help. If you’re alone, plan accordingly. There’s no one to help you get out of a bad situation.