As of lately, trekking has been gaining a lot of popularity amongst outdoor enthusiasts and also with beginners who want to get out there and try something new. Many people around the Maryland and Washington, DC area are using the opportunity that our geography offers to give trekking a try and also the unique locations that you can visit when you take advantage of the National Park System. They are doing really great work at maintaining our nation’s parks and monuments and giving Americans great places to trek and visit.
As exciting as it can be, trekking comes along with some mild risks. On top of that, there are some mistakes people make when walking through the woods, so it is important that you understand what they are so you can avoid them and ensure your experiences is as pleasant as possible.
Here is a list that we prepared for you at Sudir Raju’s Blog, of some of the most important safety tips to consider when you go trekking and also to prepare before and after the experience.
Do not go alone
It is important to use the buddy system when you go trekking. This activity can be dangerous just by the fact that it usually happens so far away from civilization. Some people like trekking just because it helps them get away and take a break from the world, but that doesn’t mean that you should just go off without taking any precautions. As we mentioned earlier, you should avoid trekking alone at all costs, but if it is absolutely necessary for you to go alone, then at least make sure that you give someone else all the information about your trip: Where are you going and when you are coming back, are important things to let someone else know, in case of an emergency.
Bring the essentials
What is the right equipment? As a minimum you should carry a raincoat (even if there isn’t any rain in the forecast), a flashlight or headlamp, compass and maps, first aid kit and a whistle.
The raincoat is great in case you have an emergency and you have to stay out there longer than expected, and also because the weather may change at a moment’s notice and that means that some unexpected rain may become an issue. The whistle can be used to call out to other trekkers in case you go off the path and get lost.
Do not rely on technology alone
There are a number of gadgets out there meant for trekking and even most smartphones come equipped with features that allow you to find your location with satellite and even local maps. However, even the most advanced electronics can fail, or can lose their battery charge. Having a compass and map, as well as some knowledge of the area, are things that cannot be replaced by technology. One of the best safety tips we can give you here is to become self-reliant and to learn the skills that are needed to find your bearings in the woods.
Be mindful of the weather
There are apps and websites that can give you real updates on the local weather and the majority of them are so reliable that you can truly take their information to heart when making decisions and planning your trip. Knowing the weather is very important because many hazards associated with trekking are directly influenced by the weather conditions of the region.
Learn about survival
Everyone should know about surviving and if you are someone who is into trekking, then you more than anyone else should know the importance of acquiring these skills. Accidents may not be so common and trekking is a relatively safe activity, but the mere distance from civilization may make even a small accident turn into a life or death situation. Getting lost will put you at risk and knowing exactly what to do is important for your survival. Read books; visit websites and even sign up for a course if it is at all possible.
Respect the environment
Respect nature, do not litter and make sure that your environmental footprint is a small as possible. Littering may put at risk some native species as well as start forest fires. The importance of respecting nature and the environment is paramount when it comes to being a safe while trekking.
Being fit and in shape is important if you want to take your treks to the next level. Training ensures you do not suffer injuries and that you are able to go further every time you head out and thus enjoy your outings even more.
Have enough water and food
Being dehydrated is one of the biggest dangers you run into when you are trekking. Having enough water and food is very important because you never know how long you will be out there so it is best to prepare for the worst.