Hiking Safety Tips

Hiking Safety Tips

Hiking Testimonial

With Spring now upon us many of those who love the outdoors, myself included, will be prepping their packs for the first hike of the season. When hiking, there is nothing better than finding a path that you have never previously trekked.

However, when tackling a new path it is always best to be prepared – as I found out. Shortly after moving to Las Vegas, some friends and I had heard of a great hike down to the Colorado River – Gold Strike Canyon. Little did we know just how arduous of a hike this was going to become.

Hiking Boots, Map, Backpack

We had hiked some areas around Las Vegas prior to this with very little issues, so we prepped how we normally did: water, light snacks, sunscreen, and sunglasses. We misread how long of a hike it was and did not prep adequately.

Fortunately, for us, nothing serious happened, we were just a little hungrier and thirstier than we would have been had we researched properly. This just proved as a reminder, no matter how experienced you are, it is always important to ensure that you are properly packed for a hike.


What is Hiking?

Hiking is an activity that involves walking on natural trails or paths in the countryside, mountains, forests, or any outdoor area.

It’s a great way to stay physically active, explore nature, and take in some breathtaking views. Hiking can be a solo activity or one that is enjoyed with a group of friends or family members. It can range from a short day trip to a multi-day backpacking adventure.

Hiking encourages you to disconnect from technology and the hustle and bustle of the city and experience a sense of peace and tranquility.

It’s important to practice hiking safety tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, there are plenty of trails out there waiting for you to explore.


Safety Tips for All Hikers

Are you planning on going for an actual hike? Whether it’s a short day hike or a challenging multi-day adventure, it’s important to prioritize safety to ensure a fun and enjoyable experience. Here are some safety tips that all hikers should keep in mind:

– Always let someone know where you are hiking, when you’ll be hiking, and when you plan to return. Don’t forget to check in when you get back! [1]

Stay on the marked trails. Trying to find or make shortcuts can increase your risk of getting lost or injured.

– Know your physical limits: choose a trail that matches your physical fitness level, and don’t push yourself too hard. Take breaks as needed to rest and refuel.

Wear comfortable, moisture-wicking clothing, and sturdy hiking boots. Dress in layers and bring extra clothing (especially extra socks) to adjust to changing weather conditions.

Make sure to have adequate water and to bring salty foods for your hike. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is crucial in preventing heat stroke during a hike. [2]

Do adequate research if you are hiking unfamiliar terrain.

Always bring sunscreen.


Consider Bringing an Emergency Kit

When heading out on a hike, it’s always important to prepare for emergencies by bringing along a well-stocked kit. Hikers typically put the following items in an emergency kit: trash bags, extra food, a small flashlight, a whistle, moleskin, and a first aid kit. [3]

An emergency kit should include various essential items that can be a lifesaver in case of an unexpected injury or emergency. It’s important to pack a pair of scissors, a thermometer, and a pair of tweezers. A survival blanket can also be very useful in emergency situations to prevent hypothermia, as well as a whistle can be useful if lost.

It’s also important to bring extra medication, such as asthma inhalers or EpiPens, if necessary. Other potentially life-saving items to include in an emergency kit are a compass and a map of the area, a reliable multi-tool or pocket knife, a charging device or backup battery for a cell phone, and a flashlight with extra batteries./

At a minimum, an emergency kit should contain enough supplies to last for at least 24 hours and should be easily accessible in your backpack in case of an emergency. By being well-prepared and having an emergency kit with essential items, you can enjoy your hike with greater peace of mind knowing you are ready for whatever may come your way.

In 2014 there were 37 incidents, resulting in 3 deaths, at Gold Strike Canyon. Ensure a safe hike for yourself and your friends with proper preparation. [4]


What to Do if You Are Lost When Hiking?

No one ever wants to think about getting lost while out on a hike, but sometimes it happens. If you find yourself in this situation, there are some things you can do to help ensure your safety.

First and foremost, stay calm. Panicking will only make the situation worse. Then try to find a point of reference that will help you orient yourself and figure out where you are. A familiar peak or landmark can provide helpful clues as well as give you something to focus on as you work on getting back on track.

Once you’ve determined where you’re at, take stock of your supplies and environment. Do you have enough food and water? Is there bad weather coming? What is your most immediate need?

If all else fails, stay put. You may need to set up an emergency shelter. Staying in one place may be difficult if you are in bear country, so it’s important always to have a way to make noise and bear-proof your camp.

Once you’ve gathered yourself, call for help.

If you don’t have cell phone reception, try using a whistle or shouting “HELP!” or blowing your whistle every few minutes – this will give park rangers or other hikers an indication of where to look for you.

Be sure to research the area ahead of time, stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times, and have an emergency plan in place should something go wrong.


Last Thoughts On Often Forgotten Safety Tips When Hiking

While some safety tips like bringing enough water and food, wearing appropriate clothing, and staying on the designated trails are well-known, there are some often forgotten safety tips that can help prevent accidents.

For instance, it’s important to bring a map and compass, even if you have a GPS device, as technology can sometimes fail. Check the weather forecast and stay on designated trails. These safety tips can help prevent accidents and ensure that hikers have a positive and safe experience.



[1] 5 Dangerous Hiking Mistakes. (n.d.). 5 Dangerous Hiking Mistakes | Sierra Club.

[2] Ray, T. (2013, April 10). The 10 Essentials of Hiking. American Hiking Society.

[3] Admin, A. (2013, April 11). Personal First Aid Kit. American Hiking Society.

[4] GOLDSTRIKE CANYON, ARIZONA HOT SPRING TRAILS TEMPORARILY CLOSED – Lake Mead National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service). (n.d.). GOLDSTRIKE CANYON, ARIZONA HOT SPRING TRAILS TEMPORARILY CLOSED – Lake Mead National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service).