10 Hiking Emergency Tips
Be advised that most of the top 10 hiking emergency tips need to be thought about before you leave for the trail. Being prepared for any type of emergency is the best way to keep you and your group safe. The following hiking emergency tips will help you learn how to prepare for any type of unfortunate incident.
- Don’t panic or overreact. The top hiking emergency tip is to not panic if you find yourself in the middle of an emergency. The emergency could be an accident or an illness. Take a minute to compose your thoughts and figure out what to do.
- Bring a small first aid kit. A first aid kit and first aid book can become an invaluable tool. Find one that contains what you may need and what you know how to use. There is no need to lug a huge first aid kit with you, it will only weigh down your pack.
- Take along iodine tablets. You cannot survive without water. Having a supply of iodine tablets in your pack can make stream water drinkable. If an emergency happens and you are on the trail longer than you plan for, always use iodine tablets to purify any water you may find before drinking it.
- Pack freeze dried food. Freeze dried food is light, ready to eat and nutritious. These small packets do not take up much room in a backpack. Keeping a few of these in your pack just in case you are out on the trail longer than anticipated can make you feel a bit better. A human can go for weeks without food, but you will think clearer and be stronger if you have something to eat.
- Know where you are. Before you leave, take a grid map of the area you are hiking. If you have an emergency, you can let help rescue teams by knowing exactly were you are or at least narrow down the area.
- Let people know where you are going. Always leave an itinerary with a family member or friend. Give them a call when you head off on your hike and then call them when you are finished. You should also check to see if the trail head has a sign in sheet. This is often used to see if a hiker has headed off on a trail and if they have returned in case of an emergency.
- Bring along a sweater or jacket. Having a warm article of clothing in your pack is always a good idea. One of the best 10 hiking emergency tips is to make use of what you have. An extra sweater can be used to keep you warm, a tourniquet to stop bleeding, or a make-shift sling for an injured shoulder.
- Bring a cell phone. Cell phone service can be sketchy out in the woods, but if you can get service, there is no use practicing sending a distress call by smoke signal if you don’t have to.
- Get down on the ground. If an electrical storm strikes while you are out on the trail, get low to the ground. If there is a sturdy shelter or picnic table nearby, get under it. If not, crouch down with both hands and feet making contact with the ground.
- Hike with buddies. Just like going to the bathroom in kindergarten, hiking is always safer in groups. A group of four is perfect. If someone would becomes injured, two people can get help while one stays behind with the injured hiker.
Hiking is a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors. But as with any sport hiking does have it’s share of dangers. Knowing the top 10 hiking emergency tips will allow even a novice hiker to stay safe in the back country.