Hiking can be quite the adventurous hobby, but with adventure comes the risk of potential danger.
This is not meant to scare you away. In fact, it is meant to make you aware so that you may enjoy your hikes to the fullest extent!
Depending on the region you’re hiking in, you’re likely to encounter a number of topographical hazards that may put you at risk of bodily harm. This has to do with the terrain and features of the area, so you may want to keep an eye out for potential hazards.
These can include things like loose rocks, steep climbs, cliff edges, potentially dangerous drops, and fast-running rivers. Watch where you step, and avoid making any risky maneuvers where there is instability.
Rivers can be particularly deceptive in this regard. You may think a fairly shallow river doesn’t present any risk to you, but you can easily get swept away.
Nature is amazing, but it can be malicious too. Watch out for poisonous plants on your hiking trail, such as poison oak, poison ivy, or poison sumac.
Wear clothing that offers you proper protection, with long sleeves that will minimize your exposure to poisonous elements. Keep emergency treatment supplies in your first aid kit too, such as antihistamines or OTC calamine.
Naturally, you’re going to need to take the proper precaution if the trail you’re on presents the risk of running into wildlife such as bears. However, in most hiking ventures, you’re more likely to have a run in with spider or snakes.
You want to make sure you stay away from the poisonous species, such as the black widow spider and rattlesnakes. If you do get bitten, the only thing to do is to seek immediate medical attention.
Ticks and other insects are going to be your worst enemy when hiking. Invest in insect repellant and long sleeves, and try to stay away from areas where there is an abundance of ticks.
Bees and wasps also factor into this, so stay calm and don’t sweat if you see one. Keep medication for pain and itching with you, and if you’re allergic to bee stings, then don’t go anywhere without your EpiPen!
Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before you embark on a hike! Rain and lightning can present risk of harm to you, so you need to know what weather conditions you might face on your trip.
If you’re in a cold climate, then hypothermia is a potential hazard that you need to take into consideration.
This also applies to areas with high temperatures, as heat strokes can be deadly too.
Any hiker worth his salt knows to be cautious and prepared. Keep your hiking gear light, well-stocked, and close to you. Get all the details on the region you’re hiking in, and have a plan of action on what to do in emergency situations.
Hiking is a wonderful experience that adds great value to your life—you don’t want a little poison ivy to get in the way of that!
The author of this post is a regular contributor to Light Hiking Gear, and understands that hiking requires careful planning and high quality backpacking gear. In her spare time, she writes and goes on hiking trips with her friends and family. For further information regarding hiking equipment, feel free to call us at 801-971-0007 or shoot us an email at Service@LightHikingGear.com.