By Ben Reuter
There are numerous accounts each year of casual hikers getting lost in the woods and end up meeting a horrible end. Accidents while hiking are due to inexperienced hikers who do not prepare for their adventure into the wilderness. I say wilderness because hiking is entering nature and exploring its unknown areas, and with these unknown areas comes danger. Danger can come in many shapes and sizes, but if you follow my advice you will be safe and have a wonderful adventure with Mother Nature.
The hotter the temperature, the less I wear, and the colder the temperature, the more I wear. Clothing is the most important item on your hike but footwear is the most important clothing item. You are going to be on your feet the entire hike and the footwear that you wear will determine if your hike will be enjoyable or not. The shoes you choose must fit your feet right. If they are too big or too small your feet will not be held properly within the shoe which enhances the chances of foot or ankle injury.
· Note the colors of all the trail markers you will be following
· Check to see how far the nearest housing development, or in-use roadway is from your hiking area
· Calculate the distance and time of the hike you are planning.
You have read the basics about hiking safety and survival; are you ready to start your next hike? Stop and ask yourself for each item, what purpose does this serve? And will it hinder my hiking in any way? Refer to a map before leaving and remember to think clearly, stay calm, and above all else use your new skills in hiking to enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer.
For more information:
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference