Each year, scores of Coloradans take advantage of opportunities to explore the outdoors. While many people are able to do so safely, Coloradans rely each year on the fine focus who work with the Colorado Search And Rescue Board to help us when we things get out of hand. A little bit of hiking safety can go a long way, and so we wanted to make sure we shared some basics.
TIP: If you are able, or particularly active outdoors, you may want to consider supporting their efforts by picking up a COSAR Card. You can do that at this website, here. You can also read more about the program.
One of the most important things you can do when hiking is to make sure that you understand where you’re going before you get there. For many recreational hikers, this means staying on a well-defined path in a park. For the more adventurous back country hikers, this might mean making sure to study a map while planning your journey.
Whether it’s your first trip alone or a jaunt with friends, it’s always important to tell someone where you’re going and when you plan to return. This one simple action can do more than ensure a bit of hiking safety, it lets someone else know that they should know to expect your return. If something happens and you don’t let that person know you’ve made it back safely, they’ll be able to work with the proper authorities to get you the help that you need.
It’s helpful to make sure that you always carry things like a flashlight or whistle with you. Safety devices like these can help you attract attention if you get stuck somewhere you don’t expect to be.
Bring enough food and water for your trip with you. You’ll want to make sure that you stay well hydrated and nourished while you’re outside. Conditions can always change quickly, and it’s important to be prepared.
It’s particularly important to take the time to prepare for the weather conditions you’re likely to experience while you’re outdoors. In a state like ours, the weather can change quickly and it’s very important to be ready for anything.
One of the most important tenants of hiking safety is to avoid taking unnecessary risks. When it comes time to hike, you should always let the slowest person in your group set the pace. By keeping this pace, you’ll be able to ensure that you aren’t pushing anyone to the point of exhaustion.
While you can’t prepare for every eventuality, following these hiking safety tips should make your trip outdoors a success.