by Jasmine Starr, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Hiking is definitely fun and very relaxing if you love the outdoors and nature. I have been on quite a few hikes myself and enjoy them so much. However, there are some dangers when it comes to hiking. I’m sure you have probably seen shows on TV where things go wrong. Those things happen all the time. My family and I have had a few adventures, but nothing too bad. So, if you are considering hiking and this is your first time, there are some things you need to keep in mind, especially if you are going alone. Take a look at these tips for hiking alone.
Map Out the Area & Give a Copy to Friends and Family
Before you even set foot on the trail you will be hiking, you really should get yourself a map, or go on Google Maps and map out the location that you will be hiking. If you are using Google Maps, print the map out and draw a red line on the trail you will be taking. If you have a brochure that you are carrying with you, make a copy of it and give it to family and friends.
Let Family and Friends Know When to Expect You Home
Decide how long you will be gone on the hike. It’s not a good idea to go longer than a few days if you will be hiking somewhere with no cell phone signal. The reason being, if something happens on day two and you aren’t expected back for another 6 days or so, it won’t be until then when someone comes looking for you. By then, you may lose your life. So, if you plan to go on a long hike, make sure somewhere along the way will have some cell service so you can check in. Let people know when to expect you home so if something does go wrong, they will come looking for you.
Check the Weather Before Heading Out
Always check the weather of the area you will be hiking before heading out. If bad storms or snow storms are expected any time during your hike, it is best to postpone your adventure. The last thing you want to do is be on a mountain or in woods with lightning popping all around you, or be in three foot of snow with hardly no shelter.
Pack the Essentials
Make sure you pack the essentials you will need. For example, make sure you have plenty of water if you are hiking somewhere that doesn’t have streams. Always carry a couple of lighters and a couple boxes of matches. Place these items inside a couple ziplock bags in case they get wet. You will need to take some rope, a knife, some food, and other things you will need for your trip. It is important to be prepared.
Remember to stay on your trail. If something happens and you venture off of the trail, the search team will have a harder time locating you if they have to come looking for you. I hope that doesn’t happen, but you can never be too careful.