For a fun, safe day on the trails, follow these basic safety tips:
Footwear: Hiking boots with ankle support that are both broken in and comfortable play an important role in preventing accidents. Good hiking socks such as though sold at sporting goods stores are also advisable. Carry “moleskin” (available at your pharmacy) in your pack and apply it as soon as you feel any discomfort on your feet.
Clothing: Multiple thin layers of clothing will make it easier for you to regulate your temperature than one heavy layer. Carry good quality raingear and if you get wet, it’s important to get dry and warm as quickly as possible.
Water: Hydration is critical while hiking, so ensure you are carrying the amount recommended by your hike leader.
• Hiking poles are optional. Many people find them useful, especially for descents.
• Sun hat, sunglasses and a sunscreen lotion
• Insect repellent
• Personal first aid items
On The Trail:
• Stay together with your group
• Avoid hiking alone; the buddy system is always safer
• Listen to instructions from your hike leader
After Your Hike:
Beware of ticks. Check yourself carefully for these tiny creatures that live on the trails and attach themselves to passing animals and walkers. Wearing long pants and long sleeves is recommended to reduce the risk. Visit a doctor if you notice a red rash spreading from a bite.
Your leader will set a pace suited to the weather, terrain and group dynamics. He or she will be more cautious around potential risks (like wet or windy weather) than you may be if hiking individually.