Let someone know your plans: Before you head out on a hike, make sure to tell someone (a friend, family member, or park ranger) your intended route and expected return time. This way, if you don’t return as planned, someone will know to call for help.
Stay on the trail: It’s important to stay on marked trails to avoid getting lost and to minimize your impact on the environment. If you do need to leave the trail, make sure to practice Leave No Trace principles and avoid trampling on sensitive vegetation.
Bring the right gear: Make sure to pack enough water, food, and clothing for your hike. Depending on the weather and the length of your hike, you may also want to bring a map, compass, first aid kit, and other essentials.
Protect yourself from the sun: Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Stay hydrated: Bring enough water for your hike and make sure to drink frequently to stay hydrated. If you’re hiking in an area with limited access to water, you may want to bring a water filter or purification tablets.
Watch out for wildlife: Keep your distance from wild animals and never feed them. If you encounter a dangerous animal, such as a bear or a venomous snake, stay calm and slowly back away.
Know your limits: Don’t push yourself beyond your physical limits. If you’re feeling tired or uncomfortable, take a break or turn back.
Be prepared for emergencies: Make sure you have a way to call for help in case of an emergency, such as a charged cell phone or a satellite phone. It’s also a good idea to learn basic first aid and carry a first aid kit on your hike.