Hiking Safety Tips
Whether it’s short or long, hiking safety should be at most concern for all of us. Most of our hike are under 2 hours, on well established trail, and within a city. So, your chance of getting into hiking accident is low. Still, it is a good idea to know basic safety tips.
Rule 1: Your hiking destination is NOT where you plan to reach, but where you come back.
Hiking ends when you come back to the trailhead. Wherever you plan to reach, that place is only a half way. You still have to come back to home. Many accidents occur on the way back from the destination.
Rule 2: Be prepared.
Many accidents occur because of the lack of preparation. Alaska weather changes instantly. Many trails have no sign. Be prepared: hiking boots, long sleeve shirts, warm clothes, rain gear, hats, maps, gps, cellphone, bug dope, bear spray, etc.
Rule 3: Tell someone your hiking plans.
Make sure to tell someone where you are going, how long you are going, and when you are coming back.
Rule 4: Go with a group.
When you go with a group, you will dramatically reduce chances of making wrong decisions and encountering a bear attack. Make sure that all group members are similar hiking ability.
Rule 5: There is always a second chance.
Nothing wrong when you don’t make to your intended destinations. Mountains and trails will be there, next time you try. But, if you push too hard and loose your life, you have no second chance.
Bear Safety Tips During Hiking
Anchorage is bear country. Learn to be safe outdoors. Your safety, and that of the bears and other trail users, depends on it.
Below are tips to keep you safe in bear country:
- Buddy up. You are safer in a group.
- Make Noise. This will prevent you from surprising a bear.
- Use your senses to stay aware. No headphones!
- Carry bear spray. Have it accessible and know how to use it.
- Don’t feed bears. Handle food, fish and attractants responsibly.
- Slow down. High speed equals high risk in bear habitat.
- Leash your pets. Off-leash pets can bring bears back to you.
- Never run from a bear!