The holidays are here and whether you’re a regular walking fanatic or taking your first stroll to see new heights, it’s important to be prepared for all immediate dangers. From checking the weather, to avoiding unusual slippery surfaces, there multiple ways you, or a member of your hiking group, could seriously injure yourselves. In which case, you need to make sure you and your walking partners are fully prepared for the journey.
What’s in your bag?
These days, the most popular thought when planning any trip is to make sure a phone is packed along with a charger. Although, you may find it difficult to find somewhere to plug your phone in to charge when you’re halfway down a walking trail. Thank goodness technology has brought portable chargers – phew. But while this may feel like a lifesaver, there are far more important things you need to make sure you have in your rucksack before setting off.
Water and snacks
Dehydration is a serious risk when out hiking. You should be drinking around one litre of water every two hours when on an active hike. So, it’s essential to take plenty of water with you, or you can even purchase various forms of travel water filters, like LifeStraw. These travel filters will reduce your rucksack weight and prevent the possibility of contracting an illness from drinking water without filtration.
While snacks may seem less important, they are essential when helping to avoid burn out or decreased focus. Taking a few healthy items in your rucksack will ensure that you are able to keep your energy levels up during the walk.
A Compass and a map
Getting lost is the last thing you want to happen. Whether there is a set footpath or not, you wouldn’t want to take the risk of accidently taking the wrong turn. For example, the main risk during the decent of Ben Nevis is that hikers sometimes lose track of the path, this has meant that some people have ended up in the notorious Five Finger Gully in poor visibility often with tragic results.
Whether you are attempting a summit similar to Ben Nevis or adventuring into the country, losing your bearings is a serious risk that can be handled by ensuring you have a map and compass on you at all times. Before you head out on your trail, draw out where you will be going and if you do get lost, you can have a starting point in seeing where you may have gone off course. A map and compass are better than relying on your phone because your GPS on your phone requires you to have signal, and that isn’t available everywhere.
Although, phone technology is becoming more advanced for hikers. There is now an app that you can activate when you are lost. What What3Words will do, is alert rescue services or relevant authorities of your exact location, so it’s easier for them to find you quicker. Either way, if you do have the app, it is still best to make sure you do have a compass and map in your bag just for precaution.
First aid kit
In case of any accidents, blisters or other minor injuries, all hikers should come equipped with a first aid kit. It’s surprising how much a small cut, when left, can become a serious problem either further up the walk or in weeks to come. Your first aid kit will include all of the essentials and should be checked before each hike and refilled after each use to ensure you are prepared to full capacity on every trip.
Inform someone of your route
Before you leave each time, even when there’s a big group venturing out, it’s essential that someone who isn’t on the hike is told of your planned route. They can then alert rescue teams if you and your team do not return on time. It could be the difference between life and death.
Exploring the world is a magical experience but everything comes with its own risks and as new hikers can suffer serious injuries from simply being unprepared, seasoned professionals can also fall victim to their own confidence. In any case, preparation is key to a successful journey.
If you’ve had a serious injury and are looking for representation or advice, we could help you. Get in touch with our expert team at Lysander Law today.