8 Hiking Safety Tips

5. Check the Forecast

Check the forecast up until the moment before you leave. This is important in determining what gear you need to bring, like a rain jacket, sunscreen, extra water or warmer clothing. If the forecast does predict rain, be sure the trail you're taking is still passable in such conditions. Call your local Parks and Recreation Department, where they can direct you to real-time information.

More: Backpacking: 4 Mistakes to Avoid

6. Be Confident Not Cocky

Whether you've hiked 30 times or five, you know what you can and can't handle. When hiking in a group or with a more advanced friend, you may be inclined to take on something you aren't ready for. Don't risk injury; be honest with your skill level before hitting the trail.

7. Tell Someone Before You Go

Aron Ralston, who wrote the memoir 127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, taught us all the importance of telling someone where you're going and when you plan to be home. If that person doesn't hear from you by a certain time, they can take the necessary action.

More: How to Prepare for a Strenuous Hike

8. Stay Together

Last but not least, stick together. When hiking with a large group, it's easy to separate into groups of fast and slow hikers. Often, this happens naturally, but it isn't always safe. Keep someone at the front that hikes at a modest pace, to ensure everyone stays together.

These hiking safety tips are especially important with children or those new to hiking; don't let a rejuvenating hike become dangerous. Pack enough sustenance, appropriate clothing, and the right gear for a safe and enjoyable trip into the wilderness. 

More: 9 Family-Friendly Hiking Trails

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