Hiking Safety Tips
One of the main factors that brings people to St. George is our amazing parks. With state parks and even national parks such as Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyon just a car ride away, you will never run out of hikes. Sometimes though, it’s easy to get ahead of yourself and start your adventure unprepared. We’ve compiled a list of the most important aspects of a safe and fun hike!
Never Hike Alone.
While hiking alone may seem tempting at times (maybe you want to clear your head and have time to think), when you’re out in nature, it can be unsafe. If you hike with a buddy, there’s someone there to help you if you’re struggling over rough terrain. Plus, if someone were to get hurt, there’s always another person there to help walk them to safety or call for help.
Prepare for the Weather.
Weather you’re hiking through the evergreen forest of the Pacific Northwest, or taking a morning hike in one of Utah’s Mighty Five and enjoying the sun, it’s important to prepare for the weather. If you live in Southern Utah, you know that our summers can get pretty extreme. Thanks to modern technology though, it’s easier than ever to prepare with most phones having a preinstalled weather app. If you’re headed to a National Park, you can choose to tune into the park’s AM radio station for any reports of extreme weather or flash flood warnings.
Pack the “Ten Essentials”.
The National Park Service has created a list of what they believe the ten essentials for a safe hike are. These are especially useful for long trips in the back country where things can get unpredictable.
Navigation (map, compass, and GPS)
Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen)
Insulation (hat, gloves, rain shell, jacket, thermal underwear)
Illumination (flashlight, lanterns, headlamp)
Fire (matches, lighter, and fire starters)
Repair kit and tools (knife, screwdriver, duct tape, and scissors)
Water and water treatment
Wear Proper Attire.
Depending on the hike, you’ll want to make sure you’re in the correct clothes that will make your hike comfortable and safe. If you’re hiking in the desert, you may want to wear shorts and supportive sandals to help you stay cool. If you’re on a more strenuous back country hike, you will probably want to wear long pants and hiking boots.
Talk to a Ranger.
If you ever have second thoughts about your preparedness for a hike, or the difficulty level of a hike, the best person to go to is a ranger. If you’re in a National/State Park, rangers are very educated on all the trails and know what the weather will be like on a given day.
To make sure that nobody gets hurt while you’re out adventuring and getting in touch with nature, prepare ahead of time, educate yourself on the trails, and communicate with your fellow hikers.