Basic Rules of Hiking Safety

Robert Rankin of Robbinsville, NC, currently leads Snowbird Mountain Lodge in North Carolina as president and chief executive officer. When he is not heading operations, Robert Rankin takes advantage of the scenic Robbinsville, NC, region by hiking and mountain biking.

Hiking can fulfill a number of physical and emotional needs, providing regular hikers with an excellent form of exercise while also allowing for social opportunities in the form of hiking societies and outdoor clubs. However, hikers must take a number of safety precautions in order to prevent an accident or injury from derailing a hike.

The number one rule of hiking is to never hike alone. Hiking with partners, or better yet a large group, can be an invaluable advantage in countless situations, ranging from a chance encounter with a wild animal to a sprained ankle. If an individual absolutely must hike solo, he or she should inform multiple people of the planned location and expected time of return.

In order to stay safe on the trail, hikers should do exactly that: stay on the trail. Adventuring off into the brush can be exciting, but it is also a leading cause of hikers becoming lost. Moving off of a marked path also increases the likelihood of an injury or animal encounter. Finally, hikers of all ages should travel with necessities such as food, water, and a First Aid kid, as well as a whistle or noisemaking device that can draw attention in certain situations.

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