Disclaimer: The advice in this post are based on my own option and experience
Summer is a wonderful time to go adventuring in the mountains. Whether sparsely covered or densely packed with vegetation, knowing a few key survival tricks could save your life should you lose your way.
5 Common Sense Hacks to Hiking Safe
- Before heading out, become acquainted with the local vegetation and animals. Know which plants are the most toxic and which animals are the most aggressive. Know which plants are edible.
- Moss is an amazing plant, but it doesn’t always grow on the north side of rocks and trees. So it can’t be relied on for correct directional orientation. Moss loves moisture and shade, so naturally in the northern hemisphere it primarily grows on the north in many forests, but given the canopy of the forest and the moisture level, it can grow on all sides.
- Carry a compass, and not just the one on your smartphone, and learn how to use it. Trying to figure out basic orientation when in a lost and panicked state can lead to life threatening mistakes.
- Speaking of panic, STAY CALM! Take some deep breaths, and make a list of your assets. If it’s getting late, make a shelter, and find a clean source of water.
- Always let someone know where you are going, or better yet hike or adventure with a friend. I know not everyone will follow the buddy system, I get it, I don’t always take a friend with me. But I always let someone know where I’m going and when I expect to return.
Be Wise, What Can I Say More
Books and countless blogs have been written on how to stay safe while adventuring in any type of terrain. Many who read this blog will probably roll their eyes and think “no duh.” And yet every year confident and experienced outdoorsy persons get lost. Most come out of it alive, some don’t, and some are never heard of again.
I didn’t google any of these tricks, hacks, or common sense notions. These come from my own personal experience, and are useful whether in a forest or even in an overcrowded city.
Someday I’ll tell you about getting lost in Paris, France. It has nothing to do with nature, it’s just a good story.
As summer is drawing to a close and school is getting back in session, many of you will be heading out for one last adventure, all I can say is stay safe and have a blast!