Mountain trekking is an incredibly exhilarating and fulfilling pastime. Performed to the backdrop of some of the most stunning scenery known to man, the sensation of being as one with nature, challenging yourself to climb to altitude, and experiencing all of the jubilations of physical exercise are just some of the reasons why mountain trekking is such a popular activity.
Yet there are safety considerations that must be given due respect when undertaking an activity that does pose inherent risks. That said, these 13 safety tips should make your trek that much safer, allowing you free to enjoy the experience.
Plan your trek
Never, ever, set off on a trek that you haven’t planned. It doesn’t matter how easy you think it will be, know what you are getting yourself into. Have a detailed map of the area, and appreciate exactly how long it should take. Give yourself more time that you may think you will need too,” advises Grant Summers, a lifestyle blogger at Brit Student and Australia 2 write.
Take the correct equipment
Planning adequately leads to having the right equipment. Not having what you need is a simple mistake to make, but can be disastrous.
Take enough food and water
This is simple advice, but don’t underestimate how much food and water you may need.
“When it comes to water, don’t just assume that there will be an easy-to-access water source either. Take as much as you would need without accessing anything else on the trip,” warns Tip Johansson, a travel blogger at WritemyX and Next Coursework.
Don’t go alone
If at all possible, don’t set off alone. People do, but bear in mind that this could make things very difficult, especially if you are heading into the wilderness with very little possibility of meeting someone else along the way. If you do go alone, make sure you have a way of contacting others, or…
Inform others of your intentions
Make sure that people in the nearest settlement know when to expect you. Plan a cut-off time that would then involve contacting emergency services. If no one knows to expect you, then no one will know that you are missing in the first place, which could be fatal
Have a contingency plan
Always have a plan B. That may mean turning around, or simply having another route.
Don’t take unnecessary risks
And never take on something that is unwise to do. Don’t push yourself above your ability, and have ample respect for your surroundings.
Keep abreast of weather
Weather conditions can change drastically, so not only should you have details about weather conditions before you set off, but you should use a reliable weather app while you are on your trek to keep up to date with conditions. Don’t underestimate how quickly things can change, and never fail to heed weather warnings.
Dressing appropriately usually means layers which you can add and remove with ease. Conditions can change drastically, and as you climb to higher altitudes, temperature can drop considerably. Don’t fail to be prepared.
Avoid the dark
Set off early on your trek to ensure you avoid nightfall. Don’t even cut it close, because you can always get delayed. Even the simplest of treks can become treacherous at night. Take a torch just in case, but smart trekkers stay well away from the dark.
Take medical provisions
No one expects to get injured or sick upon a trek, but it can happen to anybody. For that reason, think carefully about what you may need, including bandages, antiseptic cream, and heat blankets. It may seem like unnecessary weight in your pack, but they provisions are actually essential.
Always have the deepest respect for nature around you, and don’t be arrogant when it comes to giving nature the space it deserves. Diving headlong into unknown environments, approaching wild animals head on, and not giving due consideration to the heat of the sun and the unpredictability of nature are all the types of mistakes which have got trekkers into trouble before, and it will happen again. Be smart, and be respectful. Keep your distance.
Don’t be stubborn
Sometimes the fates align against you, and there is no other option that to turn around. No one likes giving up, but sometimes it is the only sensible choice to make. When the moment comes, don’t be pig-headed, you can always complete the trek another time.
Katrina Hatchett is a lifestyle blogger at Academic Brits with a particular interesting in the art of communication. She is a regular writing contributor at Origin Writings, as well as a blogger at PhD Kingdom.