Hiking Safety Precautions | YourBigSky.com

Three deaths occurred in Glacier National Park on Sunday and Monday. According to the two statements, two experienced climbers who were missing were found on Sunday and pronounced dead. A 79-year-old man also died on Monday after climbing a steep off-road grade with friends.

In light of these unfortunate events at Glacier National Park this week, here are some National Park Service hiking safety tips to know when out on the trails.

Make a travel plan detailing where you’re hiking, who’s with you, how long you plan to be there, and your personal contact information. Give all of this information to a close family member or friend who isn’t leaving so they know where you are if something happens. Having a travel plan can also help search and rescue efforts in an emergency.

Check the weather condition of the area in which you are hiking. If conditions look good, don’t go. If you encounter extreme weather conditions on your hike, be prepared to seek shelter. Have a backup plan if the weather conditions aren’t safe. Making an emergency plan is also a good idea, so you know what to do if someone you’re hiking with gets lost or injured.

It is also essential to plan your hike: find out where you are hiking and whether you are hiking with a guide or if you are hiking alone. If you are hiking with other people, find out about their hiking abilities before you hit the trails. If you’re hiking alone, take extra precautions to stay safe and know your limits. It is also safer to walk with others rather than alone.

Another helpful tip is to have a way to communicate. Cell phones don’t always have reception while hiking, and the battery can drain quickly if you’re trying to find a signal. Consider taking the locator beacon if you need to call for help in an emergency. If you are hiking with someone or in a group, put the slowest hiker in front to make sure someone is behind them if they get lost or injured.

If you plan to hike or climb at higher elevations, give yourself time to acclimatize. Altitudes over 8,000 feet can expose a person to altitude sickness, which can be fatal in some cases. Do not continue to climb if you feel sick; always go up gradually. Measure the time and distance of your hike to know exactly when you started and finished.

Take breaks often and pay attention to how your body is feeling. Drink plenty of water and eat healthy snacks that give you energy, such as granola bars, trail mixes and nuts. Watch your steps when hiking, especially around slippery areas or near cliffs.

Be aware of wildlife on your hike; find out what to do if you encounter larger animals. Take your time when on the trails and take in all the great views.


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Susan W. Lloyd