Hiking Safety Tips – Hiking Solo Part 2
6. Check out the map and be very aware of the route and terrain you are going to be trekking. This is about more than just knowing how to get from point A to point B. It is about knowing and recognizing where and when you are going to be coming upon the more difficult sections, where water is at, where the terrain is steep, where you can move fast and where you can move slow etc…Becoming intimately acquainted with your route and terrain helps you to make better decisions while you are moving along the trail but also if you happen to get into a sticky situation.
7. Know the wildlife that is out there. On the OHT I am very aware of black bears and I handle my food and camping gear accordingly. In Missouri I am aware of mountain lions. Raccoons of course are everywhere and these masked bandits will shred your gear if you leave it out and that means leaving you without water storage or other supplies you might need. If you run into a bear or a mountain lion it is a good idea to know what to do before you meet.
8. Duct tape. This sounds like a joke but I’m being serious. Include some neon orange duct tape in your back pack. It is an item that can be used for just about anything including repair and numerous first aid items. Plus, the neon orange can work as a great marker in the event you get lost and need to draw attention from overhead search and rescue. During hunting season put some of the orange duct tape on your gear if you are not already wearing orange.
9. Use your hiking stick to make noise. This is just as simple as pounding it harder on the ground as you walk alone. This is going to alert animals, snakes, and others on the trail ahead that you are going.
10. Last tip, use your daylight wisely. No matter what time of the year you are hiking, an early start gives you more flexibility throughout the day. The sun is not going to hold up for you. Start early and avoid getting stuck too far from your destination when the darkness sets in.