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The 10 commandments for safe hiking

To take full advantage of your mountain treks we suggest some safety reminders before and during your hike. Don't forget to tell a friend before you leave prepare your first aid kit, make your vaccinations up to date and protect your skin from little creatures. Nothing will stop you from going on the adventure!

 

# 1 Monitor the weather

Even if the most intrepid hikers go out in all or almost all time, know how to postpone an outing if the weather does not seem mild enough. If your route requires very good visibility or is likely to be slippery and dangerous under a very heavy rain, choose to review your plans. Be even more vigilant if you hike with children not only for their safety but also for their morale.

We advise you to check the weather the day before but also to evaluate the situation the same morning. Check out local weather forecasts and compare several sources if necessary.

The most intuitive solution is to have a weather forecast app that can notify you of any sudden change in the weather. If by bad luck you caught in a storm, find out the good reflexes to adopt in our article here.

 

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#2 Inform your relatives about your itinerary and estimated return time

You may no longer inform your parents or relatives of your outings since becoming an adult. However, it may be of great help to do especially when hiking. Whether you are hiking alone or in a group, you are not immune to an unexpected situation, an accident, or you may lose your battery charge or network on your phone. This is of course a worst-case scenario. Don't think that this only happens to others.

Remember to notify a relative, family member or friend of your itinerary and your estimated time of arrival. This will allow them to be on alert if you have not yet returned two hours after your scheduled time and they may consequently notify rescuers if necessary. This will facilitate the work of the rescuers who will be notified in time and will find you more easily.

Make it a routine whether you're leaving for a few hours or all day long.

 

#3 Respect your pace and that of other hikers in your group

Although hiking is an accessible sport, it is still a sport that requires more energy. Pace accordingly and follow the rhythm of your body. To learn how to manage your pace, read our article here. This will prevent you from straining and stunning that usually follows as a butt on a root or slip. The Quechua shoes by CrossContact technology offer a good grip on varied grounds.

 

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# 4 Take acrophobia seriously

The fear of heights is quite common. It is estimated that acrophobia affects 2% to 5% of the population. Even if you do not plan to climb very steep hills, you are in risk of finding, at some point in your journey, a bridge to cross or a narrow passage along a very steep hill. If your level of acrophobia is high, prepare your itinerary accordingly.
If you hike in a group, share your phobia with other members of your group so that they may encourage and support you if necessary. This is especially important so that they do not put you in a situation that could increase the irrational fear. There are ways to fight vertigo and even to defeat it. Learn here how to tame your fear of heights.

 

# 5 Stay focused until the end of the walk

Just as a lot of road accidents happen on small known paths, it is at the end of the walk when you approach your goal or when the ground seems easier that accidents occur. Indeed, fatigue can make you less attentive. Stay focused from the beginning to the end of your walk. Think about taking breaks and properly hydrating yourself and taking meals in order to recharge your batteries during your hike.
Use walking sticks to minimize your fatigue and to make your feet safer. Find out why it is important to use walking sticks in our article here.

 

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# 6 Always have a water and food flask at hand

Whether youhave a water flask or pouch, do not wait until you are thirsty to drink! Even if the hike does not necessarily make you sweat as much as a running session, do not forget that an adult loses on average 2.5 liters of water per day. This water will have to be renewed to allow your muscles and your whole body to work at its best.
It is therefore, essential to leave with enough water for the whole duration of the walk (at least 1 liter per person, ideally 2 liters/person).
Finally, remember to drink enough before, during and after your hike to recover better. Read this article to know the signs of dehydration and to learn more about the right way to hydrate yourself during a hike.

Do not hesitate to take snacks with you. Choose dry foods that will have a better weight/energy ratio. We advise you to take cereal bars or dry fruits rather than an apple that will take up space and will weigh heavily in your bag.

 

# 7 Protect yourself from insects

The mountain is an environment inhabited by large and small animals. Insects that may barely be visible may cause many inconveniences. Prevention is better!

Bees and Wasps : in fine weather, they come close to you if you have sweet snacks or sandwiches. The best thing is to remain alert while eating. In case of a sting on your body, you must act promptly and remove the residual sting without crushing the insect to avoid the risk of injecting more venom. After that clean the area and apply a soothing ointment if necessary. This treatment is also particularly useful against the burning of stinging plants.

Mosquitoes : they emerge in the evening and are found mainly from 600 to 2,200 m approximately. Preparing for an evening without fidgeting? Put bug spray can into your first aid kit before leaving. At the time you go to bed, we recommend one thing: zip the mosquito net in your tent!

Flies : You may find these sucking insects near the alpine pastures and around rivers. Have they bitten you? Do not delay and be sure to disinfect (without pressing) the area before applying an anti-inflammatory cream that soothes the pain.

Ticks : they are carriers of Lyme disease they inhabit some forest regions, in tall grass and fern areas. Prevention method: wear long and light color pants. You may immediately spot a tick that begins climb on your leg. In case of bite, remove the part planted under the skin with a tick tweezer. If fever occurs, a visit to the doctor is required upon your return.

 

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# 8 Dress to be seen

You may have followed the three layer techniques when dressing. But have you considered choosing visible clothes? Indeed, as seen above, the weather can change quickly and you may be no longer visible in the rain. You may run the risk of being bumped into by a rider or a mountain biker. Choose bright color clothing or provided with reflective straps. If the weather is bad or you walk towards sunset or sunrise, carry a headlamp.

 

# 9 Always have a first aid kit in your bag

Make sure that in all your hikes, even those lasting few hours, that you always have the kit in your backpack. Not only having the kit but also regularly checked to ensure that its content is up-to-date and ready for use. Look for our article on the first aid kit to be sure that you don't forget anything in our printable checklist.

 

#10 Respect the "Leave no trace" philosophy

Pathways are your best allies. A well-marked and maintained path will guarantee a better security. That is why it is essential to respect the environment. Think also about managing your trash!

 

Do not forget: Keep your vaccines up to date

Not only for your sports but also in your daily life, it is important to have your immunization schedule updated, especially for tetanus.
 .Indeed, this disease can be contracted through a soiled wound or in by coming into contact with animal droppings: conditions often encountered during hiking adventures. As a reminder, a booster DTP polio is expected at the age of 25, 45 and then every ten years after the age of 65. If you go abroad, it is necessary to consult the health recommendations of every specific country.

Our advice: this precaution is to be done a long time in advance, because vaccine injections often take several weeks.

 

You are now more informed and prepared for hiking on any ground in the vicinity whether large and small.

And for a joyful hiking with the family during the beautiful days, check how to protect children from the harmful effects of the sun!

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