Rules for Trail & Trekking Safety
Trail/trekking is a physical activity involving some form of walking: walking, hiking or running on a variety of natural terrains and vegetation systems - mountains, hills, islands or plains on marked paths, exclusively done with the help of maps, compasses, regulated mandatory personal equipment, food and water and without the help of motorised or other means of transport - apart from your own legs.
1. Play it smart.
2. Know exactly where you are going. It’s okay to improvise as you hike, but make sure you have a map or guidebook to help you find your way back. A compass is also a good tool to bring along. Pay attention to natural landmarks around you as you walk past them, so you can recognize them if you need help finding your way. A day before the actual hike, watch the weather report. If heavy showers or other inclement weather is in the forecast, you may need to reschedule your hiking trip.
3. Bring plenty of water along (more than you think you will need). If you’re hiking for longer than a day, buying a purification system may make more sense so you don’t have to carry extra weight in your backpack. Never drink untreated water.
4. Dress appropriately. This may not sound like a safety rule, but it will actually keep you safe and healthy if you do it right. Make sure you have rain gear and are dressed in layers, so you can adjust to the surrounding temperatures as they change. Wearing the right hiking shoes will keep your feet from developing blisters and getting injured. Low shoes, for example, can increase your chances for a twisted ankle or lower leg injury.
5. Don’t overexert yourself. If you need a break, take it. If the hike becomes more than you can handle, turn back. If you feel sick, exhausted, or suspect an injury, take measures to address the issue and return to base if you have to.
6. Leave local plants and animals alone. Don’t eat berries or leaves you find, even if they look familiar. Making loud noises or wandering away from the marked trails can put you into direct contact with snakes and other dangerous animals, so avoid it when possible. Don’t approach or attempt to feed wild animals.
7. Bring a first-aid kit along. Learn how to treat basic injuries and how to prevent dehydration and heat stroke or hypothermia.
8. Leave everything as you found it. For example, disturbing rocks could cause a rockslide while leaving trash behind may entice wild animals to approach the trail, increasing the dangers for those coming behind you.
9. Know where to get help. Most hiking trails have exit points that allow you to take a side path and reach a main road or a wilderness stop. Knowing where those side roads are can make a world of difference if you are seriously injured and alone.
10. Always stick to marked trails and avoid shortcutting - walking off trail can cause erosion
The basic safety rules described above are not the only ones, in a word – caution! Be kind to yourself and to others and you will have great time. We wish you a pleasant walk, hike or run!