When you are going on a outdoor backpack trip all you can think off is how great and relaxing it will be. And so it should be, when you take a little time to prepare yourself for the trip when it comes to safety. Many accidents happen to outdoor enthusiasts that didn’t prepare for the trip in the wild.
There are many things you can do up front to make your adventure as save as possible but in this article we will talk about 5 of the most important things you can do to increase your safety when going on a outdoor backpack adventure.
1. Make a Plan, Know Your Environment
When you know what kind of area you will hike in, take the time to learn more about that area. Things you can look up are: local wildlife you should avoid, weather conditions, detailed map of the area. Try to contact the local ranger and ask them if there is anything else you should be aware of when you hike in the area. When you know all this, packing your backpack will also be more adjusted to the area.
2. Water and Food
It may sound silly, but think about how much water and food you are going to need for your trip, if you run short…well we all know where that ends.
A common question is how much water you should carry along, because water also brings more weight. A common rule here is that you should drink about one gallon(4 liters) a day in a hot environment. You can also choose to drink from the rivers/streams that you encounter to spare water, but never drink this before you boiled it or treated it with iodine tablets and filters.
Drinking water that was not purified can result in sickness, so bad that you are unable to continue the hike. Also, you can have a hydration pack on a hiking tour – it has a water reservoir which is space-saving as compared to having 2-3 bottles in your arsenal.
Food is also an important thing you should think about. Try to pack some high energy foods, salty snacks and complete meals along. Both food and water keep you energized and make sure your body stays fit to complete the hike. A good tip here is to pack your food items in a sealed bag or container. Local wild life may smell your food and come in for a closer investigation, resulting in injury or worse and loss of food.
3. Think About Your Fire Source
When you go on a outdoor backpack trip, never forget to bring something along that allows you to start a fire. Whether it is for heating, cooking or just a warm cozy fireplace at night think about it. You can ask the local ranger about the regulations in your hiking area regarding fireplaces. They can also advice you what kind of wood will give you the best fires if you don’t know this and if there are any existing fire places in the area.
When you choose to bring matches, make sure you pack them waterproof or you wont have a fire at all. Some areas are known to get very cold during the night even though they are hot during daytime.
4. First Aid Kit and Knowledge
Always bring along a first aid kit and if necessary update it with special items used for outdoor injuries. With this first aid kit also bring along a cell phone.
When first aid is not sufficient you may need outside help. Again, you can ask the local ranger if there are special measures you should take in the area of first aid or any encountered emergencies. It’s also life saving to know what to do with the first aid kid, so take lessons and bring your first aid knowledge up to date.
If you are going to hike as a group, there should be more then one person that knows first aid. If this person gets injured now one will know what to do.
5. Never Go on a Hike Alone
Going on a outdoor backpack adventure all by yourself is never a good plan. If you get lost, or injured it is much harder to get back than in the safety of a group. And even if you carry a cell phone rescuers may not get to you in time, if you hike in a group others can start immediately with first aid care or guide rescuers to the spot.
Even when you hike in a group, let the homefront know where you are going and which route you are planning to take and when you think you will be back. Also inform the local ranger of these things.
These are just a few tips to make your outdoor backpack adventure a little more safe so it can be a lot of fun in stead of a disaster. If you have any additional tips please don’t hesitate to suggest us.