Staying safe on your walking holiday
Everybody who has been on a hiking holiday knows just how eye-opening and adventurous it can be. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner who’s just about to set off on their first hike, knowing how to stay safe is important. In this article we’ve collected a few simple tips for you to stay safe and get the most out of your hikes.
If you’re an EU resident and you’re going hiking in Europe, then it’s a good idea to make sure you’ve done your EHIC card renewal. With a current EHIC card, should you get any injury or get ill, you can receive the same healthcare in the country as a local would.
The Proper Equipment
Having the right equipment suited for your hike can really improve your experience and help you stay safe. For example, proper hiking boots can help to secure your feet and ankles, as well as make your hike more comfortable. Here’s a list of useful items to bring along:
- Footwear: You’re going to need plenty of grip and support on a hike. Some environments such as mountains and cliffs may require specific footwear. If you’re going on a walking holiday, it’s best to check this beforehand with the holiday provider.
- Walking poles: Depending on where you’re going, a set of walking-poles might help you balance and support yourself.
- A good backpack: On most hiking holidays you return to your accommodation at the end of the day, so a daypack is usually sufficient. Make sure it can hold things like your layers of clothing (you might want to take something off or put something extra on, depending on the weather), food and drink, a phone and camera, and any emergency items you decide to carry. A backpack capacity of twenty to thirty liters is typically a good.
- Maps: you’ll thank yourself should you get lost.
- A simple compass: useful should you need to find your way in poor visibility. Many phones can have a compass or even GPS built in, but they may run out of battery, so always good to carry the real thing as well.
- A torch: because you might decide to stay out longer than planned to enjoy all the scenery, and hike the last bit in dusk.
- A simple first aid kit: most outdoor suppliers carry these and can advise you on what you need.
Whether you’re heading out for a longer hike or just a short ramble in the countryside, making sure you have the right gear is the best first step you can take.
Knowing The Area
A mistake that even experienced hikers sometimes make is being unaware of potential risks they may face on the way. Whether that happens to be a particularly difficult part of the trail, to not having anywhere to stop off for water, there are various natural dangers that you may want to consider.
Knowing the location you’re visiting is a big help. And informing a family member or friend about where you’re going and the route that you are taking is also a good idea. For long distance hiking there are some additional things you may want to consider, such as making sure you have access to plenty of water (to prevent dehydration), bringing extra food, your level of fitness, sudden weather changes and more. Being prepared on any hike is the best way to stay safe.
Preparing for a hiking trip is the most important step to staying safe, but when you’re out on the hike there are various preventative measures you can take too. For example, checking the weather forecast just before you head out, telling someone where you’re going and when you plan to be back, and remaining on marked trails rather than heading into unmarked territory can help to reduce any chances of getting lost.
Finally, trust your instincts and common sense. They’re often the best way to stay safe on any hike and make it as enjoyable as possible.
We hope you enjoyed these tips. If you have any to add of your own, we’d welcome your comments below. Thank you for reading and stay safe!