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Safe Hiking


           Monica Palmer, RSRC Safety Administrator

Safe Hiking

Fall has long been my favorite season for hiking.  Sunny days without the heat of summer and colorful foliage add to the joy of being outside on a mountain trail.  However, be aware that the days keep getting shorter.  Before starting, know what time the sun is going to set.  Check your watch when you hit the trail, so that you know when to turn back in time to reach your car before dark.  This is even more important if you are not familiar with that trail.  Always carry a flashlight, even on a day hike, because an injury or losing your way can delay your return to your car.  If you become lost, you could be out overnight, so be sure to carry a jacket, snacks, and extra water in your backpack.

Here are some quick tips to help you be safe while hiking:

  • Carry a light on every hike, even short, day hikes.
  • Carry and drink plenty of water (a minimum of 1 quart every 2 hours).
  • Wear sturdy footwear with good traction.
  • Minor/moderate health or medical issues can be easily exacerbated by hiking up the steep Valley trails—know your limits and pay attention to how you are feeling.
  • Stay on the established trail.
  • When hiking in a group, each member of the group should carry some water and food in case the party becomes separated, and the group should plan for where to meet up (at the vehicle, at the trailhead, etc.) if the members become separated.
  • Stay away from rapid waters and slippery slopes.
  • Avoid hiking alone.


Have a plan
Inform someone of where you are going and
when you plan to return

Keep a flashlight and whistle with you
Eat well, stay hydrated: carry plenty of water

Stay on the trail
Ask for HELP!
Familiarize yourself with the area, use a map
Expect changes in the weather

Courtesy of Yosemite National Park