Looking for hiking safety tips to prevent injury? Hiking is a fun way to enjoy nature, stay fit, and enjoy time with friends and family, so hiking safely is important to allow you to keep enjoying all these things.
Preventing injury on the trail starts with some basic preparation, the proper gear, and knowing your skill level. If you are just getting started hiking, don’t be afraid to start out slowly and work your way up to bigger trails, mountains, and hikes. Doing too much too soon is a surefire way of losing your interest in this outdoor activity.
Follow these hiking safety tips to prevent injury:
Wear layers. You might start out cool or cold, but will warm up as you progress down the trail. Wear layers that you can peel away as you warm up to help you prevent overheating and stay comfortable. Also avoid wearing cotton material as it holds moisture. Find material that wicks sweat away from your skin, whether it is in your shirt, pants, and/or socks.
Also, get proper shoes that offer grip on the trail and ankle support for climbing over rocky terrain. Carry a water pack or anything else that you need to stay hydrated. Also bring a first aid kit, and know what to do in case of an emergency.
If you are undertaking some of the most challenging hikes in the area, you will most definitely want to rest. Feel no shame in doing so, some of the most beautiful views will be alongside the trail when taking a break, so sit down and enjoy the view.
Know the terrain and the trail you are going on. Don’t take on mountains that are too high or where you can get easily lost. Don’t start out on the toughest hikes, take it easy and work your way up to the bigger trails that you really want to go on.
Common injuries are sprained or twisted ankles or knee injuries. Be sure to warm up before your hike and cool down afterward. Stretch out your feet and ankles, calf muscles, hamstrings, obliques, and back.
[Related article: 3 Stretches For Avid Hikers]
You’ll be sure to encounter other hikers during your hike. Wearing a mask is the best way to protect against the possibility of spreading COVID-19. When you encounter another hiker, put your mask on as a sign of respect and protection. You’ll have plenty of time to be mask free when you’re alone or in your close group. Stay safe!
If you are looking for more hiking safety tips to prevent injury in the form of learning how to properly stretch and exercise, or if you have suffered a hiking injury, contact us at 1-833-861-6161 to find an Empower Physical Therapy location near you.
Your Empower physical therapist will work closely with you, one-on-one, to develop a specialized treatment plan that is specific to you and you alone.