Safe hiking holidays
HIKING is a terrific way to explore the country, to see wildlife and plants, and to keep fit too. Take the kids on walks with paths that lead to known attractions or go awandering in a National Park with a guide for a true adventure. Before you go though, check out these tips so your trek is a safe one.
Don’t go alone
Getting away from it all is great but if you fall and twist an ankle, having a friend with you can make the difference between calling out emergency services and making it back under your own steam. Play it safe and take a buddy along.
Stay in touch
If you twist your ankle just a kilometre away from the road, you may not be able to get back. And if you take a wrong turn, finding you in the wilderness takes a platoon of volunteers.
So carry a fully charged phone and use a GPS when you’re going off-road.
Hiking is quite intense so if you haven’t exercised since school, start with short walks – two or three hours – and gradually increase the effort needed to complete your jaunts.
Doing too much too quickly means you’ll be too tired to enjoy yourself – and it will mean aches and pains the next day.
Use a map
All right: if you’re walking up a known hiking trail and back down again, you probably don’t need a map.
But for everything else, it is safer to know what area you’re in, just in case you need to take a shortcut, take shelter or call for help.
So, get a map out before you go, and shove it in your pocket for the trip.
Know where to find water
You can do without food for a few days if you have to but you can’t do without water. For short hikes, carry drinking water.
For longer hikes with overnights, plan for drinking water by stopping at a campsite or by investing in disinfectant tablets or a filtration device from a quality outdoors shop.
Take out everything you need to take with you and put them on the bed.
Sort light things to one side, heavy things to the other. Put in some plastic bags.
Maximise your space
If you’re short on space, stuff your socks, bras and undies into your shoes.
Lay a base
Open your suitcase, lay it open and layer the bottom with all your heavy items: shoes (neatly wrapped in plastic bags), electric razor, hairdryer, and others.
As you can’t take anything on board a plane anymore, you have to pack your toiletries and that means potential spillage.
To protect your clothes, doublewrap your toiletries bag in a shopping bag.
Lay in the centre of your case, on top of the base.
This way, it will be cushioned if your case should be thrown about during passage.