Hiking Safety Tips

We live in a world full of modern conveniences, and, while that certainly makes life easier, it has also made us lazier. Schedules can be busy, and it can be difficult to find time to make it to the gym. However, there is an activity you can enjoy doing while spending time with loved ones all while burning calories.

According to Statistics Canada, Canadians’ most popular leisure-time physical activity is walking with approximately 70 percent of adults reporting walking in their leisure time in the past three months. If you’re included in this majority, hiking could be a great way to have fun and get exercise. When you do go hiking, however, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind.

Bear Spray

Bear SprayBears are no stranger to this country. According to Born Free, there are three primary species to be aware of:

  • American black bear (named as such to differentiate from the Eurasian black bear)
  • Polar bear
  • Brown bear

While these animals don’t typically take much interest in humans, the fact remains that they are highly territorial, and a close encounter could result in tragic consequences. In order to ensure this doesn’t happen to you, consider carrying bear spray. It’s lightweight and can give you the time you need to seek safety with just a quick spritz. In order to stay safe while hiking, start your shopping now and find the best product to meet your needs.

Prepare for Inclement Weather

heavy rainsIf you plan to incorporate camping into your hiking trip, it’s important to be prepared for inclement weather. Despite increasing research and developments in the field of meteorology, Mother Nature can still throw a curveball.

There are some steps you can take to best ensure you’re prepared for weather including:

  • Scope out your campsite thoroughly upon arrival. This allows you to orient yourself under good weather conditions rather than scrambling for shelter in the middle of the night.
  • Have a vehicle close by in the event lightning occurs. This is the safest place to take refuge.
  • If a car is not an option, make sure not to remain in the tent when lightning is present as the metal poles can attract a direct strike. Instead, head out into the woods.
  • Pack extra clothes in case of cold temperatures.

Ticks

tickWith a growing number of serious diseases from parasites, it’s a good idea to take time to consider ticks. According to The Public Health Agency of Canada, there are known tick populations in parts of Ontario, B.C., Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec. In order to discourage them from using you and your group as hosts, you should:

  • Wear light clothing that covers as much skin as possible
  • Wear appropriate socks and footwear that covers the feet
  • Wear insect and tick repellent paying special attention to the following areas:
    • Groin
    • Armpits
    • Scalp

Fun the Entire Family Can Enjoy

While there are many potential potential dangers when hiking through the Canadian wilderness, there are measures you can take to best ensure you are able to avert issues along the way. Whether you’re planning a hiking trip soon or have simply had the thought cross your mind, these tips can help you stay safe, have fun, and get the exercise we all need.