Follow me on Twitter

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hiking Safety

After the recent murder of park ranger Margaret Anderson, in Mount Ranier National Park, I wanted to re-post my hiking safety tips.  Ladies especially, please don't go hiking alone.  I know it is often hard to find a hiking partner.  I have wanted to go on many hikes but was unable to because I didn't feel safe going alone.  I know it's not fair, but safety should be your #1 priority.

I recently found this really cool pepper spray holder on a couple of running blogs I follow and I think it would work well for hiking too.  You wear it on your hand and it is readily accessible in an emergency.  Go here to check it out!  I am going to buy the purple one:)

Before I go on a hike I make sure to:

1.  Have a hiking partner.  Going hiking with a partner or group is my #1 safety precaution.

2. Check trail reports to make sure the trail is accessible and to get an idea of what the the trail route is like.

3.  Check my pack to make sure it is complete. Go here to see what I bring in my pack.

4.  Give someone my itinerary.  Go here for more information.

5.  Make sure my gas tank is full.  You don't want to run out of gas 20 miles from a gas station.

6.  Know how to get to my destination. 

7.  Make sure my phone is charged in case of emergency on the trail.

8.  Have my photo ID, insurance card, road id on hand.

9.  Once I get to my destination I fill out the log book at the trailhead so if I were to get lost, the park ranger would know I was still out there.

10.  Especially when hiking with children, don't lose sight of your hiking partners.  My kids know that they must be in my view at all times and they have to be able to see me as well.  They can go up ahead as long as they are still in my sight.

I hope these tips will ensure you have a safe and fun hiking experience.  Happy Hiking!


  1. I am new to your blog. I love hiking and backpacking. Last year I completed, mostly solo, John Muir Trail, a 220mile long trek in the Sierras. Many of my hikes are solo and I do not consider being in nature more dangerous than being in a city. Having said that, I agree that it is important to be wise about one's excursions. There is one piece of equipment I would advise solo hikers to have since most remote areas will not have good cell coverage. A personal beacon locator gave me a piece of mind that should something happen to me, I would be able to summon help. The one I chose was SPOT. I did not have any emergencies but it was fun to use it to send my location coordinates to my family and friends.
    Good post. Guess what, I will be following you.

  2. There are times when I'd like to do a hike by myself too, but I do not feel comfortable at all. The murder of the Rainier Ranger, the 2 ladies that were murdered on Pilchuck a few years ago, etc. makes me very wary of hiking alone (even on a hike like Meadowdale). I've only had 1 experience where I was uneasy hiking. It was our Barlow Point hike, my husband and kids were with me at the time. We passed a guy on the trail as we were headed up and he was headed down. He kept staring at me. I got a really creepy vibe from him.

  3. such great tips I think people think it will never happen to them...thanks for reposting.
    maria @closetohome