Hiking safety tips

You are responsible for your own safety! Hiking areas have their own inherent risks and hikers assume complete responsibility for their own safety. Rescue is not a certainty!

  • Stay on designated roads and trails, or in permitted areas.
  • Hike with friends. It's more fun and you have someone to help you if you need it.
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary with a responsible person.
  • Allow for bad weather and the possibility you may be forced to spend a night outdoors unexpectedly.
  • Pace yourself!
  • Do your part by leaving the area better than you found it.
  • Learn about pests such as deer ticks and poison ivy.

What to bring... a hiking checklist:

What you take will depend on where you are going and how long you plan to be away, but any backpack should include the following:

  • Candle, firestarter, matches (waterproof or in sealed tin)
  • Cell phone
  • Clothing (always bring something warm, extra socks and rain gear)
  • First aid kit
  • Food (bring extra)
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Foil (to use as a cup or signaling device)
  • Hat
  • Insect repellent
  • Map/compass
  • Pocket knife
  • Pocket mirror (to use as a signaling device)
  • Prescription glasses (an extra pair)
  • Prescription medications for ongoing medical conditions
  • Radio with batteries
  • Space blanket or a piece of plastic (to use for warmth or shelter)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Trash bag (makes an adequate poncho)
  • Water
  • Water purification tablets
  • Whistle (to scare off animals or to use as a signaling device)