Hiking safety tips

Hiker at Afton State Park

Be safe on the trail

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!

  • Know the hunting season and rules for the area you'll be hiking in. Wear bright colors when you are hiking in hunting season!
  • 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.
  • Looking to for something more from your hike? Join the Hiking Club!

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)

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