Staying safe when hiking in the spring - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Monday, 05 March 2018

Staying safe when hiking in the spring

#AskRobertGabor

The province of Ontario offers residents and visitors an endless variety of scenic trails to hike and explore. Springtime offers a much-needed change from the cold and snowy winter weather and what better way to take advantage of it than by hiking through the countryside. Hiking in the springtime presents challenges, so here are a few tips and precautions to keep in mind for a safe hiking experience.

Check the weather forecast

Spring weather can change abruptly from warm, dry and sunny to cold, wet and blustery conditions during the course of the day. The clothing you wear when you set out on your hike in the morning could be totally inappropriate for the weather conditions you encounter by late afternoon.

Wearing layers of clothing is an excellent method for ensuring you remain comfortable and protected no matter what weather conditions you might encounter. As temperatures change, you can remove or add layers of clothing as needed. It is also a good idea to wear or pack rain gear even if it is bright and sunny at the start of your hike.

Be realistic about your physical limitations

If the most activity you got during the winter months was the walk from your house to your car, a 30 km hike is probably not a good idea for your first springtime adventure. Even shorter distances can be a challenge after months of limited physical activity if the trail you select is hilly or takes you over extremely rough terrain. Know you limitations and plan your route with them in mind.

 It is also a good idea to give some thought to the footwear you choose for your first few hikes. The new pair of hiking shoes or boots you received as a Christmas gift might not be the best choice for your first hike of the season unless you took the time to wear them to make certain they will not cause blisters or other problems on a hike.

Planning and preparation for your hike

Bring enough water and food to last for however long you plan to be on the trail. Bring a method of purifying water from lakes, streams and rivers if they are going to be your source of drinking water.

Other items to pack for your hike include:

  • Sunscreen
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Knife
  • Flashlight
  • Matches or other fire-starting device
  • Map
  • First aid kit with insect repellent

Depending upon where you are hiking, you might be out of range to receive a cellphone signal, but you should make certain to take your phone with you and check to make sure its battery is fully charged.

It is always safer to hike with other people, but whether setting out on your own or with partners, let someone else know where you are going, the time you are leaving and the time you expect to return. This ensures that someone will alert rescuers in the event you or your party does not return as planned.

If you happen to become lost and cannot call for help, do not wander around. Find an open area and remain there until help arrives. A good way to avoid getting lost on a hike is to remain on marked trails whenever possible. If you get lost, it is easier to retrace your steps on a marked trail then it is when there are no trail markings to use as reference points.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have many years of experience successfully handling compensation claims for people injured through the negligence of other parties. Call their 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit their website to speak to someone now. They offerfree consultations and case evaluations to injured victims throughout Ontario.

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