Enjoying the great outdoors is a wonderful way to stay healthy, get active, and enjoy peace of mind. Spending time outside has been proven to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. However, it’s essential to take measures to stay safe and healthy as a health issue when hiking or exploring outside can often be a lot more challenging to resolve. Read on for some useful suggestions on how you can stay safe while enjoying the open air.
Plan & Check Your Route Ahead Of Time
Whether you’re planning a short hike or a longer excursion, planning your route ahead of time is essential before heading out. Not only will this help you feel confident about enjoying your time outside, but you can also check you have sufficient safety measures in place.
There are plenty of apps available to help with route planning that can help you check factors such as amenities close by, the length, elevation, and difficulty of the route, and other practical considerations such as parking availability or public transport connections to get there safely. Alongside technological solutions, it’s also worthwhile to learn to map read and keep a physical map and compass with you, especially if you are planning to head into an area with little or no reception.
Pack All The Essentials
While you don’t want to overload yourself with an excess of items in your pack, it’s always a good idea to pack plenty of basic essentials to keep you covered in any eventuality while hiking or walking outside. Having plenty of food and drink is a must, particularly on warmer days when there may be a risk of getting dehydrated. During cooler weather, having an emergency blanket in your car can be extremely helpful during a breakdown or emergency.
You should also ensure you have a complete first aid kit with you at all times, ideally in an accessible place that your whole group is aware of. While major emergencies, such as falls, will usually require professional help where you might need to rely on equipment such as Rapid Rescue basket lifters, having basic medical supplies, such as painkillers, antihistamines, bandages, and gauze can make a huge difference for minor issues such as sprains and strains.
Pay Attention To The Signs
Most outdoor spaces will have plenty of public information to help people navigate and enjoy the area safely. You’ll find details about the area, weather information, and local hazard reports both online and on the ground. It’s crucial to pay close attention to these and not make the mistake of ignoring them or thinking they do not apply to you, as there will often be important, time-sensitive information there that can prevent you from making a dangerous mistake.
If you’re unsure about anything when heading out, you can also ask local rangers or staff on site. They will often be the most well-informed about potential issues, such as closed routes or dangerous trails, and can redirect you to a safer alternative.