GRAND VALLEY TRAILS ASSOCIATION

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Hiking safely

Knowing how to hike safely will make your hikes more enjoyable by preparing you for the unforeseen.


General safety tips

Illness or accidents are always possible when hiking. The following tips and precautions may prevent discomfort and greatly enhance your hiking experience:

  • Do not hike alone.
  • Drink water only from sources known to be safe and do not drink untreated surface water.
  • Leave word of your route and expected time of your return.
  • On summer hikes, carry lots of water, wear a hat and use protection against the sun and insects.
  • On cold-weather hikes, dress in layers suitable for the weather. Minimize the danger of hypothermia by putting on rain gear or additional clothing.
  • Avoid blisters by wearing proper-fitting, study hiking boots. Apply moleskin right away if you feel a sore spot.
  • If you lose the blazes, retrace your steps to the last blaze and start again.
  • Carry a first aid kit, guidebook, map, compass, whistle, trail snack, drink and cell phone.

Hiking gear

Selecting hiking footwear, clothing, backpack, poles are individual choices based on a number of factors: the type of hiking you are planning to do, your budget, your personal preference and individual fit and size. Having the right gear can make a huge difference in your enjoyment of the hike. The association does not endorse a specific brand or manufacturer, however, we do suggest that hikers do their research to ensure their comfort and safety.  Specialty stores often provide expert advice. As well, many online resources offer sound and valuable advice.