When hiking, it is important to be prepared, as this will help to ensure that you stay safe. The U.S. has hundreds of thousands of incredible hikes with diverse landscapes including deserts, forests, mountains, and coastlines. The United States is also famous for its astonishing national parks and natural attractions.
The United States is generally a very safe place to hike. There are many easy to follow trails, good signage, and there are emergency services in place if something does go wrong.
Look out for signs instructing you where you can go and if there is anything you need to be aware of, such as deep water or dangerous animals. You can familiarise yourself with safety signs in the U.S. at my safety sign.
Travel with Someone or Take Extra Precautions
When hiking, the best thing to do is to do the hike with someone. That way, if you become injured or something goes wrong, you have someone who can help.
If you prefer to hike alone then choose a popular trail where people will be walking past at least occasionally. You should also tell someone where you are going – that way someone will come looking for you if they don’t hear from you.
Furthermore, many trails in America have ranger stations. Make an effort to pop in and say hello before you leave for your trek, and let them know that you will be traveling alone. Even if you are traveling with a friend, these are all still worth doing to stay safe.
Be Fit and Healthy
Before going on a hike, make sure it is suitable for your fitness level. You may want to train and eat healthily in the weeks or months leading up to the hike to make sure that you are prepared.
If you suffer from any medical conditions, you should speak to your doctor about your plans.
Practice Your Skills
Depending on the hike you are embarking on, you may need to obtain clean water, build a shelter or read a compass. If this is the case, then learn these skills and practice them first. Practice somewhere local to you or in your garden.
You may also want to practice hiking with your bag fully packed on a small hiking trail, to make sure you can carry the load over long distances. You can learn more about hiking skills here.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
Make sure you have a hat to protect you from the sun and thermal clothes to keep you warm. Weather can change during a hike, so be sure you are prepared for all possibilities. A good pair of hiking shoes is also key, and take the time to wear them in before your hike to avoid blisters.
Always be sure you have all the equipment you need and that it is in good, working condition. You should also know how to use any equipment, as well as knowing basic first aid. Again, you should practice this before a big hike. You can find out what else you need for a hike here.
I hope this helps you with your hiking planning.