Friday, June 9, 2017

Five Safety Tips to Remember Before Your Next Backpacking Trip

Here is this Month's Outdoor Safety Article by Guest Blogger - Lee Flynn

Five Safety Tips to Remember Before Your Next Backpacking Trip 

Backpacking is a great way to get some serious exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and socialize with friends or relax on one's own. However, the ultra-popular recreational activity can also be rather dangerous—especially if a backpacker isn't adequately prepared for all the potential obstacles of the outdoors.

Luckily, some basic safety tips will protect even the most adventurous backpackers from outdoor dangers. Let's take a look at five must-remember safety tips for backpackers!

Inform Others of the Trip

First and foremost, backpackers should inform others of their trip before they leave—especially if they'll be backing alone and/or doing so for an extended period of time. The reasoning behind this safety tip is simple: an accident or medical crisis could easily be encountered when backpacking, and if a phone cannot be used (because it's out of reach, has no service, or for another reason), medical professionals will not be alerted by the individual(s) who require assistance.

Therefore, when a backpacker doesn't arrive home when they planned to (and they haven't recently spoken with anyone), the individuals who were informed of the trip beforehand can contact emergency services.

Pack Plenty of Water

On a normal day, medical professionals recommend that the average male drink 13 cups of water, and that the average female drink nine cups of water. Again, this is on a normal day—and a day (or multiple hours) filled with backpacking is far from normal! Between the heat and the strenuous nature of the activity, each backpacker should probably carry around five liters of water (other liquids aren't as effective at hydrating), to assure that they are adequately hydrated and will be able to use a reserve of water in case of an emergency.

Plus, this extra water can be given to other backpackers who didn't plan ahead, if the need arises!

Wear Sunscreen and/or Cover Skin

Backpacking—on clear and cloudy days alike—exposes individuals to the sun and potentially harmful ultraviolet rays. To avoid getting sunburnt, becoming dehydrated, and perhaps even suffering from long-term skin complications, backpackers should invest in some affordable and simple-to-use sunscreen and apply it to their skin. For additional protection, backpackers should consider wearing loose, long-sleeve shirts, shade-providing hats, and close-toed shoes.

Bring an E-Cig (for Vapers and Smokers)

This safety tip might seem a bit "out of place", but it truly isn't, and the following information more than explains why.

If vapers fail to bring their e-cigs along while backpacking, and smokers fail to bring their cigarettes, both groups will likely endure some sort of nicotine withdrawal, depending upon how often they typically vape or smoke. Either way, the symptoms of this withdrawal include, but aren't limited to, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and even nausea. These symptoms may in turn affect backpackers' judgement and mental clarity, leading them to dangerous and even life-threatening situations. Make sure that you not only bring an e-cig but also extra vape batteries.

Don't Overexert or Become Exhausted

Finally, backpackers—particularly those who're new to the activity—shouldn't overexert themselves by moving too far, pushing too hard, or simply becoming exhausted. Moreover, it's imperative that backpackers remember to allot enough energy for the trip back to their vehicle or other transportation.

Becoming too fatigued when backpacking can lead to serious danger and medical emergencies, and therefore, it's important for every backpacker to take it easy, always conserve extra energy, and save at least some must-see sites for another day. Getting a good night's sleep prior to backpacking and consuming healthy foods will also help backpackers energy-wise.

These tips are sure to help backpackers be safe and have an excellent time exploring the outdoors. Thanks for reading and good luck!

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