Thursday, August 17, 2017

Six Hiking Safety Tips You'll Be Glad You Learned Today

Outdoor recreation has never been more popular, and the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa is just minutes away from some of the best hiking areas in the region.  The Catskill and Shawangunk Mountains each have a special allure for hikers from all over the Northeast, and tens of thousands of people travel to the area each year for a chance to explore the outdoors.

Part of the adventure of hiking in the wilderness is the novelty of leaving civilization behind.  Escaping the relative safety, convenience and predictability of our modern world can be exhilarating, but it can also present a few risks for the unprepared.

These Six Hiking Safety Tips can get you into the woods for a great day on the trail- and help you safely return to civilization at the end of the day.


1. Carry a compass and a map, and learn how to use them.  Don’t rely on a GPS or other electronic device for navigation- you can’t charge your smartphone on the trail! Topographical maps of the Shawangunks and Catskills can be purchased from the NY / NJ Trail conference and are well worth the price- some people planning a simple day trip have gotten lost in the woods by hiking just a few minutes away from the road!  Practice with the compass near home, and make sure that it’s in good working order before you head out on the trail.

2. Come prepared!  Bring the proper clothing, necessary safety equipment and a first-aid kit.  Dress in layers so you can adapt your clothing to changing weather conditions. Never underestimated the time needed for the trip, and be prepared for the possibility of the hike taking longer than expected.  Check the weather forecast before heading out, and try to account for any scenario.

3. Take care of your feet while on the trail!  You’ll have a hard time hiking out safely if your feet are cramped and covered in blisters.  While regular fitness training will keep your feet in top shape for the trail, you should rest them frequently while hiking.  Wear sturdy boots and bring extra socks in case you get wet- remember: you can’t call a cab in the woods so you’ll have to be able to rely on your own two feet.

4. Always carry matches and learn how to properly build a fire. If something goes wrong in the wilderness, a fire really can save your life.  People rarely die from starvation in the woods, but they do from exposure. Keep yourself warm and dry when hiking, carry matches, and learn proper fire safety.

5. Let people know where you are going.  If you experience any problems on the trail, it's best if someone knows your plans. Sign in and out of trail-head registers, and always leave an itinerary behind with someone you trust.  It doesn’t hurt to carry a phone, but don’t rely on it!  Fully charge your battery before you head out, but be aware that you may find yourself miles from the nearest cell-tower.

6. Learn some basic survival skills.  Knowing how to get by in the wilderness doesn’t only make hiking more safe, it makes it more interesting!  Try to spot common edible and medicinal plants along the trail and notice possible shelter sites as you hike- it's a fun way to keep prepared for emergencies.

Hiking in the Hudson Valley can be a richly rewarding experience, and with just a few precautions and a little knowledge you can explore the outdoors like a pro.  Reading tips like these can help, but it’s up to you to put them into practice!

If you’re planning a hiking trip to the Hudson Valley, check out the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa.  Perfectly situated in the heart of the Shawangunk Mountains and just minutes away from the Catskills- you’ll love returning to resort accommodations after a long day on the trail!

So go ahead, get out of the city and and explore the outdoors- call 845-626-8888 today, and we'll help make the most of your stay. 

1 comment:

  1. Hats off to your presence of mind. I really enjoyed reading your blog. I really appreciate your information which you shared with us.

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