More Safety Tips for Planning a Multi-Day Hike

May 20, 2022

multi-day hike

As they say, no one simply walks into a multi-day hike. The truth is that preparation reduces the chances of errors and accidents, and makes the trip as enriching as it should be. Here we will focus not on an exhaustive guide to technically address safety risks. Instead, we will pick some essential tips among various considerations to save your time when planning.

Last but not the least, don’t forget to study updated travel restrictions prior to the trip and always stick to advisories released for the public’s well-being.

Water - Any experienced hiker knows how water can be a heavy item during the trek. On average, 1-2 litres per person a day may suffice, subject to climate and other risk factors. But if your bag’s space permits, think of additional water that can be comfortably carried for re-hydrating meals and as a precaution if your journey takes longer than expected.

It is important to research potential water sources available along your hike. For example, the availability of drinking water from water tanks, natural waterways, or even access to nearby towns to purchase water supplies.

Resupplying food - If you are planning to hike for several weeks you will need to consider how to replenish your food supplies. One idea is to have supplies posted along the way in coordination with a third party. This will double as an excellent safety check-in for your loved ones as they can check when you have collected your supplies.

Navigation - Bad weather with low visibility can disrupt any sense of orientation, and lead to an emergency. It is common to hear about hikers who miss crossing a nearby road, or walk in the wrong direction, all because of a false sense of assurance. One way to pre-empt this is to come equipped with a handheld GPS, a compass, and a paper map.

Working as a team - Although many choose the challenge of hiking solo, it is far safer to hike with a companion. It is even more beneficial to have a team member or two who has done a first aid course. Checking the contents of your first aid kit is suitable to the area is also advised.

Clothing - Appropriate clothing would ensure hikers stay comfortable in adverse weather, and avoid getting sunburnt. Wool or synthetic fabric is a better option compared to cotton. UV radiation is a concern, especially at high altitudes, so sunnies, sunscreen, and long-sleeve clothing will actually help.

More Safety Tips for Planning a Multi-Day Hike

An orange-coloured groundsheet/tarp - this doubles as a brightly lit signal device, aside from something to sit on.

The importance of dry clothes/sleeping bags - one important step to prioritise this is to have thermals and important clothing in a waterproof sack/bag.

Walking poles provide stability in the snow, and also lessen any impact during descents.

A hike in warm weather, such as a Victor Harbor school camp in Summer, presents the challenge of loss of salts and dehydration, mainly through heavy sweating. Take the necessary precaution by putting electrolytes tablets in your drinking water. If your hike involves more activity, then special fluid replenishments like Gatorade can provide more boost.

Lastly, don’t forget to fill up the logbook at trailheads to keep camp organisers in sync with your activity.

Again, don’t forget to use other sources as well (aside from this quick guide) when planning your next multi-day hike.

If you are interested in hiking as part of your Outdoor Education program for school camps Australia then get in touch with Beyond the Classroom.

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