For the most part, hiking is walking. Pretty much anyone can do it and improve their mind and body through exercise, fresh air, and open spaces. There some special skills that may come in handy for certain situations you might encounter on your hiking trips. Take a few minutes to read up and you just might enjoy your next hiking experience a bit more.

hiking skills Keep a Pace
Learn the basic pacing, resting, and rhythm skills for an enjoyable hike.
crossing water Crossing Water
Take care and cross rivers and streams the right way, or not at all.
high altitude hiking High Altitude
Prepare for treks over 9000 feet and recognize problems early for safe recovery.
hiking in hot weather Hot Weather
Besides taking extra water, learn other valuable skills and tips for beating the heat.
hiking in cold weather Cold Weather
Cold weather requires more clothes, more food, more time, pretty much more of everything. But, its a special time that rewards the determined hiker with rare views of the wild around us.
leave no trace Leave No Trace
Pay special attention to the impact you have on the environment. You may be surprised how a little care can make a big difference for many years to come. Learn how to minimize the effects of your passing through the land.

Hike On: Hiking Safety


Comments:
 Jun 02, 2013 - James Girardeau
EMERGENCY ROCK CLIMBING
QUESTION:  I hike past (not climb) many very steep & deep embankments.  I've slipped or tripped on the loose rocky trails many times.  I think about what I would do if I survived an initial fall down one of these embankments.  I pack many tools to summon help (cell, SPOT, whistle, flashlight, mirror, hourly check-ins, filed hike plans), but what skills & equipment might I reasonably possess that would allow me to get to a safer place?  

CONTEXT:  I'm a 63 year old male in relatively good health who has been walking/hiking regularly for ~7 years;  Hiking rocky trails in central Texas parks since retiring ~ 3 years ago;  Though hills are 1,500 to 2,500 feet, the average elevation change ~250 ft & maximum incline ~ 20-25%;  I stick to official park trails which are mostly loose rock (pebble to softball size) with some rock outlays requiring an 18\" to 24\" vertical step(s).  Limits are 9-10 miles or 5-6 hours depending on terrain & heat; Compensate for risk of hiking alone in sparsely populated parks by (1) filing park plan, (2) checking-in with wife hourly (cell or SPOT Connect) & (3) maybe overpacking survival & navigation gear.
Jun 05, 2013 - Hiking Dude
James - If the initial fall doesn't kill you, then your survival all depends on how badly you are injured and your first aid & survival skills.  Stopping severe bleeding and signaling your wife would be the two key things.  It's better to wait for help to reach you rather than crawl out, if you're injured.

You could take a Red Cross Wilderness First Aid class to bolster your first aid skills.  Other than that, being more careful to prevent the falls in the first place would be prudent.


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