Tips for Safe Hiking in Colorful Colorado
Hiking is a mini-adventure. It lets you take a break from your normal routine without the time and expense involved in "real" vacations. You can see new things, have new experiences, and, if you want, challenge yourself physically. If you live in Colorado, you never lack for Colorado hiking opportunities. The State has an abundance of world-class hiking trails, far enough to give that remote feeling yet still relatively nearby.
Like any other activity, Colorado hiking is a great way to enjoy yourself and just have fun. However, if you want to get the most out of it and have the best experience over it, safety comes first. Below are some tips to help you remain safe and secure even while Colorado hiking:
It's a scout's motto, but even for Colorado hikers, it's a good motto to adopt. Wilderness activities like Colorado hiking involve many risks. But most of these risks can be easily avoided or at least mitigated if you keep in mind your basic knowledge about outdoors survival and preparation.
The first thing you need to do is to know what risks you'll likely be facing. The thought of being in the Colorado mountain wild areas evokes all sorts of horror and adventure stories of potential calamities when in reality the most prevalent risk anyone faces is pretty mundane: getting wet and cold.
As with most hiking trips, Colorado hiking requires that you lighten your load as much as you can. That alone is not much trouble, if only you knew exactly what you're going to encounter on a hike. Your lack knowledge is never more emphasized when it's your first time being in that area. So chances are you are going to end up loading your backpack with all sorts of "emergency" essentials, when the only equipment you really need are things that can help you cope with rain storms, rapid drops in temperature, heavy winds, injuries, fatigue, getting lost, and animal encounters.
It gets easier if you follow the following sensible practices when you go Colorado hiking:
- Avoid hiking alone. Even a minor injury or mishap can turn into a potential major problem if there is no one nearby to assist you.
- Before you hike out from a trailhead, make sure that you leave some sort of information about what trail you are going to follow, what time you left, etc. That way, if you fail to return after an awfully long time, someone will know where to find you. However, be careful about leaving any specific information as not every person has good intentions.
- Let an acquaintance in town know where you are going and when you intend to be back. If you don't make it back, they can notify the authorities.
- Take along a cellphone if you have one in case of an emergency that requires help. In many cases in the wilderness, you will not be able to get a cellphone connection due to mountainous terrain, being in a canyon, or distance. However, even if you cannot initially connect through, you or someone else can climb to a ridgeline or summit and have a better chance for a connection from there.