Hiking is different from all other kinds of holidays as along with the charm of visiting a new place and being in a new atmosphere for a change of air, it has the added element of adventure. It is not for anyone to go out and hike the Appalachian Trail without proper preparation. Hence, it is important for you to be able to accustom yourself to what might lie ahead of you in the trail and prepare yourself both physically and mentally for the hike. Here are some things you should be cautious of and at least be in the know of before you start hiking. ( Image by kleepet )
Possible Instances of Violence
By and large, the Appalachian trail is considered to be one of the safest in the area. However, even so, violent activity or attempts at threat or theft cannot be entirely ruled out. You need to be able to act fast in such situations and have a plan for what to do. If you were to be at all attacked, it is more likely to happen in the shelters and in the areas of the trail that are right by the road. It is important for you to be aware of the things you can do in such situations. Here is a list.
- Keep Emergency Numbers on Speed Dial: Numbers such as 911 or Ambulance or the local police station are things that you ought to keep literally on your fingertips so that if you experience trouble in the form of anything illegal happening around you, you can directly report to the authorities simply at the press of a single button.
- Think Ahead and consider what-if scenarios: Always keep in mind that the trail is long and in several places, you will be more than a stone’s throw away from professional help if you should fall in any trouble. Therefore, we suggest that before going off to such locations you have a plan ready for you to go through should you be in danger. ( Image by by filkferengi)
- Let others know where you are: there are two ways of doing this. One is to keep your GPS on and share your location with a few close friends and family. This service is available in most smartphones these days. The other is the simple old fashioned way of calling up a person before you go on a hike to that they can check up on you if the need arises.
- Make Sure your Map is Current: You need the latest version of the trail map because very often, trails are abandoned and other trails are made in their place. This usually has to do with severe safety issues concerning the previous trail such as problems with the terrain, incidence of harmful flora or fauna, incidences of violence and so on. Therefore, it is very dangerous for you to unsuspectingly go on an old trail and fall in trouble. It’s much simpler to simply take the trouble of getting hold of the latest version of the map.
Featured Image by Frank Kehren