All too frequently I read about hikers that are either lost, injured or perish on Arizona hiking trails. Most of these incidences could have been prevented with proper planning and preparation. The following are my suggestions for preparing yourself and your group for a safe and enjoyable hiking trip, whether it be on a hike in Arizona or climbing in the mountains of Peru or Tanzania.
- Select a hiking trail that matches your physical condition, on the type of terrain you prefer with an adequate amount of time to complete your hike.
- Bring along a hiking guidebook or a topographic map of your selected route.
- Check the weather forecast prior to beginning your hike and select the appropriate clothing for the expected weather. If the weather changes during your hike, evaluate the situation and if needed retreat. The hiking trail will be there for another day!
- ALWAYS let at least one person, not traveling with you, know where you are going and when you are expected to return.
- Travel on your hike with a partner when possible. If you are hiking alone, select a popular trail where it would be more likely to meet others on the same route to offer assistance if required.
- During your hike pay attention to landmarks and check your map often. I also suggest to turn around on the trail and see how the trail and landmarks appear while heading in the opposite direction. It always amazes me on return routes how many of my guests say; “Does this trail ever look different from when we were going the other direction!” Don’t let the trail trick you into a different route back.
- Don’t let yourself or others get separated from your hiking group. If necessary make frequent stops on your hike to re-group prior to continuing forward. Remember to hike at the pace of your slowest person. It does your group no good to run after the fastest! Rest as needed before continuing forward.
- ALWAYS carry with you my suggested 10 essential items for hiking trips.
Arizona Hiking Adventures’ guides are well versed with these safety guidelines and always carry with them the essential items for a safe hiking trip. We are proud of our guides ability and they will insure you can relax and enjoy your guided hike in Arizona or wherever your travels may take you with our company.