Top 10 tips for hiking season safety
Summer has FINALLY arrived in the UK, and we are feeling the heat! If, like us, you love taking advantage of the good weather by getting out and exploring the wonderful views or challenging yourself to reach new heights, you’ve come to the right place! We have all the tips and tricks you need for a safe adventure with Ashley.
As part of our mission to make everyone feel safer this Summer, we thought we would share Ashley’s Top 10 Hiking Season Safety Tips for those seeking a bit of fresh British air! So strap those hiking boots on and enjoy a safe adventure this summer!
#1 Plan your route in advance
It’s essential to do your research before heading out on a hike. That way, you can plan timings and potential risks in advance. It’s important to be aware of any hidden dangers, high and low tide times and local weather forecasts. Based on your research, have a think about what you need to take with you, so you don’t miss anything off your list.
Whilst on your adventure, always follow pathways, avoid cliff edges and never walk on terrain that you are unsure of. Paths are put in place for a reason for hikers to stay safe and find their way back.
#2 Choose walking routes with you or your group’s capabilities in mind
When out exploring with others, it is important to walk at the pace of the slowest person in your group. Choose walking routes with you, your friends’ or group’s capabilities in mind. Look up your destination, it’s level of difficulty and how long your trail takes to complete. It’s important to not over challenge yourself or other participants to the point that you are at risk of dehydration, fatigue or injury.
Keep an eye on any children and pets joining you on your trip and be prepared for the possibility of having to turn back on your journey if the weather deteriorates.
#3 Tell a friend or family member where you are going
Whether you are hiking solo this season or with others, make sure to let someone know your plans before starting your journey. This should include your route, your start and finish points, estimated time of return and also any changes during your trip. Because even if you are in a group or with friends, in the case of an emergency, it is important to have someone back home that can find you.
#4 Wear the right gear
Choosing appropriate clothing for your activity is vital when tackling the elements. Consider the right footwear, such as walking boots with ankle support, think about insulating layers, waterproofs and hats and gloves when facing challenging climbs, even in the summer. For example, it may feel hot outside, but it can get pretty cold at the peak of a mountain!
#5 Wear sun cream and carry plenty of water
Glorious sunshine? Always take a hat and some sun cream. No matter what our age, we need to take care of our skin. If you are exposed to too much UV over a long period of time (without any UV protection), you could be at risk of sun stroke. So we always advise to carry a bottle of sun cream (even if you have already layered up before heading out!). A sun hat is also useful as your scalp will be most exposed to the sun on a hike.
#6 Keep your energy levels up
Before heading out, make sure you eat well. We recommend eating a meal full of carbs during the dinner the night before, such as pasta. Or for breakfast, consume something full of energy such as porridge, Weetabix or even a Full English!
Carry food and plenty of drink to keep you hydrated during your hike and keep your energy levels up when needed. Chocolate and dried fruit are a great way to give you that quick boost.
#7 Follow safety guidance provided by information points
You will usually come across sign posts & information desks at the beginning or during most hiking routes across the UK. You can also access the safety guidelines online here.
#8 Go equipped
A map/chart and compass is a good place to start and should be easily accessible if going on long walks or mountain climbs. Other useful items can include a watch, a torch with spare batteries and bulbs, a fully charged mobile phone, GPS and Ashley Alarm, which can be used to signal rescue and lasts up to two hours until someone reaches you.
#9 Know how to get help
Always carry a mobile phone in case yourself, a group member or someone you meet along the way is in trouble. Don’t put yourself at risk, call for help by dialling 999 and ask for the following:
Inland: 999 – ask for the police and then Mountain Rescue
Inland waters not categorised as 'sea': 999 – ask for Fire & Rescue Service
Coastal: 999 – ask for the Coastguard
#10 Carry a Personal Safety Alarm
In case of an emergency or accident, where you need to raise the attention of passersby, a Personal Safety Alarm can provide extra reassurance. Lightweight with a soft-touch silicone coating, Ashley features a LOUD 130db siren and a 200-lumen strobing LED light to attract attention and get help. Every Ashley Alarm comes with a strong, solid silver keychain that allows you to easily attach Ashley to your person or belongings.
Source: National Trust (2022)