Hiking and hill walking are popular activities for people of all ages and backgrounds to get out in the fresh air and open countryside. Joining an organised walking groups or hiking club means that areas of the country that you may not have explored before, are opened up for you to enjoy with a group of like minded individuals.
However, these types of activities can mean that people suffer accidents and may become injured through no fault of their own. Many novice walkers and hikers can be unprepared for accidents and injuries and require assistance from the emergency services in order to be rescued.
Keeping safe when hiking
There are a number of precautions that people can take when preparing for a hiking excursion to ensure their own safety and that of others, including:
- Wear warm, waterproof and windproof clothing as the weather can be unpredictable
- Pack a rucksack with a hat, gloves and scarf, torch with spare batteries, whistle, mobile phone, money and compass
- Research the area that you wish to hike in using an up-to-date OS map extract and taking this with them in case of diversion
- Pack adequate water supply and high energy foods in case of emergency
- Notify some one of your anticipated route and time of return
- Wear sensible walking socks and sturdy walking boots that protect the ankle and have a ridged sole for safe walking on unstable ground
- Follow local advice and signposts to ensure that you are on track
- Consult the weather report before setting off on your hike and follow the advice you are given
Hiking related injuries
Accidents often happen unexpectedly and injuries can be sustained which may be serious and can include:
- Soft tissue injuries such as sprains to ligaments and strains to tendons
- Fractured or broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Lacerations and bleeding
- Spinal injuries
- Head injuries
- Fatal injuries
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