How to Stay Safe While Hiking in Spring?
With nature waking up, wildflowers blooming, tiny little leaves sprinkling the trees，why would you stay at home?
Spring is probably the best season for hiking. Gone are the shivering cold temperatures, in are crispy cold mornings, pleasantly warm days, and beautiful fresh flowers. The trails are generally pretty empty, and accommodations aren't in high season yet.
For hikers, following these tips managing your adventures less perilous.
- Unpredictable Weather
Though hikers head out on the trail wearing a light fleece, spring weather is unpredictable. If it gets cold or rainy, you may catch hypothermia, which will make your body temperature lower to a deadly level. If you are wet, that damp clothing sucks your body heat away. So it is necessary to prepare a water-resistant jacket in order to avoid being wet and always have a dry layer packed away in a dry bag. You should also wear water-resistant and quick dry hiking pants, too.
Pay attention to the forecast but be prepared for the worst. The forecast is usually right but mountain weather is hard to predict and differs from the temperatures down in the valley.
- High Water Level Danger
One of the most dangerous conditions that a hiker can encounter is high water crossings. Between snowmelt and torrential spring rains, creeks swell quickly to make an impassable barrier.
In order to cross creeks safely, the best idea is to plan your hiking routes carefully and avoid fording any creeks and plan on using reliable wilderness bridges instead. If you must cross, follow these steps:
- use trekking poles.
- keep your boots on or wear stream crossing shoes with good tread and support.
- unbuckle the belt on your backpack or plan on bringing your pack across on an elevated pack line.
Mud can be dangerous to yourself. When you are stuck in the mud, you get a feeling like being swallowed by mud.
The suggestion is to avoid hiking in certain areas during mud season especially in the mountainous areas with steep trails dealing with snowmelt and spring rains.
If you can't find anywhere else to hike, then tighten up your boots and make sure your gaiters are snug. Use trekking poles to probe the bottoms of the mud pits and steady yourself on improvised bridges. Most of all, take it slow and remember to scrape the mud off your boots before entering the tent.
- Spring Insects
As disease-carriers, insects possess more danger than an annoyance. What’s more, you may be driven into a mosquito swatting frenzy that makes you lose your balance and tumble off a cliff.
Bite prevention is the key to dealing with insects of all varieties while hiking. First, you can treat all clothing and boots with permethrin. The treatment lasts several washes, repels mosquitoes, and kills ticks. Second, use a DEET- or picaridin-based lotion on your skin.
Do you go hiking in the spring? What are a few tips that you have for staying safe and having fun? Welcome to share with us!