Hiking Safety Tips: How to Prepare for Your First Climb

hiking safety tips

Planning to embark on your first hike this summer? Don’t leave home without reading these hiking safety tips.

A dayhike or a dayclimb is one of the best things you can do for your body and soul, without pushing your physical and financial limits.

There are countless reasons to enjoy the outdoors — it gets your heart pumping faster, fills your lungs with fresh air, and rewards you with a magnificent view of a forest pulsating with life or a birds’ eye-view atop a summit!

But if you are hesitating because of fear of unfamiliar trails, dangers of provoking an animal or insect attack, and threats of having an injury and the like (most of which are downright OA), then this safety tip blog is for you to regain your peace of mind.

mt. pico de loro new trail

Hiking Safety Tips #1 Plan your route

Preparation starts the moment you choose where you will hike. First, check out the reviews of the chosen trail and its characteristics. Google it! Read blogs and find out: is the difficulty beginner-friendly? Does it have water source along the trail? How many hours will it take you to finish? Is the trail well-marked?

Start early within the day, after you check the weather conditions. Unless you are camping, avoid letting the sun set with you still on the trail. Hiking before the crack of dawn is best, because the temperature is cooler and because it gives you more daylight hours for descent.

pinagrealan cave

Hiking Safety Tips #2 Wear proper gear

No, you don’t need to look like you’re climbing Mt. Everest! Just adjust to the weather conditions. If you expect a sunny stroll, wear proper sun protection such as sunblock, bandannas, arm and leg sleeves and sunglasses. Colder weather or overnight camping means bringing thermal blankets, jackets and scarves. Below is an example:

This is my typical hiking gear. Nothing fancy — dri-fit shirts, breezy shorts, long socks, arm sleeves and bandanna. Walking stick (and makeup!) optional.

For safety and rash-protection, wear tact pants or thick long socks to protect your legs. Wearing gloves that cover half the fingers is also underemphasized. But this will protect you when you hold on to tree branches and rocks for support.

In case of a downpour or a river cross, be sure to waterproof valuables with ziplock. I don’t usually pack rain coats because it’s part of the hike to get a little drizzled. Finally, get shoes with good traction that will suit the trail accordingly — be it sandy, rocky, grassy or muddy. Consider taking a walking stick with you for balance, or purita-style, just grab a suitable fallen tree branch.

mt. daraitan

#3 Exercise

Before the hike, strengthen your leg muscles surrounding the knee to ensure they can endure. Do stretching and breathing exercises and walking for long periods of time weeks before. Know your physical limitations and don’t overexert yourself. Determine the pace you are comfortable with, and improve your stamina enough to finish the hike.

Days before, consume carbohydrate-rich foods such as rice, bread and pasta. Carb-loading enables your body to have enough stored to be burned during the activity.PS Don’t make this an excuse to pig out. Be sure to hydrate, do warm-ups and sleep well before the hike.

lioness rock

Hiking Safety Tips #4 Ask for Help

Adventurous is not recklessness! Get accountability by registering to the jump-off point of the trail. Leave your name, expected time of return and person to contact during emergencies. Get a hold of numbers to get help from, although do not expect your phones to have signal in the wilderness.

When traveling with a group, plan an alternative meeting place in case one of the members of the hike gets lost. Keep a flashlight, headlamp and whistle handy and wear neon clothes to grab attention. Consider hiring a guide or joining a travel group if the trail is long, difficult and unfamiliar.

Huwag strong-strongan.

rescue 926

Hiking Safety Tips #5 Prepare for emergencies

Injuries are unpredictable during the hike, that’s why it is best to train yourself with methods to address common setbacks such as sprains and cramps. Other possible problems are hypothermia, heat exhaustion, dehydration, wounds and scratches, and fatigue.

Pack a simple first aid kit and familiarize yourself with basic first aid. Be sure to bring an extra liter of water and lots of trail food in case of emergency to avoid dehydration and hunger.

Hiking, like most activities, is best enjoyed prepared. Believe me, take a chill pill and don’t overthink. Abandon your fears but be positively expectant.

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  • Reply
    September 2, 2016 at 4:06 AM

    Great tips. I love the photos you used in this article. I like to go for walks, but in the Netherlands there’s not so much for a real hike (no real climbing). But luckily on a holiday I can.

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      September 5, 2016 at 7:23 PM

      Thanks Carola. Netherlands is beautiful. Hope you can find picturesque hikes even though there’s no real climbing 🙂

  • Reply
    Mommy Pehpot
    March 18, 2015 at 10:24 AM

    Thanks for the these tips! Pero kahit nakakapayat sya, takot pa din ako sa gagamba! hahaha

  • Reply
    Aisha Kristine Chong
    March 16, 2015 at 5:57 PM

    It is also to be safe when having a hike – my first hike was scary and exciting at the same time but I never regretted it. 🙂

  • Reply
    March 16, 2015 at 1:36 PM

    Oh dear! It had been such a long time since my last hike…very helpful post.

  • Reply
    Jojo Vito
    March 15, 2015 at 4:51 PM

    wow great activity..but I guess this is not for everyone 🙂

  • Reply
    May De Jesus-Palacpac
    March 15, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    I want to do this badly. Where can I start? I want to be with a group with guides and stuff cause I wouldn’t know what to do and where to go.

  • Reply
    Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen
    March 15, 2015 at 10:15 AM

    Thank you for sharing these safety tips Sam. Do you know what’s the safest and shortest trail beginners could take?

  • Reply
    When Worlds Collide (@tim_juls)
    March 15, 2015 at 8:54 AM

    Great article for those who love hiking and those who want to venture into hiking. I learned it the hard way, after trying out hiking my legs gave up on me haha

  • Reply
    March 14, 2015 at 1:21 PM

    I really hope you are my go-to friend since I am really thinking of hiking. Time constraint is my worst enemy.

    • Reply
      Samantha C.
      March 15, 2015 at 8:21 AM

      Sure! Anytime you need help in hiking around the metro, you can ask help from me 🙂

  • Reply
    March 14, 2015 at 12:12 PM

    This would really help and since I’m relatively new to climbing, I can use some tips.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2015 at 9:42 PM

    this is really nice to be here.Nice post you made here with such awesome images.Thanks for sharing this safety tips,much appreciated.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2015 at 9:34 PM

    Wearing a proper gear and planning ahead are one of the necessities of triumphing the hiking!

  • Reply
    March 13, 2015 at 3:55 PM

    Thanks for sharing these great tips. I think joining a group hike is a great idea. Safety in numbers! Love the pic of your friend dehydrated, very cheeky lol

    • Reply
      Samantha C.
      March 15, 2015 at 4:17 PM

      Haha! Great to have funny friends when travelling 🙂

  • Reply
    Otakore Literantadodist
    March 13, 2015 at 10:24 AM

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful safety tips with amusing real pictures of your co-hikers 😀

    May i ask if you encountered any wild animals like venomous snakes or any untamed creatures out there? Might be a great addition to your safety guide, to be stay alert on the unforeseen.

    • Reply
      Samantha C.
      March 15, 2015 at 2:48 PM

      Thank you! 🙂 Haven’t encountered anything serious as we only hike on familiar trails. There was one time when our guide noticed a snake and he stopped us until it left. Other than that, as I said, haven’t encountered or heard of such dangers. TBH it’s people who are most harmful in the mountains

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