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30 Essential Hiking Safety Hacks For Safe And Well-Organized Adventures

30 Essential Hiking Safety Hacks For Safe And Well-Organized Adventures

Those of us who soaked up the Oprah-recommended book called “Wild” got to live vicariously through author Cheryl Strayed’s adventures as she white-knuckled her way through a precarious hike up the Pacific Coast Trail.

Those of us who don’t want to experience the foot-bleeding, skin-peeling, moose-fleeing drama that she faced during her arduous journey would do well to follow these 30 hiking safety hacks.

1. Get great-fitting boots

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    Boots that fit improperly can make you suffer from unnecessary blisters and lost toenails. Grabbing a pair (or two) of the best-reviewed hiking boots on Amazon that aren’t too tight or way too big for your feet is critical.

    2. Walk around with your backpack before leaving

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      If you pack too many items in your backpack, you’ll needlessly suffer from carrying a heavier load that necessary. Test out picking up, toting and putting down your intended load on your back while still at home, before embarking on your journey.

      3. Send yourself supply boxes ahead of time

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        Instead of trying to carry everything but the kitchen sink on your back, send yourself boxes full of supplies at pre-planned points at post offices along your trail hike – especially if it’s an extended walk.

        4. Make sure to learn what’s poisonous and what’s edible

        As chronicled in the popular book and movie called Into the Wild, Christopher McCandless died most likely as a result of eating a mold-filled plant or from confusing wild sweet pea seeds with those of another flora. The crucial lesson to be learned is to ensure what you’re eating is safe.

        5. Give up if the hike becomes too dangerous

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          Don’t be so set in stone on following your hiking plan that you’re not willing to make changes. Certain seasons bring inordinate snowfall and ice or other treacherous conditions to some trails, making them impassable.

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          6. Take a buddy if you feel led to do so

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            There’s safety in numbers. Though we love to read the tales of folks brave enough to venture off on solo hikes, it helps to consider bringing others – especially more experienced hikers – along on your trip.

            7. Know your trail

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              Use a map, GPS device and compass to figure out where you’re going, but make sure you’ve also studied every nuance of the area you’re planning to hike – and that you know how to use landmarks to determine where you’re going, just in case all of those devices become lost.

              8. Bring sufficient snacks

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                Keep consuming enough high-quality calories to give you energy for your hike. Stuff your bag with freeze-dried foods that are both lightweight and nutritious.

                9. Check out a menstrual sponge

                Yeah, I’d never heard one either until I read the report of Strayed, the female hiker who used a menstrual sponge to collect her monthly flow. She’d wash it and reuse it instead of dealing with sanitary napkins and tampons.

                10. Hang your food

                Always hang your food or use a bear canister in order to keep it safe from animals, and to help prevent critters from sniffing around near you, advises the Washington Trails Association.

                11. Take enough water

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                  Even if you anticipate running into drinkable, fresh-water sources along your path, realize that it’s healthy to bring a water bladder full of liquid in order to keep you well hydrated each day.

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                  12. Sunscreen is critical

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                    Even if it’s the dead of winter, the sun can still beat down on you in dangerous ways. Protect your skin with sunscreen lotion that contains a high SPF factor.

                    13. Learn how to safely start a fire

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                      Even if it’s raining, it helps to follow the Boy Scout rules on how to still use collected wood, your handy pocket knife and starter accessories to get a fire going that can keep you warm, give light and cook your food.

                      14. Bring extra Band-Aids

                      Experienced hikers say that you can rarely have enough Band-Aids – even more than are found in the standard first-aid kits. Because backpacks tend to rub against shoulders and backs, they can cause blisters that need to be covered.

                      15. Remember the first-aid kit

                      Speaking of first-aid kits, REI has a great one that includes things like Moleskin for blister protection and other wound-care specifics that might not be found in other non-hiking related kits.

                      16. An ice pick can be your best friend

                      As dramatically chronicled in Wild, learning to properly use an ice pick can help you navigate precarious trails by offering surer footing in the case of icy surfaces.

                      17. Take something good to read

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                        Although safety is very important, it doesn’t mean you can’t bring fun items along with you. During the downtime and slow hours when you’re not staring at the sunrise, you might want to pull out your favorite Divergent book or a compact copy of the New Testament to keep you company.

                        18. Inform others of your hiking plan

                        Instead launching off without letting any family members or friends know where you’re going, leave your detailed hiking safety plan with at least one person you can trust – and plan to check in with them at appointed times.

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                        19. Do shorter hikes first

                        Before setting out on the monumental hike of a lifetime, plan to complete several smaller hikes first in order to acclimate yourself to the process.

                        20. Learn how to set up your tent before you leave

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                          It can be tempting to let your tent stay nice and tidy, planning to unpack it and read the rules when you’re on your hike. It’s better, however, to learn the intricacies of tent setup – which can be daunting – in the safety of your own backyard first, instead of in the wild.

                          21. Keep as dry as possible

                          Dampness and cold can be the enemy to a good hike. Even rain jackets may need to be put through an extra waterproofing process.

                          22. Use your fingers to estimate the remaining daylight

                          Oregon sunset-b

                            Sort of like using a sundial to tell time, there’s a neat way you can use your fingers to determine if you have enough hours of light left to hike on or whether you should hunker down for the evening.

                            23. Look up to the moon and stars.

                            In order to find your true north and south directions, without needing a compass you can observe the moon and the stars.

                            24. Bring a quality knife

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                              Not that you want to use it like Aron Ralston had to use his when he cut off his own arm in order to free himself after getting trapped in rock canyons as shown in the movie 127 Hours, but a good knife can do everything from provide protection to help prepare food.

                              25. Pack extra clothes

                              Realize that if you’re hiking in a cold climate, you can still sweat and soak through your clothes. Make sure you have enough extra gear to change into whilst your other soggy clothes are drying

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                              26. Double-check last minute weather reports

                              Even if the location you’re planning to hike is predicted to be filled with sunny skies and pleasant weather, make sure you’re aware of up-to-the-minute storms or other approaching factors than can adversely affect your hike.

                              27. Research all the potential animals you may encounter

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                                Bring bear repellant spray, and learn the proper way to react if you’re suddenly faced with a big grizzly bear versus a black bear. Determine beforehand the types of wildlife your hiking area contains – be it teeming with coyotes, snakes, mountain lions or whatever – along with the best ways to keep safe from them.

                                28. Duck Tape can be very valuable

                                Duck Tape can serve a multitude of purposes, from taping up wounds to covering blisters to helping to remove a tick, so stock up.

                                29. Protect your smartphone in a waterproof case

                                If you can get a signal when you need it the most, a waterproof case for your cell phone can serve as a lifeline by keeping the electronic dry and usable. Life Proof makes a great one.

                                30. Stay calm, keep your wits about you and have fun

                                Newleycombe Cross In Snow

                                  Remember the main reasons you have embarked upon the journey. Even if you come across unexpected adventures, don’t give in to fear. Enjoy the exercise and keep calm. Remain visible and send distress signals in case of an emergency.

                                  Featured photo credit: Travel to Mount Cook National Park by ZIVOTNACESTACH.CZ via picjumbo.com

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                                  Last Updated on October 30, 2018

                                  How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                                  How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                                  What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

                                  To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

                                  All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

                                  There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

                                  With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

                                  What follows is a list of thirteen of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these 13 tips are essential:

                                  1.Think big.

                                    From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

                                    “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

                                    There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

                                    Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

                                    Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

                                    Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
                                    Instead be ambitious.

                                    2.Find what you love to do and do it.

                                      From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

                                      “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

                                      This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

                                      Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

                                      If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

                                      Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

                                      Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

                                      Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

                                      3. Learn how to balance life.

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                                        From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

                                        “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

                                        All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

                                        If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

                                        However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

                                        If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

                                        In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

                                        To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

                                        4. Do not be afraid of failure.

                                          From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

                                          “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

                                          There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

                                          Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

                                          His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

                                          He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

                                          Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

                                          Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

                                          5. Have an unwavering resolution to succeed.

                                            From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

                                            “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

                                            This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

                                            It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

                                            If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

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                                            Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

                                            6. Be a person of action.

                                              From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

                                              “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

                                              Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

                                              Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

                                              When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renissance era Italy, we think of Michaelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci.

                                              Or think about the present day:

                                              Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

                                              You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

                                              All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

                                              Applying this to you?

                                              Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

                                              7. Avoid conflicts.

                                                From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                                                The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                                                The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                                                People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                                                This is key to good leadership.

                                                It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                                                But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                                                What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                                                As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

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                                                8. Don’t be afraid of introducing new ideas.

                                                  From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                                                  “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                                                  It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                                                  Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                                                  If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                                                  9. Believe in your capacity to succeed.

                                                    From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                                                    “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                                                    Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                                                    It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                                                    Keep dreaming!

                                                    10. Always maintain a positive mental attitude.

                                                      From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                                                      “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                                                      Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                                                      Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                                                      If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                                                      However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                                                      11. Don’t let discouragement stop you from pressing on.

                                                        From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                                                        “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                                                        It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

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                                                        When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

                                                        Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                                                        If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                                                        Take a look at these 5 Ways to Stop Self Doubt in its Tracks.

                                                        12. Be willing to work hard.

                                                          From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                                                          “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                                                          You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                                                          Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                                                          True success comes from work.

                                                          You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                                                          Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                                                          13. Be brave enough to follow your intuition.

                                                            From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                                                            “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                                                            In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                                                            If you strongly believe and desire something, the chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                                                            It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                                                            Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                                                            Final thoughts

                                                            What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                                                            Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this:

                                                            How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                                            More Recommended Lifehack Experts in Success

                                                            • Mandie Holgate — Successful life coach in the UK, helping businesses and individuals achieve greatness
                                                            • David Carpenter — Lifelong entrepreneur and business owner helping others to realize the American Dream of business ownership
                                                            • Ray Zinn — An inventor, entrepreneur, bestselling author and the longest serving CEO in Silicon Valley

                                                            Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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