Hiking Safety Tips for Solo Hikers

Hiking Solo pic

Hiking Solo
Image: solotravel.about.com

Edwin Hammond Meredith, a chef based in the Florida Keys, is an avid outdoorsman. In addition to aquatic activities such as scuba diving and stand up paddleboarding (SUP), Edwin Hammond Meredith enjoys camping and hiking.

The best way to stay safe while hiking is to travel in a large group. However, circumstances or preference may lead an individual to a solo hike. There are several things a person can do to mitigate their chances of suffering an accident while hiking alone, beginning with notifying a friend or family member of one’s intentions to hike. At least one person should know when the individual is leaving, where they are going, how long they expect to be on the trail, and at what time they plan to return. As is the case with hiking in larger groups, the more people who know a hiker’s plans, the better. Hikers can even notify local park rangers and staff of their whereabouts, if necessary.

Hikers should also refrain from hiking alone when testing a new trail for the first time. Any number of surprises, from a deceptively weak water crossing to a surprisingly long diversion from the main path, can lead to a person becoming lost or injured on the trail. Hikers should never forget the importance of understanding their surroundings.

Lastly, all the basic components of hiking safety should be held to an even higher standard when hiking alone. Individuals should dress in very bright clothing, pack more than enough water and food, check up-to-the-minute weather reports, and do everything else in their power to avoid a dangerous or otherwise untenable situation on the trail.


The Development of Ice Climbing as a Mountain Pursuit

Ice Climbing pic

Ice Climbing
Image: climbing.about.com

Edwin Hammond Meredith maintains a career as chef in the Florida Keys and enjoys outdoor activities such as camping and hiking in his free time. Edwin Hammond Meredith also takes part in winter sports such as ice climbing, which developed out of European Alpine traditions in which it was considered one element of mountaineering.

Early in the 1990s, Laurent Grivel helped make ice climbing a distinctive pursuit through the invention of crampons with sharp front metal points that protruded. With these in place, chopping steps in the ice became a thing of the past and climbers could attempt more technically challenging ascents.

Ice axes and other tools that assist in climbing were introduced in the 1960s, with the lightweight, short-shafted reverse curve pick enabling a more aggressive approach to navigating steep, icy terrain. These days, standard climbing equipment also includes ropes and harness, belay device, slings, and locking carabiners. Climbers also gird up with helmets and warm clothing designed to stay dry.