Trail Etiquette & Safety Hiking Checklist


Make this hiking safety checklist a part of your emergency preparedness plan for ALL of your picnics and hikes.

Under adverse circumstances, these items will not only help you mend bodies, they will also help you repair your gear and get you through an emergency overnight circumstance.

Patience and creativity also help greatly when it comes to fixing problems on the trail. Make it challenging and fun to fix that broken backpack or mend that hiking shoe.

Keeping calm and rational, with the aid of the safety items listed above, is your best defense against any outdoor emergency that may occur.

  1. First-Aid Kit Any hiking safety checklist would not be complete without a First-aid kit. They are an absolute must for both picnics and hikes.
     
  2. Food Bring enough high-energy food to meet your needs on the hike plus food items that will not be eaten unless there is an emergency.
     
  3. Water and / or A Water Purification System You must provide enough water to keep each person hydrated under anticipated weather and hiking conditions
     
  4. Unfortunately, extra water is heavy to carry in your pack. Water purification kits, which are effective against pathogens in stream / lake water, are highly recommended for emergency use.
     
  5. Orange Plastic Garbage Bag The Hug A Tree and Survive program recommends providing each person with an orange plastic garbage bag (it must be orange / yellow - not green!). Wearing a large orange plastic garbage bag makes you very visible if you become lost. The bag is also useful as emergency rain wear and can even be made into an emergency shelter.
     
  6. Signal Device Make signal devices a part of your hiking safety checklist. A whistle, a glow stick on a rope, a hand-sized mirror, or plastic neon-coloured tape can all be used to signal for help if you need it.
     
  7. Map and Compass A topographic map, specific to the trail you are hiking, is ideal.
     
  8. Pocket Knife/Multi-Tool Multi-tools or Swiss Army knives are highly recommended because of their diversity in use. They help with everything from removing splinters to repairing equipment.
     
  9. Rope/Cord Bring a minimum of 25 feet of woven synthetic-fibre cord or rope. It can be used to bundle, haul, support and tie.
     
  10. Matches/Lighter Waterproof matches or a lighter are needed to get a fire going for both heat and visibility. Firestarter cubes are also a good idea for wet tinder that is difficult to light.
     
  11. Flashlight/Headlamp Remember to bring spare batteries too. There are also hand-powered LED flashlights available which are quite good.
     
  12. Spare Clothing Synthetic hiking clothing keep you warmer when wet, and dry quickly. This includes: socks, sweater /fleece jacket, wind / water proof jacket, hat and gloves.
     
  13. Sun Protection Sunglasses, sun hat (with a visor) and sunscreen. This is especially important at higher altitudes, and near bodies of water and snow.
     
  14. Space Blanket Space blankets provide a lightweight, compact way of providing warmth and can also provide emergency shelter.
     
  15. Plastic Bags Bring bags that zip-up in a few different sizes. Keeps items dry (pack your camera into one), and keeps wet items away from dry ones.
     
  16. Other Hiking Safety Items Small vise grips, 2 sewing needles with thread (both heavy duty), safety pins, tweezers, razor blade, "ripstop" repair tape. All of these items come in handy when trying to repair broken hiking gear.

 

Patience and creativity also help greatly when it comes to fixing problems on the trail. Make it challenging and fun to fix that broken backpack or mend that hiking shoe.

Keeping calm and rational, with the aid of the safety items listed above, is your best defense against any outdoor emergency that may occur.