In the matter of hiking, I am a rookie, a newbie of sorts. Like most people who are introduced to something new and exciting, I have been doing tons of research. From the best sleeping bags to the most effective chaffing cream, the information is plastered on various sites. However, I have found very little information on the various hiking forums that mention safety preparedness.
Many hikers have a notion of invincibility, and a nothing bad will ever happen mindset. After all, hiking is simple; one step follows another. However, what happens if while on a solo hike a step sends you plummeting into a steep valley? What would you do if no modern day resource were available for your use?
I thought about this and various scenarios. Maybe all those years studying forensic psychology has made me more cautious or maybe being diagnosed with a rare brain disease has caused me to question my odds. Regardless of why, sometimes bad things happen.
Though life and instincts have taught me a great deal, I am smart enough to know that learning proper techniques and being prepared is the best way to ensure my safety during my solo hike.
When I think of preparedness, I think the Boy Scouts of America. After all, it is part of their motto. Indeed, the Boy Scouts offers classes in wilderness survival. I registered for and completed the Wilderness First Aid (WFA) certification course with the Boy Scouts.
Although I am still a rookie, I am now more advanced than some senior hikers when it comes to how to act when faced with an emergency while on the trail. Sure I have personal medical needs to consider, but I feel that we can all benefit from a little pre-emergency planning.
Regarding skills, I chose to take the course with the Boys Scouts to learn in an environment where I would not feel intimidated by the more seasoned hikers. For me it was a good choice, I am not advocating for a Boy Scouts training. I am advocating for safety. Taking any WFA course taught by a certified instructor will offer life-saving skills.
Other hikers being prepare and knowing how to act in case of a dangerous situation on the trail, will ensure that my journey is smoother. It’s rather simple; the fewer trail emergencies means fewer distractions and a more peaceful hike. Rather it is solo or group hiking; we are all in this together. I am WFA certified, and I encourage you to become Wilderness First Aid certified too.
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Yay for the Boy Scouts. And good for you for taking the initiative to research and study and look for a way to be safer on the trails.