With warmer weather upon us in the Northeast of the United States, that means many more people will be hitting the trails, myself included. As I have mentioned in several posts, I now treat even short day hikes as if I might have to spend a couple of days in the woods either due to injury or getting lost. Of course, everyone hopes that something like this never happens, but the one thing that I did learn last summer was that it is better to be safe than sorry. The couple of extra pounds of gear that I might now carry to guarantee keeping me warm and dry is well worth it.
I came across an article from National Geographic entitled, “Day hikers are the most vulnerable in survival situations. Here’s why. A new study looks at who lives and who dies when lost in the wild” that basically confirms what I have thought for a very long time. Basically, the majority of people who get lost and are put into situations where they have to spend a night or two, or three in the woods aren’t the backpackers, but instead, are the folks who planned only to be out for a day hike.
That is why I’ll say it again now, I am a strong advocate for people to prepare for a day hike as if you might have to be out in the woods for two or three days. I perfectly understand that when people head out for a day hike, they have no intention of getting lost or injured, but it happens.
Do you know how many people I’ve seen hiking carrying nothing but a small water bottle?
Here is the link to that article and to posts I have written that address the same subject. I’ll beat that dead horse just a little bit more, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“Let’s Go Over The Basics…” from March 19, 2019 (The Zen Hiker)
“Hiking Solo? Leave An Itinerary!” from July 24, 2018 (The Zen Hiker)