Here are some hiker safety tips from the Florida Trail Association:
- Carry a map or a compass
- Bring spare food and a signaling device (a mirror or whistle)
- Hike with a buddy whenever possible and/or leave an itinerary at home or with someone you can trust to come looking for you if you don’t call in.
- Avoid dehydration: Always carry water and drink plenty of it. Long stretches of trail may provide no shade or little water; heat exhaustion is a major concern.
- To avoid sunburn: Wear a hat, preferably a wide-brimmed one, and loose lightweight clothing that covers your arms and legs. If your arms or legs are bare, slather on the sunscreen. Wear a wet bandana around your neck or over your head to keep yourself cool.
- On hot days, always hit the trail at daybreak and try to finish hiking before noon.
Important side note: Even in the cooler months, temperatures can soar, and if you’re not hydrated, heat exhaustion will set in.
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