• Safety tips: Hiking on Florida trails

    By: Kelly Healey


    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.


    For more information go to the Florida Trail Association's website.

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