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Hazards on the trail you may not have considered

  • Jun 1, 2016

Things like getting lost or coming across a hungry bear may seem like the most obvious risks associated with going hiking, but in reality, there are many more seemingly benign hazards that actually lead to very serious problems for anyone on an outdoor adventure. 

Before your next trip, consider these hidden risks and be sure to prepare yourself. 

Bad bugs
While bears, pumas or venomous snakes may seem like the most dangerous critters you can find in the woods, large mammals and reptiles kill far fewer individuals every year in the U.S. than do bees and other insects, according to the Washington Post.

Even for folks without allergies, coming across a swarm of bees or wasps can lead to a very serious situation. Even in cooler climates, nonvenomous creatures like ants kill more people than bears, spiders or alligators. 

Check with a local official about what specific creatures you could encounter while out on the trail and ask about the best ways to avoid any risks

Poisonous plants
As Your Hiking Guide pointed out, the forest may also be home to many different species of plants that can cause health issues. Poison Ivy and Poison Oak may be easy to identify but can still lead to painful rashes and other complications if you're not being cautious during your hike. 

Plants and fungi can also be extremely dangerous for anyone being overly adventurous. For example, many species of mushroom or types of berries can be toxic and should never be consumed without proper guidance. Otherwise, even a small sampling could lead to painful digestive issues or more serious health concerns.

Inclement weather
I
n any season, spending time outdoors means braving the elements. Winter may lead to hypothermia or frostbite, both of which can be extremely dangerous. During the spring, summer and fall, shifting winds can trigger tornadoes, flash floods and powerful storms. Knowing the specific hazards of your region will be helpful for knowing when inclement weather may be setting in.

Be sure to monitor any weather forecasts ahead of a hiking trip and use any tools or resources to prepare yourself. By using your Pro Trek PRW3500T-7 with barometer, you may be able to catch a coming storm before it hits and take cover.

Dehydration or heat exhaustion
Even for individuals that get plenty of physical exercise, working too hard while out on the trail can quickly become a dangerous situation. It's important to make sure your body is ready for a day out and that you take care of yourself while out on your trip.

Both dehydration and heat exhaustion can set in if you neglect what your body is telling you, and this can be an especially risky problem. If you are out in the bush without access to medical care, finding ways to lower your core temperature and rehydrate can be especially difficult. 

While hiking it is always important to drink plenty of water and to make sure you're providing your body with plenty of fuel. At the same time, taking breaks is equally as critical.