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A day hike in a forest or along a trail can be refreshing and provide great exercise. Stay safe and healthy by following these guidelines.

Before You Leave
Plan your route. Keep in mind the physical fitness levels and ages of the people who will be with you. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. Check the weather forecast and plan appropriately; if rain is predicted, take rain gear.

Make sure members of your group have first aid knowledge and skills that they're capable of using in an emergency. Be aware of any medical conditions other people have so they can be treated appropriately in case an emergency arises. Prepare a first aid kit that includes:
  • antiseptic towelettes, antibiotic ointment, bandages and adhesive tape
  • 'Ace' bandages, moleskin tape squares to prevent and treat blisters
  • safety pins to hold compresses or splints in place or to make an arm sling, tweezers to remove splinters and ticks, small scissors, chemical ice pack
  • sunscreen, chapstick, insect repellent, pain and anti-inflammatory medication, decongestant
Take along at least two quarts of water per person and pack high-energy snack food (fresh fruit, dried fruit, high protein candy bars, nuts and seeds) in addition to food you intend to eat for meals.

What to Wear
Wear clothes that wick moisture and are quick to dry. Bring a jacket, head covering and rain gear. Layering is important in order for your body to quickly adapt to changing temperatures. The right pair of boots/shoes is fundamental because foot pain can put a damper on your entire hike.

Don't Forget the "Ten Essentials"
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • Extra food
  • Extra clothing
  • Sunglasses
  • First aid supplies
  • Pocket knife
  • Matches
  • Fire starter

The Colorado Mountain Club