The chance to hike through trails in the Northwest is one that shouldn't be passed up. Not only do you get to see beautiful scenery and landmarks, but you might even see a bear or moose - hopefully from a distance, though! Whether you want to see the backcountry of Denali National Park or the glaciers of Kenai Fjords National Park, there should be a choice that suits any sightseer's interests. However, you'll need to take certain safety precautions to prevent accidents. Here are some tips to follow when hitting the trails:
Travel in Groups
The term "strength in numbers" holds true when it comes to hiking. If you traveled alone, what would you do if you became injured? When you travel in numbers, there are more resources to be utilized in case of an emergency. For example, if you broke your ankle, another person in your group could help to wrap a bandage around the ankle or create a makeshift crutch out of a tree branch. If your group was lost, one person could start a fire, another could build a shelter, and another could hunt for food.
You can never assume that things will go according to the plan. Someone in your group could get a nasty cut or broken bone. Make sure that you have a first aid kit in your emergency pack. You'll also need to have tools with you in case you have to spend the night in the wilderness. Be sure to have a lighter or some waterproof matches to start a fire. You should also have something to signal for rescue, like a flare.
Be Cautious of Bears
Bears are prevalent in Alaska, so you need to know what to do in case you have an encounter. Firstly, you need to avoid an encounter if at all possible. Look out for tracks or bear scat to keep from surprising one of them. To be even more certain that you're not surprising a bear, be sure to make noise while hiking. You can talk to another person in the group, sing, whistle, or whatever you have to do to let the bear know that you're in the area.
Have a Compass or GPS
Whether you've hiked a particular trail 1,000 times or never set foot on it, you should always have either a compass or GPS with you just in case. Many inexperienced hikers will get themselves into trouble by leaving the main trail to explore and then become disoriented. If this were to happen, you might be forced to spend the night in the wilderness. A map and compass can prevent this disaster from occurring.
We have another article which discusses hiking for traveling to different countries. You can take a look at that article on our page with tips for hiking out of the country.
If You Sustain an Injury
If for some reason you become injured during your hiking trip, you may want to seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney. He or she will be able to show you whether you can seek recovery from your damages. If your injury was caused by someone else's mistake, you could be entitled to a settlement. A local attorney will be most familiar with state laws and be able to guide you in the right direction.
Also, if you like learning about travel and different amazing places, try this resource on Mexican and Mayan history.