Safety Tips For Experienced & Novice Hikers

Buffalo, NY – In the wake of yesterday’s Zoar Valley tragedy, Sheriff Howard wishes to remind experienced hikers about the hazards, as well as caution novice hikers about the dangers of this hobby.

Here are some tips that every hiker, no matter their skill level, should know and do when exploring our wonderful natural treasures.

Before your adventure:

  • Plan ahead. Research the area ahead of time, identify known hazards and utilize guidebooks, maps, the internet, as well as other public resources.
  • Plan your trip carefully according to routes or trails, and the time you have available.
  • Recognize your physical capabilities and limitations and try not to exceed those limitations.
  • Check weather reports before you set out.
    • Leave an itinerary with a trusted friend or family member which include:
    • Where you are going
    • When you are leaving
    • When you plan on returning
    • Indicate where you are parking, the route you will hike, and what gear you have.
  • Arrange to go with a group or at least one other person.
  • Wear appropriate hiking shoes or boots.
  • Wear layered clothing is best to meet changing weather conditions and it is recommended to avoid cotton clothing, which insulates poorly when wet and dries very slowly.
  • Wear a watch so you’ll be aware of the amount of daylight you have left
  • Hike with these 10 essentials:
    • Navigation (map and compass, GPS if available)
    • Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)
    • Insulation (extra clothing)
    • Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
    • First-aid supplies
    • Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)
    • Repair kit and tools
    • Nutrition (extra food)
    • Hydration (extra water)
    • Emergency shelter

In the event you become lost, keep calm, stay dry, keep warm, and stay put. In case of an accident, at least one person should remain with the injured person while others in carefully note the location and contact 9-1-1 as soon as possible.

Finally, individuals should familiarize themselves with first aid techniques and how to utilize the techniques.