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July 6, 2012

Hike Smart

Summertime means hiking, but hiking doesn't always mean a safe adventure, unfortunately. Just because we may be on an established trail doesn't mean we're free from trouble. This holds true not only for paths in our nearby mountains and deserts, but also in state and national parks and monuments. By taking a few easy precautions and properly preparing ourselves for a day on the trail, we can have a grand adventure without having to pull out the first aid kit.

Grand Canyon National Park's Hike Smart program urges its visitors to bring along 10 hiking essentials, as well as follow a few other very important safety tips to ensure a safe hike. Although the trails in and around Salt Lake City may not exactly be Grand Canyon-caliber, smart hikers don't leave home without:
  1. Water - plain and some with electrolyte replacement
  2. Food - especially salty foods; eat twice as much as normal
  3. First Aid Kit - bandaids, ace wrap, antiseptic, moleskin, etc
  4. Map - while many trails are well-marked, maps are helpful tools
  5. Pack - to carry the essentials
  6. Flashlight/Spare Batteries - allows you to hike out during the cool of the evening
  7. Spray Bottle - fill with water for your own personal air conditioning system
  8. Hat/Sunscreen - to keep the sun off you and protect your skin
  9. Whistle and/or Signal Mirror - for emergency use
  10. Waterproof Clothing - poncho or jacket
With all the beautiful scenery here in Utah, and all the trails leading through it, hiking is one of the best ways to explore our state. And by taking a few extra minutes to prepare for your hike before hitting the trailhead, you can almost always guarantee to end your hike on a high note, with tired but happy feet and good memories.


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