If you’re preparing for an adventurous hike into the great outdoors, make sure to first do yourself the favor of reviewing some of the basic survival strategies and tips for a safe and successful hiking trip!

Even the most experienced of hikers can run into trouble when exposed to the outdoor elements of wild animals, poisonous plants, and intense weather patterns, and that is why it is essential to be mentally and physically prepared for any situation.

Adventure in Camping and Hiking 101

Before taking off on the day of your planned trip, it is wise to routinely consult your weather services forecast the hours leading up the hike, as conditions like a storm or heavy wind could jeopardize your safety while hiking certain terrain. Most experts advise to avoid a hike altogether if any severe weather is predicted.

Another precaution to take before embarking on your hike is to tell your family and friends exactly when and where you are going, and when you plan to return—this way, if you do happen to be injured, they will know where to look to find you.

Similarly, make sure to stick the plan you choose and remain calm if trouble does arise, prioritizing your safety above all else. Also make sure to pack a compass, map, pocket knife, first aid kit, and matches, because these are the basic necessities which come in handy most often while outdoors. It is also wise to brush up on your compass and map-reading skills before the trip as well.

If you do happen to stray off course and become lost in the wilderness, do not panic: make yourself visible to rescuers by wearing your brightest clothing, staying in open high ground, and building a triangle-shaped fire as a sign of distress. Focus on the necessity of finding drinkable water because you can only last without water for three days. Dew on plants, tropical vines, and plantain trees are all good sources of water in the wild. In addition to quickly locate water, build yourself a durable shelter from large branches, insulating it with leaves and even snow (if found). Water and shelter are key to your survival should you get stranded in the wilderness.

While hiking through the great outdoors, you should be prepared for the possibility of running into wildlife, animals which could pose a threat to your safety if you do not respond appropriately them. Bear attacks for example, though rare occurrences on hiking trips, are always a concern because bears are notoriously territorial and are known to respond aggressively when threatened. As an extra precaution, you might want to take some bear repellant along with you, if the hiking trail you plan on taking is well-known for bear sightings.

Most importantly, remember to respect the space surrounding any animal that you do happen to come across, and to not take any chances by underestimating what an animal is capable of.

If you prepare yourself with these tips and strategies as you plan your hiking trip, the adventure is sure to be complete!