Tag Archives: hazard


Common Hiking Dangers and How To Prevent Them

Hiking is a summertime activity enjoyed by families and individuals all around the world. Even an activity as casual and seemingly harmless as hiking in the woods has its dangers though. Below are three of the most common dangers encountered while hiking and tips on how to prevent them.


It might seem like common sense, but it really is surprising how many people forget to bring an adequate amount of water when they go on a camping trip. Many campsites have water spigots these days, but it is always smart to bring along an extra jug or two. In addition, it is always a good idea to bring a water bottle (or maybe even two of them) along if you venture onto the trails for a day hike. The human body can become dehydrated in as little as 3 hours in the heat so it is essential to have something to constantly sip on.

Getting Lost

It’s all too easy to get lost when you’re in the woods. If you’re hiking with children, then it is especially important to teach them to recognize area landmarks. It is also a good idea to never leave a marked trail. Urge your children not to wander around if they become lost and to stay in one spot.

Carrying a whistle is also an intelligent thing to do as it can lead rescuers towards you if you wander off on your own.

Proper Clothing & Equipment

Weather can be a fickle thing, especially in the wilderness. Oftentimes, nighttime is much colder than people expect. In addition, even the sunniest of summer months can bring on unexpected rainstorms. It is always smart to be prepared for all sorts of weather conditions while on a hiking trip. Warm clothes, waterproofs, and a rain cover are essential even for a summertime foray into the wilderness.

Hiking trips are all about fun and that is why it is so important to be prepared and prevent common hiking dangers. The above three tips will help ensure that your hiking trip remains fun while staying safe.

mosquito bite

How to Treat Insect Bites with Household Items

If you enjoy spending time outdoors, then you’re probably tired of insects spoiling your fun. Insect bites are not only uncomfortable but can be dangerous if left untreated. You can treat insect bites with commercial products, but home remedies may work just as well. If you prefer natural treatments, then a quick check of your refrigerator or cupboards is usually all it takes.

Rubbing Alcohol

While several household items such as toothpaste or banana peels will relieve the itching associated with insect bites, rubbing alcohol has the added benefit of being antibacterial. If you don’t have any rubbing alcohol, then vinegar also kills germs and is a good substitute. To reduce swelling, use an onion or an ice pack, but be sure to call a doctor if the swelling worsens. This may indicate an allergic reaction.

Baking Soda

Combining vinegar or water with baking soda will not only relieve itching but can help to remove stingers. If you’re squeamish, then this method is also much less painful than using tweezers.

Whether you’re camping, hiking or just hanging out in the backyard, insects can ruin your day. Learning to treat insect bites will help to ensure your outdoor activities are as fun and safe as possible.

survival skills: hiking

6 Common Hiking Injuries and How To Prepare For Them

Whether you like to hike long distances or in short spurts, you can encounter hazards along the way. Hiking trails are often located in parks and wooded areas where rocks, tree limbs, insects and lack of fresh water can all create problems for hikers.


Even the most experienced hikers can get blisters on their feet. Unfamiliar terrain and inclines add more stress to footgear. Blisters often form on heels, anklebones and on big toes when going downhill. Carry a small sheet of moleskin to cut into shape and apply to the blistered area. This action will allow you to continue your hike without undue discomfort.

Skin Injuries

Another common injury on hiking trails is the skinned knee or elbow. These injuries often occur when hikers neglect to watch the ground as they walk. Tree roots and loose rocks can cause slips and falls that break the skin. Another typical skin injury is from branches that scrape the face and neck. You can find a number of very small first-aid kits small enough to slip into your backpack that contain everything you need to treat scrapes and puncture wounds on the trail. These kits contain a variety of bandage sizes, gauge pads for cleaning wounds and antibiotic ointment in tiny packets. These kits add only a tiny amount of weight to your backpack and can be a big convenience on the trail.


Along with falls, sprains can occur on hikes when you are not paying careful attention to uneven terrain. Sprains can cause pain, tenderness, swelling and discoloration at the site. Carry an ace bandage in your backpack to help support sprained ankles or knees while on the trail. Also, carry a small container of aspirin or ibuprofen to manage pain and inflammation until you get back to civilization.

Insect Bites

Unfortunately, you can never tell when you will run into a stinging insect on hiking trails. Bees, wasps, mosquitoes and flies are just a few of the creatures that can deliver painful, itchy stings. Ensure that the first-aid kit in your backpack also contains an anti-sting medication to reduce discomfort from insect bites. These medications are available in individual dose packets and easy-to-pack pens. Always rinse and dry the bite area before applying medications. Remove stingers if necessary.


Sunburn is always a danger on long hikes in hot weather. You may have to hike through long, open area with no shade. Always apply sunscreen before you begin your hike, and re-apply the sunscreen periodically during the day. Pay special attention to re-application after sweating a lot or getting wet in streams or waterfalls. Small, easy-to-carry tubes of sunscreen are available that fit easily into backpacks and do not add extra weight.


Dehydration is the hikers worst enemy. A long strenuous hike can use up fluid reserves in the body quickly in hot weather. Sometimes, hikers miscalculate their water needs and find themselves running out of water on the trail. Bring enough water to allow you to quench your thirst every 30 minutes. Drink before you are thirsty to prevent fluid loss. Tuck a few water purification tablets into your backpack in case you run out of water and are forced to refresh yourself from a stream or creek. Signs of dehydration include increased thirst, dry mouth, dry skin, light-headedness, weakness dark-colored urine and headache. Dehydration can lead to heat stroke, a serious medical problem. Be aware of signs such as vomiting, headache, cramps, rapid pulse or confusion. Get into the shade and seek medical attention immediately.


survival shelter location

Survival Shelter: How To Find The Best Location

If you’re planning to make or locate a survival shelter, make sure you choose a proper site. Devote some time to pick a place: a great site can protect you from weather conditions such as rain and wind.
Before starting to search or build a shelter, go through the following rules.

Away from Water

Early morning dew and generally fog stay for a longer time near a body of water because the water gets warm less rapidly compared to the surroundings, as a consequence the air is humid and the land is damp. Remember that wet terrain depletes your body heat easier than dry terrain.

Make sure that your shelter is far from any water sources that could flood. Search for drainage marks. If you can, go for a place somewhat above the adjacent area so that water flows away from your shelter.

Be aware of flash floods, unexpected and violent stream of water that transform a dry river bed into a furious torrent. Watch out for high water signs, including water marks on rocks or plants and flowers trapped by flowing water high in bushes or trees.

Another reason to stay away from water is to avoid pollute water with feces, food scraps and garbage. Also, if you place your camp near water, you’ll have mosquito problems.

In most cases, 50 meters from water is a safe distance to build a shelter.

Away from Hazard

Be cautious about lightning hazards. Despite the fact that you need to make your rescue signals on an exposed ridge, actually building a shelter on such ground is definitely a lightning risk.

Check dead branches or trees that could fall and damage your shelter. Also stay away from other hazards, such as places with potential rock, mud slides or avalanches. A good example of an avalanche area is a strip without trees on a mountain side. An instance of a rockfall area is a loose cone-shaped rocky debris pile at the base of a mountain.

Be sure that the area you finally choose is without any poisonous plants or insect nests, such as ant colony or wasp’s nests.

In The Margin

Search for a location on the edge of two distinct environments. Between a forest and a field is an ideal position. Thick forests are shady areas that shield the heat of the sun’s rays, even on warm days. If you choose the center of a field to place your shelter, you’ll miss natural wind protection.

Near Resources

To be able to build a good shelter, your chosen location should have an adequate amount of building material. If you have to transport the resources a long way, you are going to deplete more energy than you can afford.

Remember: a great location can enhance a survival shelter even if improperly built while an inadequate location diminish the quality of a wonderful shelter.