Canada, especially the West Coast, is known for its beautiful mountains, vast nature and numerous options of outdoor activities. It would be a shame not to make use of it while you are here. A popular pastime is hiking, since there are thousands of great hiking trails around, that offer stunning views. But there are some precautions you should keep in mind when going on a hiking trip, since it can get quite dangerous if you are ill prepared. Don’t panic, I’ve got you covered. I will share some tips with you that are worth considering when going out into the Canadian wilderness.
I) Inform people where you are going
Always let someone, who is not going with you know, where you are and when to expect you back. Better, try not to go on a hike all by yourself. A lot of people underestimate the power of nature. Sometimes the trails are not properly marked, there can be unexpected changes in your route, difficult parts of climbing, or potential falling, etc., and sometimes it can take hours for another hiker to come by. It is good if someone knows where you are, in case you get hurt.
II) The right outfit
To minimize possible injuries it is recommended to wear some proper hiking clothes, especially shoes are important. If you are planning on going for a few hikes this season, it is worth buying some hiking boots, if you don’t have them already. They are a game changer. Compared to runners they are less likely to slip or sprain your ankle. I just bought some proper hiking boots myself and I love them. They make it way more comfortable for me to go up and down the mountains. I feel more safe for sure. Appropriate clothing would be non-cotton, functional wear, depending on the weather a rainproof jacket, a hat, or a toque, and a backpack.
Some gadgets you should take with you are:
– A light: It can get dark really quickly, and I wouldn’t trust your phone flashlight on this one
– Water and food: It’s important to hydrate and have some high energy food bars, etc. with you since you are physically exercising
– Cell phone for communication and navigation: It’s recommended to also take other navigation devices like a compass and a map
IV) Survival Kit
There are some extras you should consider taking with you, especially when you go on longer, more advanced hikes:
– Signalling device, like a whistle
– Fire Starter
– Warm clothes (Layers are a good idea)
– Pocket knife
– First-aid kit (Always good to have for emergencies)
In the end it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
V) Another topic I’d like to talk to you about is Wildlife. Canada is not only widely known for its diverse nature but also for its furry habitants, like bears, cougars, wolves, coyotes, and many more. Encounters with animals are low and attacks are very rare. They usually only happen as a result of people’s careless actions. It might happen though that you encounter some animals while you are a little outside of the city and it’s good to have an idea on how to behave in such situation. So here’s what’s most important.
Try to avoid a close encounter from the beginning by:
– Hiking as a group
– Watching for signs
– Never approaching wildlife! Maintain a distance that respects the needs of wildlife
– Not trying to take selfies with wildlife. Selfies are not safe and not encouraged
– Not feeding wildlife.
Here’s a source that gets more specific on how to behave in case of a rare encounter with different animals: https://bcparks.ca/conserve/bearsandcougars.pdf?v=1654715287939
I know this is a lot of information, but it might come in handy 🙂 I don’t know about you, but the German in me likes to be prepared for any possible scenario. 😀
I hope this post is helpful to you and prepares you for your next adventure.
Have great day!