Health & Safety

July 13, 2012

Critical Days of Summer

Hiking safety

by Senior Airman Melanie Holochwost
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Servicemembers hike along Skeleton Point Trail at the Grand Canyon Sept. 25, 2011.

During the summer, especially during excessive heat warnings, the safest course is to avoid hiking. If you must hike, the safest times are before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

Top 10 tips for a safe hike

10. Check the trail rating guide before starting a hike.

9. If you have any doubts about your ability to finish a hike, don’t start.

8. Don’t rappel unless you are experienced. Take lessons first.

7. Hike only during the day. Parks are closed from dusk to dawn.

6. Wear the proper shoes. Hiking boots or sneakers with ankle support are ideal.

5. Wear cool, loose-fitting clothing along with a hat or sun visor. Apply sunscreen to uncovered skin.

4. Don’t hike alone.

3. Stay on the trail.

2. Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you are scheduled to return.

1. Take more water than you think you will need.


If you get lost:

  • Remain calm and avoid panic.
  • Don’t proceed in another direction unless you are sure of what you are doing.
  • If you move, leave a note or mark the place with stones or sticks in groups of three, which indicates “help.”
  • Show the direction of travel by making trail pointers out of stones, brush or twigs.
  • Attract attention with three distress signals. Three blast of a whistle, three shouts or three flashes of light.
  • Make a small fire out of green wood, which will produce a lot of smoke.
  • Try to keep warm, sheltered and supplied with water.
  • Don’t wonder around in the dark. Wait until morning to find your way.


Upcoming Outdoor Recreation hiking trips

Slide Rock State Park Day Trip
When: July 21
Cost: $35 per person
Trip includes transportation and park entry.
Registration Deadline: Today

Grand Canyon Day Trip
When: Aug. 18
Cost: $40 per person
Trip includes transportation and park entry fee.
Registration Deadline: Aug. 10

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