Back Country Safety Tips
You are responsible for yourself, so be prepared:
- With knowledge and gear. Become self reliant by learning about the terrain, conditions, local weather and your equipment before you start.
- Leave your plans. Tell someone where you are going, the trails you will be using, when you will return and your emergency plans.
- Stay together. When you start as a group, remain as a group, end as a group. Pace your outing to the slowest person.
- Turn back. Weather changes quickly in the mountains. Fatigue and unexpected conditions can also affect your outing. Know your limitations and when to postpone your trip. The mountains will be there another day.
- For emergencies. Even if you are headed out for just an hour, an injury, severe weather or a wrong turn could become life threatening. Don’t assume you will be rescued; know how to rescue yourself.
Recommended clothing and equipment for hikers and backpackers
For Summer Day Hikes:
The Ten Essentials:
- Warm Clothing:
- Sweater or Pile Jacket
- Long Pants (wool or synthetic)
- Hat (wool)
- Extra Food and Water
- Flashlight or Headlamp
- Matches/Fire starters
- First Aid Kit/Repair Kit
- Rain/Wind Jacket and Pants
- Pocket Knife
Also important to take on day hikes:
Sturdy Footwear and Extra Socks
Trash Bag (for trash or rain protection)
Light Plastic Tarp or "Space" Blanket
Gloves or Mittens
Add for Overnight Trips and Groups:
Tent or Other Shelter
Pots, Cup, Bowl, Spoon
Toothbrush, Towel, etc.
Add for Winter:
Extra Warm Clothing:
- Insulated Parka
- Extra Mittens
Add for above Tree line:
Add for Avalanche Terrain:
Recommended clothing and equipment for snowshoe trips
Clothing Suggestions :
- Layer clothing for optimum comfort.
- Have a base wicking layer, insulating layer and outer protective layer.
- Layer footwear, using a sock liner to help wick moisture and a synthetic or wool outer sock.
- The best footwear for snowshoeing is either waterproof hiking boots or lightweight winter boots.
- Gloves with liners.
- Layer head gear, light liner and waterproof outer shell.
- Waterproof hat and gloves.
- Trekking poles
- Sun glasses
- Snow shovel
- Ice axe
- Insulated water system/thermos
- GPS device with topography maps
- First aid kit
- Extra food and water
- Matches/fire starters
- Pocket knife
- Extra clothing, gloves, socks and hat
- Map and compass
- Avalanche beacon or personal locator beacon
- Extra batteries
- Emergency radio (NOAA type is preferable)
- Hand and toe warmers
- Tarp/space blanket
- Write out a trip plan (give to local ranger's office, friends and family)
- Check weather and trail conditions before starting the outing
Trail conditions in the back country can be dangerous. Trail hazards may put you at risk of serious injury or even death. It is always your responsibility to stay informed of trail conditions and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself while undertaking any hiking or backpacking activity.
MrTrail.com makes no guarantees regarding the accuracy of information available on this site. Information is contributed voluntarily by members outdoor community who wish to share their experiences. It is always your responsibility to verify any information found here with an independent agency before undertaking any outdoor activity.