Spring’s pleasant weather urges us to spend more time out of doors, which is a very good thing. However, don’t be fooled by spring when heading out for a hike, especially if you're headed out where there is no cell phone service.
We always encourage preparedness when hiking or wildflower peeping but spring can be especially tricky.
•Assess the conditions (weather and terrain) before hiking and pick an appropriate location so the hike will be safe and enjoyable. If the weather is risky, wait for a better day.
•Just because you are warm enough when you park the car doesn’t mean you will be once you begin the trail. Layer up and/or pack some extra clothes in your backpack! Wide-ranging changes in the weather are common in spring.
•Shoes play a vital role in your safety and comfort when hiking. Make certain your footwear can accommodate whatever conditions you may encounter. The absence of snow at the beginning of the trail can trick you and as you proceed into higher elevations you could run into snow and ice.
• Thinking that you can avoid mud in spring is a fools game, not to mention possible water crossings.
•We always recommend carrying trekking poles. They can help you avoid mishaps with mud, ice and water crossings. There are numerous reasons to use trekking poles but most importantly they increase your balance and stability when navigating difficult areas.
•Daylight is still tricky in spring, so always carry a light source just in case your hike unexpectedly takes longer than you planned. No one wants to or should be hiking in darkness without a flashlight or headlamp.
For more tips about staying safe on your adventures, you can download our free booklet: A Beginner’s Guide To Becoming A Naturalist