As the fall weather approaches, one of my favorite things to do is hike the vast array of trails that are available in this area. Hiking in the wilderness in Georgian Bay area can be an exhilarating experience with breathtaking views, but at times can present with many dangers. Some of the potential dangers associated with hiking can be:
1. Heat Exhaustion and Dehydration
Signs of heat exhaustion may include dizziness, clammy skin or nausea/vomiting. It is best to hike earlier or later in the day to avoid the mid day heat.
Be sure to drink plenty of water. This is common sense but many people simply don’t’ do it.
3. Falling Rocks
As you near the rock faces of the Niagara Escarpment, it is possible that hikers above you unknowingly cause loose rocks to come tumbling down.
4. Weather Changes
Severe thunderstorms off Georgian Bay can occur rapidly. Be sure to check the weather before venturing out on longer hikes and be prepared for all weather conditions.
Be aware of hunting seasons. Wear bright clothing or better yet, avoid these areas until the hunting season is closed.
6. Car Burglaries
Thankfully, this not a common occurrence but you need to lock your car and keep all valuables out of sight as your car may be left for several hours.
7. Sprained Ankle and Foot Injuries
Hiking trails are usually uneven and have obstacles such as roots and stones. Going over on your ankle can easily happen. Proper footwear for hiking is essential! (Flip-flops do not qualify) Wear proper socks to wick away perspiration and prevent blisters. Carry some basic first aid supplies to treat minor cuts or scrapes.
There many things to be aware of when hiking and when possible, these should be dealt with in the morning before you head out. But don’t let these things stop you from experiencing the many benefits of hiking. Being prepared will ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable day in the great outdoors. So lace up those shoes and hit the trails!