Hiking is a physical activity with both physical and mental benefits. It can improve your physical fitness and help you relax. To ensure a pleasant hiking trip, you should take note of the following:
Points to note before hiking:
1. Plan your hike
- Do not hike alone; go with a companion.
- Choose a hiking trail that suits the ability of your fellow hikers.
- All hikers must clearly understand the route to be taken and be fully aware of any possible dangers.
- To ensure safety, at least one person in the group should be a hiking coach or an experienced hiker.
- Before setting out, inform family members or friends of your route and the time you expect to return.
- Learn distress signals and first aid techniques, so that you know how to handle the situation in case of an accident.
- People suffering from chronic diseases such as heart disease or asthma should consult a doctor to find out whether hiking is advisable and any necessary precautions to be taken.
2. Weather conditions
- Do not go hiking if the weather is bad, unstable or too hot.
- If there has been heavy rain recently, wait for a few days until the weather has been stable long enough for hiking. This can minimise the possibility of being exposed to life-threatening situations, such as landslides or flash floods.
1. Suitable equipment
- Wear light clothing such as light-coloured long-sleeved tops and trousers. In winter, wear sufficient clothing to keep warm.
- Wear hiking shoes to protect your feet.
- Bring a sun cap, an umbrella and a windbreaker to prepare for sudden weather changes. You may also bring a walking stick if necessary.
2. Other necessary items
- Bring enough food and water.
- Prepare first aid items, including sticking plasters, bandages, cotton swabs, cotton balls and disinfectants.
- Bring a detailed map of the area and a compass.
- Carry a flashlight, a whistle and ropes in case you get lost.
- If possible, carry a fully-charged mobile phone and walkie-talkie for emergency use in case of an accident.
The principles of hiking safety:
1. Be aware of your surroundings
- Outdoor activities are greatly affected by the weather. During your hike, stay alert to the weather conditions and stay tuned to the latest weather information issued by the Observatory.
- Pay attention to the terrain during your hike. Stay away from cliffs and deep pools of water to prevent falls or drowning.
- When there is a hill fire, stay calm and leave the affected area as soon as possible. Dial 999 to report the fire.
2. Personal safety
- Never go off on your own.
- To avoid getting lost or being bitten by a snake, do not hike through dense woodland or tall undergrowth with no road signs.
- To prevent accidents, do not stand near the cliff edge or climb onto rocks to take photos or view the scenery.
- To avoid food poisoning or infection, do not eat wild fruit or drink from streams.
- Do not play with stray cats, dogs or monkeys, as they may attack you.
- Never smoke, as this may cause a hill fire.