Skip to content

A Guide for Hikers

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.

Essential items:

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.