Hiking is a big sport in Alaska. We just love it – and how could you not? In a state with so many national parks, glaciers, forests, mountains, tundra – you name it! Whether you’re new at hiking Alaskan terrain, or a seasoned pro, it’s nice to be reminded of some fundamental hiking tips to keep you safe. So before you head off in your Alaska summer car rentals looking for a prime hiking spot, read on for our hiking tips.
Be careful on river crossings
One of the most important things to remember is to not drag your friends down with you when crossing a river. For deep waters, crossing arm in arm is your best bet, but for shallow rivers cross one at a time.
If you take your hiking partner down with you, who will be there to help you both up? Arm in arm is good for support, and hopefully steady enough to ensure no one falls. But for smaller rivers that are easily forded on your own, having the other person watch you from the other side will ensure you have someone to help in times of trouble.
And of course, never cross in a storm. Always wait the storm out as the current will become a lot more aggressive with high winds and rain. You may also want to unclip your pack from around your body. That way the weight of the pack can be shrugged off it begins to take you downriver in the event you’ve fallen in a heavy current.
Finally, look for the river crossing. There are always marks on the river directing towards the best route to cross the river.
Choose footwear carefully
Do you want quick-drying hiking shoes so you don’t have to change your shoes when crossing a river? Or a separate pair of water shoes or river sandals to keep your socks and hiking shoes clean and dry?
Either way, make sure you think carefully about what might be most comfortable for you. There’s nothing like having uncomfortable feet in the interior! It can turn a relaxing, albeit challenging, hike into an unpleasant one. If you’re not sure, bring both and you can always leave one pair in the Alaska summer car rentals if you change your mind when you get to the trails.
Know the signs of hypothermia
Whether you’re going on a quick trip or a weeklong venture, make sure you know the signs of hypothermia. Common symptoms include shivering, slurred speech, paled skin, decreased motor functions, and disorientation. If you catch these signs in someone in your group, change their clothes into dry, thick clothes with multiple layers. Keep them active, hydrated, warm, and fed. If you can stop to build a fire, do so. It is important that they keep moving, though, and stay warm.
At this point, you’ll likely want to call your trip and get back to your Alaska summer car rentals to get your friend help as soon as possible.
Choose an appropriate level of hiking
It’s important to know your skills and your limitations. When you’re setting off in Alaskan terrain, choose your hike carefully. If you’re a beginner, or with beginners, here is a list of 10 easy hikes across Alaska. These hikes will still offer you the beauty and challenge of Alaskan wilderness, without threatening the safety or enjoyment of anyone in your group.
Know how to handle the wildlife
Alaska is full of wildlife. It’s important to know how to deal with it, particularly with bears. We have a blog on dealing with bears effectively and safely that will be helpful to those unfamiliar with these parts. Furthermore, forest fires are a real issue in Alaska. Stay safe this fire season with our tips on fire safety.
All you need now is your Alaska summer car rentals for a great hiking trip. Reserve your Alaska summer car rentals from Avis today!