If you’re not a winter person, you might be loving this season change. And even if you do enjoy the winter time, most people love spring, too. How can you not? Spring brings warmer weather, blooming trees and the opportunity to be more active outdoors.
Spring Hiking Risks and How to Minimize Them
With this beautiful weather, any fan of the outdoors just can’t wait to get outside. Hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activities of the season but even in this beautiful time of the year, there are risks that you definitely want to consider before you head out on your first spring hike.
Shorter Spring Days
With nicer weather comes fewer daylight hours. So yes, even though the scenery is beautiful, you’ll have fewer hours to appreciate it and fewer hours to hike. If you’re not a very experienced hiker, plan shorter hikes so it doesn’t get dark on you, or make sure you pack a headlight so that the darkness doesn’t stop you, and you get lost.
In elevated areas, temperatures can be a little crazy and extreme. As you go higher up it can get real cold and warmer as you descend. For these changing temperatures, it’s best to wear layers. 3 layers is a good approach and you can make the outer layer something waterproof in case there’s rain.
Bugs and more bugs and then ticks and more ticks are not uncommon this time of year. Don’t forget to pack your insect repellent.
Permanent Risk of Sunburn
The sun is always there, whether you can see it or not. Carrying sun protection with you is imperative, as you don’t want to overexpose your skin to the damaging effects of the sun.
Spring is kind of confusing, especially at the very beginning of the season when you’re not sure winter got the memo it was time to go. You might still see snow and ice in some areas, and trails might be covered by it. Traction is very much needed to hike in this type of terrain, so make sure you wear your hiking boots. If you’re hiking in a very unstable terrain, you should also bring your trekking poles.
Risk of River or Creek Overflows
This is the season of faster-flowing creeks and rivers. Take time to study the area your planning to hike and confirm if there are rivers or creeks along that path. If this is the case, dig deeper to find out if it’s safe to visit that area this time of year.
Spring is a great season for hiking. Assess the risks of spring hiking, take steps to mitigate them and head outdoors for the adventure of the season!