4 Ways to Hike Safer and Smarter this Year

March 8, 2021

Spring is bringing warmer weather to Arizona, and spending time outdoors is top of mind for a lot of Arizonans to break out ofA man hikes down the Flatiron at Lost Dutchman State Park. winter and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine! With warmer weather comes danger, too, though. More people on the trails, new hikers, and warmer conditions can all contribute to accidents in the park, and we want you to be as prepared as possible before you hit the trails!

  1. Pre-hydrate: It’s often underestimated how helpful it can be to be good and hydrated before you head outside! Drink water throughout your day or the night before you hike.
  2. Make a Plan: Before you hike, check and download any trail maps or guides you might need. Take a GPS with you, and make sure your phone is fully charged. It’s always better to hike with friends, but if you’re going alone, let someone know where you’re going and about how long you’ll be gone.
  3. Bring Sun Protection: A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen can help your body stay cool under the sun and prevent the heat of the day from leaving a lasting impression on your shoulders and face!
  4. Bring Enough Water: Bring more water than you think you’ll need, every time. It’s always better to be overprepared than underprepared, and you don’t want to get caught without enough to keep you hydrated throughout your hike. When you get halfway through your water, turn back—even if you’re not already at the top. You need water during the whole return trip too! Bring snacks and electrolyte tablets to help stay alert, too. Bananas, granola, and peanut butter are all great options.

No matter where you’re headed in AZ, don’t let the heat get the best of you! Even experienced hikers can be taken aback by the dry, unrelenting heat of an Arizona summer. Be smart, be prepared, and check in with yourself! In Arizona, you can always try again tomorrow. Check out more tips and safety information at azstateparks.com/hiking-safety.