Outdoor Hiking Safety Tips - It is important to follow these simple and crucial guidelines if you are going to be hiking in woods and forests.
Enjoy your hike!
Leave No Trace - Outdoor Ethics
Plan ahead and prepare.
Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
Dispose of waste properly.
Leave what you find.
Minimize campfire impacts.
Be considerate of other visitors.
Hiking Safety and Ethics -
Stay on the trail - Don't shortcut switchbacks. This causes erosion and damages the trail and trail environment.
Carry out all litter - Follow the "leave no trace" ethic and leave your campsite and trail cleaner than you found it.
Protect water sources - Don't use soap in streams. Wash yourself, utensils, or clothes away from all water sources.
Bury human waste - Where privies are not available dig a "cathole" at least 6" deep and cover afterward. Do this at least 100 yards from any water source or camping area. Do not leave toilet paper above ground.
Sterilize all drinking water - Treat water with iodine tablets or boil or filter water before drinking. Carry adequate water at all times. Be aware that water sources sometimes run dry in dry seasons. Plan ahead and fill up when possible.
Take care with food - Animals frequent camping areas. If staying overnight, hang food at least 10 feet above the ground;never leave food in a tent.
Be careful with fires - Use campstoves for cooking. Use only downed wood for campfires and keep them small. Never leave fires unattended and always extinguish them with water. In dry seasons the risk of forest fire increases. Some areas have fire bans along the trail - check with the Rangers, look for signs.
Take extra precautions to ensure your safety during hunting season. Firearm Deer Season in North Georgia is October - January
Wear blaze orange during hunting season. Blaze orange apparel should be visiblefrom both front and back. A lightweight blaze orange pack cover and hat are recommended.
Be especially cautious within 1/2 mile of road crossings,approaching and leaving, and in valley areas.
Plan your hike
Know your route and allow sufficient time for your trip.
Do not overextend your abilities.
Tell someone your hiking plans.
Dress appropriately. Be prepared for sudden and extreme weather changes.
Carry sufficient water and food and first aid supplies.
Hike with a companion.