Find out from the hike leader as much details about the hiking destination as possible eg . type of terrain, duration of the hike, rating of the hike, does it include swimming, etc.
Use footwear with good grips on the soles like a trail sneakers or hiking boot absolutely NO sandals, NO slippers, and NO high-heeled shoes.
Wear Comfortable loose fitting clothes (long pants referred / no jeans) and a cap for sun shade.
Pack lightly : include 1 litre of water, sandwiches, medication, insect repellant ,sports drink and other essential items. Use a back pack to keep hands free.
Leave jewelry and other valuables behind since they can hook onto branches.
Secure cameras, cell phones, car remotes etc. in a water proof bag.
Do not bring pets on a hike, domestic pets can cause problems in the forest.
Keep an extra change of clothing in the car.
The leaders of the group should have a first aid kit, a cut-lass or knife, torch light ,small piece of survival rope, duct tape, a water safety device and a compass. A simple garbage bag can be used for a number of purposes eg. a sling etc.
Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.
Carry a cell phone for use in emergency
A first time hiker should not attempt a hike longer then 90 minutes or rated over 4 moderate.
Hikes are rated 1 (Very Easy) – 8 (Very Difficult). Be sure of your medical fitness before attempting any hike.
Children under the age of 7 years are not allowed on challenging hikes rated over 4. Absolutely no babies in arms.
Rules During the Hike
Always stay together in a group.
Follow guidelines given by the hike leader before starting a hike.
Be responsible ,use common sense and good judgment.
Stick to the intended route, avoid short cuts.
Travel at a pace where you can always see a fellow hiker walking in front and behind you. Slow down at times in order to re-group.
Don’t be afraid to turn back especially if the weather turns bad.
Never venture off the trail without informing a hike leader.
Never pass the front hike leader. If at any time you are uncertain about which direction you should take, Stand Your Ground, wait for a hike leader. The last person will always be a hike leader.
On approaching any intersection on the trail, the path which is blocked by freshly cut bush or branches means no entry.
Avoid running on the trail which can cause you to slip and damage yourself.
Avoid shaking bushes and making excessive noises that can attract bees.
If you need to go in the bush to use the bathroom inform a hike leader to wait and survey the surroundings.
Do not touch or eat any fruit or plant which is unknown to you.
Snakes do not attack or chase people and most are harmless and beneficial to humans. Learn to recognize the four dangerous snakes and avoid them. Snakes bites are rare.
Make sure you shoes are properly laced to prevent injury.
Do Not Litter – Take Garbage Back With You – Keep the forest clean.
It is illegal to pick-up spent shells or fired cartridges in the forest.
No drinking of Alcohol or use of illegal substances during the hike.
In case of emergency make sure you know where outside help can be obtained.
Lost or Misplaced in the Forest (Three Options)
Remain where you are rather than venture further into the forest.
Turn back and retrace your foot-steps to a familiar path.
Follow a river course which can be very challenging but will eventually lead to civilization.
Do’s and Don’ts in Water
NEVER swim alone.
Watch small children closely, they can drown in a few inches of water. teach them to stay out of the water until an adult is supervising them.
Swimmers should swim parallel to the shore.
After eating wait 1 hour before going in the water.
Stop swimming on the first indication of bad weather.
Protect your head, neck and spine – don’t dive into unfamiliar waters, always go into the water feet first.
If you are in trouble call or wave for help.
Do not float where you can’t swim or rely on flotation devices that can be lost in the water.
Non and weak swimmers should not use inflated devices in water.
Avoid swimming areas where there are potholes ,shifting sand and a brownish discoloration of the water.
Never fake actions or calls for help.
Do not push others under water.
If caught in a rip current, swim sideways until free, don’t swim against the force of the current’s. Signal for help.
Follow the advice of the lifeguards .Read and obey all beach safety flags and signs.
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