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Teens on Trails- Hike Safe

Published July 13, 2015

Hiking is a fun, healthy, and affordable activity that is open to anyone.  Inexperienced hikers, especially teens, are at highest risk for injury, even death.  Each year, 213,000 young people are treated in Emergency Departments [CDC, 2004-2005] for outdoor recreational injuries. Of those, 51.5% were young people between the ages of 10-14 [CDC, 2008].

Safe Kids Snohomish County, in partnership with the Washington Trails Association, urge young people to know the risks and protect themselves while enjoying the great outdoors.

Teens on Trail—Hike Safe Tips:

  • Have a plan-- always let someone know where you are going and when you will return.
  • Dress right-- be prepared for all types of weather.  Dress in layers, wear wool socks, sturdy shoes and bring a jacket.
  • Know your limits—pay attention to how far you’ve gone, be aware of changing weather, remember landmarks.
  • Know what to do when things go bad—stay put and wait for help.

The US Forest Service and Washington Trails Association urge you to be prepared by making sure your backpack is loaded with the ten essentials. Carry each item and know how to use them. 

Ten Essentials:

  1. Map
  2. Compass
  3. Water and a way to purify it
  4. Extra food
  5. Rain gear and extra clothing
  6. Firestarter and/or matches
  7. First aid kit
  8. Knife or multi-purpose tool
  9. Flashlight and extra batteries
  10. Sunscreen and sunglasses
In addition to the 10 essentials, you may also want to carry a cell phone, insect repellent, sunscreen, whistle, watch, emergency blanket, duct tape, mirror, and extra socks.