These days, we have access to all manner of technology that can help keep us safe when we’re out for a hike. So why do we still hear so many hiking horror stories being reported from all over the world?

High-tech hiking gear has a tendency to give us a false sense of safety. Many hikers still try to undertake trips that are beyond their ability, setting off without the basic skills required to stay safe. A hiker can have all the technology in the world, but still end up in serious trouble if something goes wrong and they don’t know how to deal with it.

I stumbled across this document on the REI Facebook Page (it’s since been published by the USA’s National Forest Foundation) which contains some great advice from the US Forest Service. Written more than 75 years ago, this was obviously before the days of mobile phones, GPS, PLB’s and EPIRB’s. But today’s hikers would be doing themselves a favour to put more faith in some of the gems in this document (obviously some of it’s a little outdated) than they do in their gadgets.

Check out the full document as a PDF. Since the PDF isn’t accessible, if you use a screen reader, you can find an accessible version on Medium.

My favourite sentence is the first – “A clear head will find itself” – but for such a brief document, it’s packed with plenty of other gems, like this one…


What to do when lost in the woods


Do you have any hiking safety advice that doesn’t rely on modern gadgets? Let us know by commenting below.

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