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Safety while Adventuring

South Africa is overflowing with beautiful environments to explore, trails to walk, mountains to climb, seas to swim and roads to travel. We like to believe that nature has a ton of healing properties and encourage people to explore, however one of your number one concerns should always be safety. These are in no way meant to discourage you from heading out but rather encourage you to do it safely. 

Information from Arrive Alive 

What Are The Different Risks You Are Facing?

  1. Getting Lost
  2. Physical Injury from accidents such as falling or slipping 
  3. Dehydration/Sun Stroke
  4. Injuries from animals such as snakes/insects 
  5. Criminal attacks 
  6. Getting trapped (floods, fires)

One of the best ways to avoid these situations is to PLAN. Here are some tips:

  • Always be well-informed about the trails you are heading to. If you are not, consider asking a guide to take you 
  • Be well-informed about animals in the area and what to do if injury/attack occurs 
  • If you are not in your home town, do research about the nearest hospitals to the trail you are heading to or note an emergency number for that province
  • Always have enough water, a fully charged cellphone or satellite phone 
  • Remain on the marked trails 
  • Never hike alone 
  • Ask yourself important questions - such as how challenging is the hike, how long is it, is there water available?
  • Consider joining one of the many facebook groups to ask any questions you may have 

Here are some Facebook groups to join: 

South Africa (all provinces)

Hiking South Africa 

Camping, Adventure & Outdoors Community 

Western Cape 

Hiking Cape Town 

Hike & Adventures Western Cape 

Gauteng 

Hiking Trails around Gauteng 

Mzantsi Hiking Divas 

KZN 

Drakensberg Hiker 

Your Drakensberg Experience 

Limpopo

Hiking Spot Limpopo to Gauteng at your service 

If anyone knows of FB groups for Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, North East and the Northern Cape, please leave below in the comments. 

Keep An Eye On The Weather  

  • check weather forecasts and conditions when planning your adventure 
  • keep in mind that weather can change quickly - so be prepared for any circumstances 
  • If weather conditions are not favourable, delay the adventure 
  • If you are on the trail and bad weather conditions find you, find the nearest shelter 
  • make sure to have the appropriate clothing for bad weather
  • make sure to have enough food and water incase you have to wait a storm out 
  • Avoid sweating and losing electrolytes 

Things To Always Have With You 

  • Proper footwear 
  • Map 
  • Water and Food 
  • First Aid Kit 
  • Knife 
  • Fire (for warmth and/or signal for help)

Safety From Criminal Activities 

  • Do not attract unwanted attention by openly displaying valuables 
  • Take pepper spray if you are in a small group (or a big group as well) 
  • Leave valuables that you do not need on the trail, locked in your car 
  • If confronted by a criminal, do not resist. Rather hand over your valuables 
  • Log emergency numbers into your phone before you head off

What To Do If You Get Lost 

  • Before you leave, make sure someone knows where you are going 
  • If lost, try stay in an open area so that you can be spotted 
  • Use bright items to be noticed 
  • If it becomes dark and cold, seek shelter and keep warm 
  • create smoke and signals 

What To Do If You Are With Someone Who Is Injured 

  • Stay calm 
  • Make sure the injured person is alright and then call for help 
  • To the best of your ability, try understand how the person is helped
  • Apply first aid, check airways, check breathing, responsiveness 
  • Stop bleeding (if applicable) 
  • If you need to move to find signal to call for help, try make sure the injured individual is not left alone 
  • Stay safe yourself so that you can help the injured person 
  • Identify noticeable landmarks when calling for help to help teams find you 

 

 

If you have any other safety tips, leave them below. :)  

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