Isalo National Park

Essential Safety Tips for Multi-Day Hiking & Camping Trips in the Outdoors

Going on holiday, whether it’s hiking, camping or to a resort, is meant to be relaxing and a time to unwind. Although going on vacation is calming, activities such as hiking and camping for several days is demanding and tiring. As such, being cautious and prepared when spending time outdoors is of utmost importance. 

Preparing for unexpected scenarios such as getting lost or losing your gear should be part of your preparation. But what scenarios should you prepare for? This article highlights some of the most essential safety tips for hiking and camping trips. 

Isalo National Park

1.     Ensure That You Have the Correct Gear

When going on an extended hiking and camping trip like trekking through the Isalo National Park in Madagascar, it is important to have the correct and quality gear. Having the correct gear will affect the quality and comfort of your trip. You don’t want to end up on the trail with a tent that leaks or hiking boots that give you blister. As such, it will be best to make sure that your gear is designed for hiking, being durable and easy to use. 

A tent and sleeping bag are the most essential items you need when camping or hiking. You can find the best quality camping essentials at https://www.hykeandbyke.com/.

Other gear that you might need for your trip will include:

  • Waterproof clothes in case of heavy rain
  • Comfortable hiking shoes
  • Hiking socks
  • Plenty of food and water to replenish your energy and stay hydrated
  • Toiletries 
  • A map and GPS device 
  • A first aid kit  

This is just a short list of some of the essentials you might need. More information on what gear and items you might need can be found here.

2.     The Do’s and Don’ts of Hiking and Camping 

When going on a multi-day hiking and camping trip, there is certain etiquette that you should follow for your own safety and well-being. These are in place to ensure that you don’t get sick or injured during your much-anticipated trip.

angel's landing top area
Near the top of Angel’s landing!

Here are some of the rules that you should follow:

  • Don’t drink water from lakes or ponds as the water might be contaminated
  • Don’t eat any fruit that you find along the path as it might be poisonous, or you might be allergic to it 
  • Keep an eye out for trail landmarks and stick to the path, since it is easy to get lost when hiking
  • When hiking uphill, avoid stepping on uneven or unstable surfaces 
  • Look at your map, GPS or compass frequently in case you get lost
  • Don’t hike alone in case of an emergency such as falling or missing a trail
  • Avoid hiking during heavy rain as trails can get slippery and visibility is poor
  • Know how to pitch a tent before your trip
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3.     Plan Your Trip

Before going on a long hiking or camping trip, it will be best if you have a short plan of action or itinerary. In most cases, this is just a short list of what you plan to do on each day of your trip. This was imperative when I was hiking through Greece. The itinerary can include how far you plan to hike each day, the time you intend to reach your campsite to set up camp and more. 

Vikos Gorge canyon from Beloi Viewpoint
Vikos Gorge canyon from Beloi Viewpoint

As part of your planning and preparation, it will be helpful if a friend (one that isn’t on the trip) knows your plan. In this way, if there is an emergency, at least one other person would have an idea of where you are and how to find you. 

Also take a look at the weather forecast. Different seasons need different clothes and equipment choices.

4.     Have A Back-Up Plan

Camping and hiking are strenuous activities. As such, the unexpected can happen like an out-of-the-blue storm. Therefore, having a plan for emergency situations is a must. This generally involves how to call for help. Before going on your trip, these are some of the things you need to find out about and consider:

  • Is there stable cell service in the area?
  • Do I need to carry a locator beacon?
  • Does the campsite have its own emergency services?
  • How will your group find you if you get lost?

Planning for the worst-case scenario can dampen your spirits, but it is needed when planning a trip outdoors where anything can happen. 

5.     Types of Wildlife 

When camping or hiking, there is a high chance you will encounter different types of animals such as bears, birds, insects and even wolves. The outdoors is the home of these animals, so it is important to respect these animals and give them space. As such, before your trip, it will help if you find out what animals you might encounter. In addition, have an idea of what you should do if you meet one of the animals during your trip. 

Staying Safe When The Outdoors

When you go camping and hiking, there are many unexpected things that can occur. As such, it will help if you prepare as much as possible. If you follow our short list of tips, we are sure you’ll have a great multi-day trip. 

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Johnny

I'm a dual Canadian-American from NYC that moved to South Africa for work and ended up traveling all through the continent. I'm currently living the expat life in Frankfurt, Germany and traveling the world as much as I can. I'm a bit obsessed with scuba diving, churning credit cards so I never pay to fly, and eating the most questionable of foods in the most peculiar of places. My bucket list is the world, and some day I might make it there.