Hiawatha National Forest shares hiking safety tips

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 5:42 PM EDT
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NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WLUC) - A scenic hike in the Upper Peninsula could potentially be fatal without necessary precautions.

The Hiawatha Forest Service is urging hikers to stay safe after a park visitor was injured while hiking at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on July 13. Another hiker was severely injured after falling off a cliff on Grand Island two weeks later

“I think the best thing for folks to keep in mind is that their safety comes first and you can do that by having situational awareness,” Hiawatha National Forest Public Affairs Officer Chelsea Kallery said.

Kallery said the number one thing to do is to bring along the 10 essentials.

“Navigation, sun protection, light, first aid, fire, shelter, extra food, extra water, extra clothing, and a knife,” Kallery said.

It’s always important to plan and prepare before leaving for a hike through the wilderness.

“Looking at the weather is one of the most important things you can do. Sometimes the weather has impacts on the landscape after the main event is over,” Kallery said.

Kallery said hikers should also let someone know where they are going and when they will be back. They should also be on the lookout while enjoying time outdoors.

“If you are hiking and you come near an area that has an overlook it’s better to stay on the trail or very near,” Kallery said.

Water and lakeside safety also goes hand-in-hand with hiking safety.

“If you are going in a kayak make sure you have the proper kayak with you for the body of water that you are going on. For example, in Lake Superior we recommend a larger sea kayak,” Kallery said.

Whether on land or sea, Kallery urges people to recognize their physical capacity.

“When you have gone far enough it’s okay to turn around, some people want to get to the next mile marker but if you feel it’s time to go home trust your body,” Kallery said.

For more information on hiking tips, click here.

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