I’ve never LOVED exercise. It’s always just been something that I had to do. Yes, I’d go to the gym and push through an hour on the eliptical. I’d even occasionally force myself to log some miles on the treadmill. But I just didn’t enjoy it. Honestly, I found myself hitting roadblock after roadblock on my fitness journey and finding every way possible to avoid spending time in the gym….until I discovered hiking. I guess you could say it was one of the “ah-ha” moments. After all, I do live in the mountains (duh!). But I had never really thought too much about taking my fitness routing outside until I made a resolution at the beginning of this year to find ways to be active each and every day. Knowing that the gym wasn’t going to stick, I started looking for other ways to stay active and after that first day out on the trail, I knew I was hooked. Where I had once struggled to find motivation, I was now finding that I didn’t want to stop. Where I had once looked for any excuse, I was now anxious to get out the door and explore the world. I guess you could say I had found my passion and so, like I always do, I jumped in 100%. I went strong. I went hard. And I never even considered that preparing for the unexpected when hiking was something I should be doing. Now, almost a year into my journey, lots of things have changed. I hike 12+ miles a day. I literally climb mountains and cross valleys. And I’ve discovered that they key to making hiking an ongoing part of my fitness routine is implementing hiking safety tips that ensure no matter what happens out on the trials, I’m always prepared.
Always Let Someone Know Where You Are
When I first started hiking, I was fearless. I would drop off the kids, head to a local trail and take off. I didn’t think about the fact that I was hiking alone. I didn’t worry that nobody really knew where I was. I didn’t really consider the danger. Fast forward to a few months after I stared hiking and there began to be murmurs of bears on our local trails. This alone made me slightly cautious. Soon after, I came across a girl on the trail who was not used to the mountain altitudes and was unable to catch her breath and was fully panicking. Needless to say, the combination of these two incidents back to back was enough to shake me up. It was enough to make me think. It was enough to bring safety to my mind. I began to wonder if anyone would even know if something happened to me while I was out hiking. I began to wonder how I would be identified if I was even in a situation where I was unable to identify myself. I began to think about safety in a whole new way. After having a long discussion with my husband, I made a commitment to always let someone know where I was hiking, how long I planned to hike and what trail I planned to take. That way, should the unexpected happen, there was a starting point to finding me.
But once these very valid safety concerns had been brought to my attention, I began to think about what would happen if I was injured or hurt while out hiking. How would I be identified? How would responders know who to contact? These questions led to me my number one hiking safety tip.
Always Carry Identification
As I researched statistics about participating in outdoor activities, I was shocked to discover that year after year 122,000 runners, walker and cyclists are hit by cars. It made me think of the many roads that I cross during my hours spent climbing up and down mountains. As I continued to learn more, I was slightly disturbed to learn that each year over 450,000 people are taken to hospitals unconscious and without ID. Thousands suffer from blackouts, concussions, heart attacks, heat strokes and other serious accidents. These eye opening statistics made me think that simply letting my husband know where I’m hiking isn’t enough. It made me realize that I need to have a way to be identifed should something unexpected happen. At first I tried putting my ID in the side of my sock but after rubbing my leg raw, I knew I had to find an easier way to carry identification while I was participating in outdoor activities. That was when I learned about Road ID.
After listening to the story of how Road ID was created, I felt I was listening to some form of my own story. While I hadn’t found myself in the face of injury yet, I knew it could happen. And if it did, I knew that the concept that Road ID is founded on, that active people should wear ID as part of their gear when participating in outdoor sports, could make all the difference.
So then the question became, how do I wear my ID comfortably (and fashionably because, you know, that matters to me!). And the answer was clear with Road ID! With their durable, rugged, athletic, fashionable line of identification gear, I quickly found that wearing my ID on my current activity tracker was the perfect solution for giving me peace of mind when hiking.
And since I was able to purchase a Road ID with my personal identification, my emergency contact information and even any known allergies to help first responders treat me appropriately if there is ever a need, it made it easy to ensure I was doing everything possible to stay safe while hiking.
Even better, my Road ID fit seamlessly onto the fitness tracker that I already wear religiously. As soon as I slid it onto the band, I realized that not only did it look great on my tracker but I couldn’t even feel it! It was always right there where I need it without me having to remember to grab it or worrying that I would lose my ID. Instead, it gave me peace of mind knowing that no matter where the trails take me, should the unexpected ever happen, I have the perfect way to be identified.
That helps make hiking an even better option for me. But more than that, it ensures that no matter what outdoor activities I’m participating in, I never have to worry about needing my ID but not having it.
Always Be Aware of Your Surroundings
When I’m outdoors, exploring new areas, it easy to get caught up in my surroundings. It’s easy to jump off the path to look at that one awesome flower or go just a little further into the woods. I often have a hard time remembering that I’m hiking in the wild and that the cute little animals from the cartoons aren’t the same ones that I’m going to encounter. There are snakes. And bears. And who knows what else hidden in the beauty that surrounds me.
Through my time hiking though, I’ve learned that these critters have no more interest in coming into contact with me than I have coming into contact with them. But they will protect themselves if they feel threatened. The best way to avoid an encounter is to stay on the trails and keep alert to my surrounds. Simply being alert and aware can help ensure that I don’t have an unexpected encounter with one of the many outdoor inhabitants and instead get to only enjoy the stunning scenery on my hikes.
As I’ve discovered over my last year of falling in love with hiking, there is nothing better than being outdoors pushing yourself to go further while participating in an activity you love. But there is also nothing better than ensuring you’re safe while you do it. Whether you’re discovering your love of hiking like me or you’re falling in love with biking, running, walking or even skiing this winter, make sure that you’re always prepared and always wearing your Road ID!
Road ID is perfect for active moms like me and there are also options for the entire family! So head to their website today and find the perfect identification items for you and your entire family. Then hike, bike, run and climb more confidently, knowing that you’re taking every precaution to keep yourself safe and that should the unexpected happen, you’re ready with easy to find identification that could make a life saving difference.
Ready to purchase your own Road ID? From 11/24 through 11/28, take advantage of 20% off ALL Road ID products and gift cards, while supplies last!
Then tell me, how would Road ID help keep your family safe while being active?