Hiking Accident Prevention: Safe Trip Planning Know Before You Go

Trip Planning Resources For Hikers and Backpackers

Backcountry trip planning is crucial for your safety. Before your trip, check the weather conditions.  In some areas, typical weather patterns  may display an abrupt drop in temperature, sudden rain, or snowfall. 


Choose trails that match your health and fitness skills.  Learn about seasonal trail conditions, and crossings.

Whether you’re planning a day, an overnight trip, or longer trek, preparation is key while traveling the backcountry. Advance planning can save your life.  Learn trail survival skills before you go.

Start your trip early, in order to allow sufficient daylight for your journey. Check the weather report. If it doesn’t look good, plan an alternative trail with better conditions.

If you decide to hike in extreme weather, you’ll need to spend more time preparing for your trip. Study the trails, and check up-to-the-minute weather reports, warnings and alerts. While on your trip, if things get bad, turn around and head back. It isn’t worth risking your life. There’s always another day, and another trail. But you only have one life.


Slot canyon in Utah

The National Park Service: A federal government website that provides information about current weather, trail conditions, warnings, alerts, and news. Safety Tips from the NPS.

U.S. Forest Service: A federal government website that provides information about visiting national forests for multiple outdoor activities.

National Weather Service: A federal government agency that provides weather forecasts, and warnings of all types of hazardous weather conditions affecting the public.

This is a partial list of state websites that provide information about current weather, trail conditions, warnings, alerts, and news about parks and recreation areas. To find additional state parks websites, use the name of the state, followed by the keywords state parks.

StateParks.com: A non-government website to American State Parks.

Hike-NewEngland.com: A non-government website to an online trail guide for New England.

Appalachian Mountain Club: Trip planning, conservation, education, guided adventures.

Adirondack Almanack: Adirondack Explorer’s Online News Journal. Covers regional history, arts, nature, food, and news. The Adirondack Mountains are located in New York State.

Irene Pastore, is a Certified Personal Trainer, fitness blogger, health educator, and speaker. She has 25 years experience teaching exercise in New York City. Visit the About Page to read her bio.

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