These days, more and more of us are looking at new and innovative ways to keep fit and well. Gym memberships can be great, especially if you switch things up between solo workouts and attending group classes. But as we all know, spending time outdoors is also a great way to build up our fitness AND get some much-needed fresh air while we’re at it. That’s why in recent years the world has seen a huge rise of people going hiking as a means to lose weight and to up their fitness game. It’s little wonder really, as hiking has plenty of benefits. It will see you tackling various levels of terrain, which gets your heart pumping and those muscles working. It is also a great way to see some of the amazing sights nature has to offer, and if you go in a group, it’s a great team-building activity as well. Cardio without even realizing you’re doing it? Count us in! But like with any new sport or activity, you need to be aware of the potential risks you could face while out on a trek. Hiking can be full of perils if you don’t know what you’re doing, so have a read of this before you set off into the wilderness.
Dangerous plants and fruits
As you’re hiking along your route, you may come across some particularly appetizing looking fruits or berries on a nearby bush. In true wilderness style, you find that you are tempted to pick a fresh one off the branch to sample – but hold your horses before you do so. Even though a plant may LOOK tasty, there are thousands of wild berries that are actually incredibly dangerous – with some even being fatal if consumed. If you do consume one without think, make sure you know how to make yourself throw up. You need that fruit out of your system before it has time to take effect.
Tackling a route with varied terrain can make your trek much more interesting and challenging. However, it can also pose some pretty serious threats to you and your group. If, for example, you come across a sheer rock face on your route, never attempt to scale it unless you have all the right equipment and seasoned professionals at hand. Going a long way round might be a pain, but it is better than risking your life attempting something that’s beyond your skill set.
Spending a few hours losing yourself in the wild can be a welcomed break from city life. But there’s a marked difference between ‘losing yourself’ and actually getting lost! Never just rely on your phone to take you on your route – always bring a backup paper map in case your phone dies, or you lose signal. Additionally, if you’re hiking alone, always tell people where you are going. That way, if you do get lost and you can’t contact anyone, it will only be a few hours before someone sends out a search party for you.