(Please just ignore the Hike House commercial at the end of this video)
10. Beginners should start out by walking on a regular basis on short, flat trails before attempting to hike more challenging trails.
9. Start with shorter hikes that last only an hour or two, then gradually build up to full-day and multi-day hikes if you want.
8. Remember, not all miles are created equal. Difficult terrain can turn a short hike into an all day affair. Plan ahead by becoming familiar with what a particular trail has to offer, so you will know what to expect.
7. Bring a map, don’t hike alone, and always leave your itinerary with someone.
While hiking with this class, it is important that you always stay within visual contact of at least two other members of the hiking group. That way, if one person becomes injured, one can go for help while the other stays with the victim. Never leave the group to go off hiking on your own. If you’re getting ahead of the group, stop and wait for others to catch up. If you’re lagging behind, either pick up your pace or call for someone ahead of you to wait for you to catch up.
6. Always pack a snack, plenty of water and a first-aid kit. It’s also a good idea to know some basic First Aid.
5. Wear hiking boots or trail shoes, which offer good traction and support. You may want to consider bringing an extra pair of socks in case the ones you’re wearing get wet.
4. Dress in or pack extra layers. Some hikes can take you from hot, humid, or protected areas to cold, windy, or exposed conditions within a fairly short period of time, especially in central Arizona.
3. Don’t drink from streams or lakes, no matter how refreshing and clear they look, unless you want to risk a visit from nasty intestinal parasites. Treat such water by using a good filter or boiling it.
2. Respect your environment: Don’t litter, trample plants, or disturb animals.
1. Don’t overextend yourself or take chances in remote areas.
For some more great tips on technique for staying safe on downhills, check out this article.