Safety Tips for Hiking Solo

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Heavily wooded area in Del Norte County
Heavily wooded area in Del Norte County

The North Coast area is full of profound natural beauty, and not spending time outside alone is simply not an option for some. From novices to experienced adventurers, there are some basic steps that can go a long way to keeping you safe.

Del Norte County Sheriff Garrett Scott says, “there’s a lot of things that i always try to encourage folks to carry with them. You know, a whistle is a really good idea. Cell phone always keep that cell phone with them. “

But before spending time alone in remote areas there are some steps to take.

“Of course, you always want to have your survival gear and your rain gear and those kinds of things and then always let someone know where you’re at.,” he continues. “But the difficult part of these wilderness areas here in Del Norte County, Humboldt County, they’re pretty treacherous.  There are sinkholes out there. There’s old mining areas and things like that.  There’s a lot of danger when you’re out there alone.  it’s easy to get go next to a stream to fall in or to fall in a small hole along the streams.”

Sheriff Scott says that hiking, hunting or foraging in areas that have been affected by wildfires can be extra dangerous.

“In burn areas you have root wads and logs that have tipped over and over the years disintegrated. And those roots burn all the way into the ground and create big holes in the earth.  and it’s really easy to fall in those and not be able to get out.”

He also talked about wearing gear with what’s called a RECCO reflector strip sewn inside the clothing.

He explains, “It’s just a tiny little strip. But it is detectable from an aircraft that’s designed to pick up that recco strip. And it it’s it’s sort of a new idea that’s out and a lot of people are going to that.”

You don’t need to purchase new gear with the strip, it can be purchased separately and added to what you already have.

The Sheriff stressed the importance of paying attention to safety, every time someone ventures outside alone. “It’s easy to get complacent and it’s easy to forget the items that you really should be carrying at all times.”

Always bring water, a cell phone, snacks, and appropriate clothing and gear for the elements.