Trail Hiking

The Gorge is a beautiful place with numerous hiking trails throughout. It’s a hot spot for all kinds of hikers, adventurers, photographers, and anyone wanting to just get outside for the day. From the views to the waterfalls to the crisp clean scent of the forest, there is something for every outdoor enthusiast to enjoy. However, with the beautiful coating that surrounds this almost magical place there is still many layers of danger involved when being outdoors. So many people get lost or spend the night outside unprepared because they were only "going for a day hike". Whether you are day hiking, backpacking, or camping for one night there are essentials you should always take with you into the forest. If you are prepared and stay on the paths, the chance of needing assistance that will take hours to get to you will be greatly decreased. There are always emergencies that come up and you can be ready and able to handle them, but simple things like getting lost or not making it off the trail before dark are very common problems with very simple solutions. You should always prepare to be out for at least an extra day, even if you are just going for a few hour hike. Here is a list of a few essential things you should always have with you.

                 1. Water- the most important item you can carry. Have extra water with you or know how you can get safe water.

                 2. Jacket and pants- even in the summertime you should carry a warm coat and pants to put on if you start to get cold. With  wintertime hiking these items could mean the difference between surviving and freezing to death.

                 3. Flashlight- if it gets dark before you can make it off the trail, you will need a source of light to get out. Many people think that their cell phone is an adequate source of light in an emergency, however cell phone batteries die quickly and only provide light for a few feet in front of you.

                 4. Food- pack enough food for the day and and an extra day. Food, not snacks, can help keep you going and can increase your morale if you are lost. If you have energy and a positive attitude, any ordeal you face can be a lot less daunting. 

                 5. A whistle- make sure it’s a good, loud one. This can make locating you if you get lost a lot easier. If you know people are coming for you, you can help by sitting still and blowing a whistle- three loud long whistles every 15 minutes.

Being prepared is the number one thing that can save your life in the event of an emergency. Have a map, know your location or at least what trail intersection you last passed and how long you walked passed it, carry a first aid kit and the items above, and tell someone where you are going, when you plan to be back, and your route you plan to take. Help us help you. 

© Cascade Locks Fire and EMS 2018