Planning a Safe Trip

“A hiker’s aim is not only to enjoy adventures in nature but also to stay dry, uninjured, warm, happy and able-bodied in the process.”

Safety is the beginning and end of a pleasant trip and can play an important role in making an outing feel like a success. And if you feel your last trip was successful, you are much more likely to go out again. Staying safe is important for the simple reason that it allows you to go out confidently and gain the nature experiences you long for.


What makes a trip inspirational?

Going on an excursion and leaving your everyday concerns behind is bound to be inspirational. Seeing and experiencing nature and being active outdoors have a significant impact on your wellbeing and bring joy to your daily life.

On your first trip, all you need to do is spend a night at a fascinating destination, listen to the sounds of nature and observe the natural environment. Small things can be the highlight of your excursion, such as eating outdoors, wellbeing gained from outdoor activities, enjoying beautiful scenery and spending the night in the bosom of nature.

The actual excursion does not need to be challenging; being physically active in nature is guaranteed to inspire and exhilarate anyone heading out to the wild. You know your excursion is a success if you have prepared yourself well, the risks are not topmost on your mind, and you bring back more energy and resources with you than what you invested in your outing.

Some ideas to help you get going!

Careful preparation guarantees that you know where you are going and what you should expect from the terrain and the excursion as a whole. You will also feel more confident when you have the navigation skills and sufficient level of physical fitness required by the hike you are planning.

To remain fit and energetic, you should bring enough to eat and drink and make sure preparing the food is easy and fun for your group. The excursion also is more pleasant if everyone knows how to use their equipment and brings gear that is suitable for the planned hike, terrain and weather.

The group should also be aware of the potential risks and know what to do in case of an emergency. These considerations should not distract you from the actual excursion, however; awareness of the risks helps you to stay alert, enabling you to take action if you come across a sticky situation.

When out an about, hikers can feel part of nature when they are comfortable in it and know how to hike without leaving traces or rubbish behind.

Your most important memory of the trip should be remembering how good you felt. Perhaps the best indication of a successful trip is that you start dreaming about the next outing even as you finish the last one.


What should I take into account when planning my trip?

The nature of your outing and your group – Think about your destination. Are you planning an easy walk or a more challenging hike, and is your group's hiking experience a good match with the plan? What services are available at the destination; do you intend to camp or stay in a hut, and are you planning to cover short or long distances every day?

Destination and terrain – Do you already know the destination, or are you heading for an area of which you have no prior experience? Get hold of a map of your destination and think about the terrain you will be facing. Allow enough time for your hike. Is the terrain easy or challenging, and how long are the distances you intend to cover between your starting point and campfire sites/camping areas? What services and structures are available? Where will you get drinking water?

Season and weather – The season and weather conditions have a major impact on how demanding your hike will be and the gear you need to bring. If you have not been hiking before, it is a good idea to go for your first hike in summer, as you will manage with relatively light clothing and gear. You should always be prepared for changes in the weather conditions, however – also in the summer. When the weather does not put your gear or comfort to too much of a test, enjoying the hike and the scenery will be easier.

Gear and skills – You need not buy every piece of equipment for your first hike; you can often get started with gear you already have at home, or can borrow from friends. Try out the equipment with your group before you set off, ensuring that you will be comfortable using it on your hike. For example, you can get together to practise pitching the tent, or try using the camping stove. This will also build up your excitement for the main event!

Food and drink – To find information about an adult’s needs for food and drink, visit here. Get to know the destination and plan ahead to ensure you will find drinking water. Regular meals are essential in order for hikers to remain fit and cheerful. Eat every three or four hours and drink two to three litres of water a day.

First aid kit and skills – A well-planned excursion (itinerary, overnight accommodation, meals and drinking water, gear) will always minimise unwanted and unpleasant surprises. Even an experienced hiker can rely on a packing check list to ensure that nothing important gets left behind while carrying unnecessary weight is avoided. Careful preparation will help avoid emergencies and ensure that you do not go out without the essentials. Always carry a small hiker's first aid kit and remind your group members to bring their personal medications. Work out how you can make your way back to the car or the nearest road if something did happen. Download the 112 Suomi app to your mobile. In case of an emergency, stay calm and think before you act.

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