36th Wing Safety provides safe hiking tips

by Airman 1st Class Adarius Petty
36th Wing Public Affairs

Hiking is a popular activity on Guam, but before venturing off for a hike on Guam, there are several safety precautions for hikers to remember.

"Hiking is one of the top activities in Guam with numerous hikes available all year round on the island with various difficulty levels" said Tech. Sgt. Lawrence Robinson, 36th Wing Safety, ground safety technician. "All hikers should become familiar with the trails and make the appropriate preparations as most hikes can vary vastly."

Some the common hazards involved with hiking include falls, sunburns, dehydration, overexertion, unfamiliar bodies of water, and interactions with wild animals.

Wearing the right clothing is one of the essentials of staying safe while hiking; knowing what to wear trothing through the jungle of Guam can be helpful. Wearing long-sleeved outer garments and pants can protect the skin. Wearing swimming attire under the outer layer gives hikers the option to remove the long sleeved gear if the temperature rises on the trail. 

Sunblock should be applied as early as possible. The longer the sunblock has been on the skin, the more it is absorbed and the more effective it becomes. Hikers should apply sunblock to areas they know will be exposed to the sun before getting dressed for the hike.

Here are some more tips from the 36th Wing Safety Office they enjoy everything the great outdoors on Guam has to offer:

- Plan ahead and learn about the area

- Wear the proper gear (i.e., bright colored clothing, hiking boot/shoes , etc.)

- Pack light and only take what is needed 

- Pack insect repellant and sunscreen so it can repelled as necessary

- Hydrate prior to and during activities

- Don't drink alcohol while hiking

- Know limitations while hiking and don't overdo it

- Stay on marked trails to prevent becoming lost

- Avoid hiking alone, take a wingman.

- Hike with someone who is familiar with the area

- Let others know your hiking location to include departure and return times

- Check the weather and prepare for the worst

- Know how to get help in an emergency and don't rely on cell phones

- Exercise caution when hiking near wild animals; don't bother the wildlife

For more information about hiking safety, contact the 36th Wing Safety office at 366-SAFE (7233).

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