Hiking Safety in St. George, Utah

Hiking Safety in St. George, Utah

St. George, Utah has become a world-wide favorite destination. Some of the many lures attracting people to St. George is hiking, climbing and trail running. Zion National Park is particularly well known for all of these activities, but Zion isn’t the only outdoor recreation area in and around St. George. From Red Cliffs Desert Reserve to Snow Canyon State Park, St. George sits in the middle of an outdoor recreation paradise. Check out all of the activities here in Southern Utah!

Whatever adventure you pursue, remember to stay safe. Here are some safety tips to remember while enjoying the great outdoors of the St. George area.

Stay Hydrated!

 We’re here in the middle of the Mojave Desert. It’s not only very hot (exceeding 110° in Summer months) but it’s also very dry. It can be very easy to get dehydrated while doing outdoor activities and it can also be easy to forget to bring water along. You won’t find any drinking water in most recreation areas – so remember to bring plenty of water for yourself! It’s recommended that you drink 3/4 cup of water every 15 minutes while outside.

Wear the right shoes.

 Ranging from red sand to lava rock to white sandstone – St. George terrain can be unforgiving. For example: one day in the middle of July I decided to go for a short hike in the desert wash near my house. Of course, I love going barefoot, so I embarked without any shoes. This resulted in me frantically sprinting through the hot summer sand, disregarding stickers and jagged rocks. I was certain the soles of my feet would be damaged for life. Fortunately, my feet went on to see another day, but I’ll never forget the memory of laughing at myself while simultaneously being genuinely terrified for my feet. Hahah, to say the least, it hurt! Depending on the terrain, you may choose to wear sandals, boots, tennis shoes or even climbing shoes. Be thoughtful of where you’re going, when you’re going and what you’re doing. Traction, breathability and ankle support are among the qualities you should look for in your shoes.

Watch the weather!

 Always check the weather before you go outside. Whether it be extreme heat, high speed winds or heavy rainstorms – remember to check the forecast and react accordingly. Flash floods are one of the most unsuspecting dangers of Southern Utah and surprise both visitors and locals every year.

Bring a buddy.

Seclusion and peace & quiet are some of the benefits of outdoor activities, but going alone has it’s risks. It can be helpful to have a companion in case you forget water, sprain an ankle, get stung by a scorpion, etc. If you must go alone, remember to tell someone where you’re going and what you will be doing. Certain activities however, such as climbing should almost always be done in the company of another person.

Know your gear.

 If you don’t know where your gear is, then you don’t have any at all. The same goes for if you don’t know how to use your gear. Keep track of your gear, keep it in good condition and remember to pack it in and out. Be sure you know how to use the gear you have. Do not attempt climbing if you don’t have the right gear or do not know how to properly use it.

Be prepared!

The old Boy Scout motto holds true in this case as well. Plan for the unexpected. A great idea is to pack a first aid kit along with you. Some other things you can do to prepare is to know where you will and will not have cell service. Educate yourself on the possible dangers of hiking, climbing or trail running in the St. George area.

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