Tips to keep hikers safe on the trails

Curt Cottrell
Curt Cottrell

By Sharie Shima - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - It's Aloha Friday and many people are planning their outdoor activities for the weekend. With our beautiful weather, one popular choice is taking a hike.

With Hawaii's amazing topography, it's easy to find a tempting trail with spectacular views. But many inexperienced hikers don't realize, without proper planning it could be the recipe for disaster.

It's another busy day along the Diamond Head trail.

Most hikers are from the mainland. Many say they have taken the time to prepare for this adventure.

"I read the guide books first of all to know what I was going to do and how long it would be and brought some water this is a fairly short hike so not much else, good shoes, water a hat," said Sonya Bouffard, a visitor from Canada.

"I would say number one bought water, had something to drink," said first time hiker Marvin Marshak.  "Cell phone good shoes it was quite a hike."

Many inexperienced hikers don't realize that it takes only a few simple steps to ensure a safe and memorable experience. Pack lots of water, energy snacks carry a cell phone and wear good shoes.

"Preparedness is the other side of the coin, know the location, make sure it's managed and authorized, make sure you and your partners are fit enough to go and a have a good safe experience," said Curt Cottrell of the Department of Land & Natural Resources.

Tell someone your hiking plans and when to expect you back. Hikers should only venture on authorized trails, which are well maintained and marked with signs. In the event you are lost or hurt.

"Your best bet is to stay put, because that's when the accidents happen, when people try to outsmart nature and get down when it's either too dark or god forbid they've twisted their ankle and their injured, " said Cottrell.  "On an authorized trail where everyone clearly knows the location, than fire and rescue can come and get them out."