Trail Safety

March 25, 2011

Trail Updates

When enjoying a trail there is one thing you have to remember, that is Trail Safety. Before you go out on the trail make sure you either have a trail map or know the route you are doing, because you can get disoriented and lost and ruin what would have been an incredible day. This is incredibly important during winter running when white-out conditions set in.

Now think about this, your running along the trail and you see a baby moose and a female moose up ahead of you and you think to yourself, how cute are they! That might be true but the female can be very aggressive when it has a baby, if you are ever in this situation stop and back away from the animal while keeping eye contact. Just a few years ago a pair of hikers were snowshoeing up in Summit Park when they spotted a Moose. Not thinking about what they were doing, they approached the moose to take a some close pictures. When suddenly the Moose reared up on its hind legs and pummeled the man and left him in critical condition, although he survived but the Moose didn’t. Although wildlife can be a pleasure to see they also must be appreciated and respected. With any wildlife encounters it is not good to get to close to them, because this could provoke them to attack you. So always stay a safe distance away based on the animals actions.

When you are out for a run longer than an hour it is best to bring a water bottle or small hydration pack, this reduces the chance of dehydration and heat stroke. Just last year I went on a long run during the heat of the day without a water bottle. As I progressed through the run I noticed I start getting slower and slower and I started getting light headed. As I reached the end of my run I had a massive headache, I quickly drank some water to cool of my body and make up for the lack of water. When I was at home that night I had the worst headache and could not get of my bed. It turns out I got dehydrated from not drinking water and could not participate in my normal activities for a couple days. It is always best to be safe so fill up a water bottle the next time you go visit your favorite trail!

Lastly, if you are on a trail that is used frequently by bikers make sure to be careful when going around blind corners or turns. I always like to say something when I encounter one of those areas, whether its “Trail Runner, Watch out” or “Don’t hit me” always make sure to announce your presence order to make sure you don’t get mauled by a bike! Many local runners that I know have had at least one close encounter so make sure to protect yourself by bringing attention to your presence.

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