CBIZ Sattler Adventure Sports Blog

Insights and tips on how to protect your adventure sports business, giving you and your guests peace of mind.

Ward, Hayden
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Hiking Safety Tips for Outfitters and Guides

Hiking tips for guides

Whether you are planning an all-day hike or trekking through the desert, dodging danger on the trails can be difficult. Possible hazards can include everything from dehydration to rattlesnakes and bears. Adding guests who hike at all different levels can intensify the experience. Stay prepared and protected for your next trip with these safety tips.

Checkoff These Six Hiking Safety Tips:

1. Proper Gear is a Must

When it comes to trail safety, proper gear is always needed. Advise your guests to come dressed in bright clothing so they are easily identifiable on the trail. Stray away from materials like denim and cotton. They hold onto water and can easily chafe. Don’t forget to ensure they are also wearing proper shoe attire. Having the right shoes is key for a great hike.

Proper gear also includes trail basics such as a well-stocked first aid kit, blister supplies, sunscreen, bug spray, a non-digital map in case you lose service, energizing snacks and plenty of water. Even if you know the area well, storm damage can make the surrounding area unfamiliar. It’s important to be able to lead your guests back to safety.

2. Check the Trail

Over a short amount of time, major change can occur. It is the leader’s responsibility to check the condition of the trail before taking guests on it. If possible, head out before the day begins to scope out any potential risks. Large branches blocking the trail, new ditches, and extreme water build-up on the path are all scenarios needing evaluation before starting a hike. Keep in mind your guests most likely will not know the trail or what to do if the environment provides obstacles.

Make sure your guides have a plan if they come across local wild animals and poisonous plants like sumac, oak and poison ivy. Don’t forget to check if the hunting season is going on and subscribe to hiking alerts to stay up-to-date on the news for the area.

3. Don’t Forget the Weather

Before heading out on the trail, check the local weather. Do not head out if there is severe rain, snow, or any warning of storms. A sunny, warm day is ideal for a successful hike. If it does happen to rain during your hike, trash bags are an excellent solution to keep belongings dry.

4. Stick Together

Small groups are recommended when hiking. Large groups can easily separate into fast and slow hikers, leaving some people trailing behind and lost. Though this naturally happens with any size of group, it is easier to keep track of your group when there are fewer people.

A good rule of thumb is to hike as fast as the slowest member of your group. As a guide, you have to take into account the different levels that everyone hikes at.

5. Certifications Speak Volumes

It is wise to make sure your team understands the importance of medical protocols. At any moment on the trail, someone could be bitten by a snake or trip and break their ankle. Knowing what to do in these situations provides you, your team and your customers with peace of mind.

Many outfitters will schedule a time for their team to take First Aid, CPR or  Wilderness First Responder. Not only does it prepare your employees, it can also add to the credibility of your business. Customers will be curious about your risk management protocols and training.

6. Rain or Shine Protection

Outfitters have to go beyond basic safety tips before and when they are out on the trail. They are expected to pay attention to their group in order to prevent dangerous situations while hiking. Leave insuring your business’ safety to us. Get the protection you need today and  request a free CBIZ Adventure Sport Insurance quote.

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. In an actual claim situation, coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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