Thanks to the several days of sunshine and the wide range of natural landscapes and unique natural features contained in the Grand Canyon State, Arizona is one of the top destinations in the country for hiking and camping. Travelers from all over the world come to see the Grand Canyon every year, and even if you live in the Phoenix metro area, you’re just a short trip away from beautiful trails. When you’re out there, it’s vitally important to keep a few things in mind to make sure you stay safe. Here are some tips to keep your treks a positive experience.

When Hiking the Great Outdoors in Arizona

desertBring PLENTY of Water. Regardless of where you go and when, the high temperatures and arid climate can dry you out quickly. Many of the reported rescues performed by emergency personnel are due to extreme dehydration and failure to properly prepare for the hike.
Wear appropriate footwear. You probably don’t need the latest and most expensive hiking boots from REI, but you at least need sturdy footwear that can handle the hike. Flip-flops or worn tennis shoes are a good way to end up with a sprained ankle.
Wear sunscreen. On top of preventing severe sunburns that can occur, sunscreen protects from UV rays that can add to exhaustion and dehydration. Bring the tube of sunscreen with you, and be sure to reapply at the appropriate time.
Use the buddy system. Hike with another person. This ensures that any emergencies can be handled, and you won’t end up stranded. It’s also a great idea to tell people who are not on the trip where you’re going.
Know your trail and know your body. Before heading out, know ahead of time what the trail’s going to entail as well as how long it’s likely to take and be sure that you’re in good enough shape to do it. This is not the time to be a showoff. If you’re not in the habit of exercising, talk to our doctor before a challenging hike.
The Arizona landscape offers several options to experience the great outdoors, but it’s important to stay safe while you’re out there. If possible, talk to a friend who’s an experienced hiker about the trails you’re about to hit, and drink plenty of water.