Ten Hiking Essentials for Staying Safe on the Trail

In this video, I go over the National Park Service 10 essentials for hiking as well as some other gear items I recommend carrying and I also go over some tips to help you stay safe on the trail.

Check out these great resources for more information on trail safety:

National Park 10 Essentials (as shown in this video):

Leave No Trace principles:

National Park Know Before you go:

What SAR wants hikers to know:

Keep kids safe on a hike:

What to do if you get lost on a hike:

Bear Safety:

Find me on Instagram: @hikingwithbraids

#trailsafety #hikingessentials #hikinggear

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  • Very helpful & easy to remember tips. Thank you.

  • Great video thanks for sharing

  • Great Video, Love the Hiking Insurance Approach, ty, ty.

  • I hike with my daughter sometimes who is T1. Very important to carry additional supplies! A mile into an easy local hike and my daughter dropped to 49! We didn’t bring a snack for her….It’s never happened since. Live and learn!

  • Hi. We have been watching your video for a couple weeks now, I finally subscribed to your channel. We have hiked several trails in the GSMNP. We have only done day hikes that are short. I think the longest we hiked was from the Metcalfe Bottoms picnic area to the Little Greenbriar School, then to the Walker Sisters cabin, back to the school parking area and down the road back to the picnic area. We would love to find the old growth forest, but not sure about the trail to there. Do you have any videos of the trail that we would have to take to find these trees?

  • I was wondering about your thoughts about carrying twine or a strand of light rope of some kind.

  • Hello again my outdoors friend. This video was spot on for the key essentials to take in the outdoors. I have included a dedicated fire kit which includes regular matches, water proof matches, fero rod with striker, 2 lighters, vaseline soaked cotton balls in recycled prescription bottle and a small zip lock containing dryer lintel. Take care, be safe and have fun. 🤗

  • Thanks for info…awesome video! My wife and I are now semi retired and will start hiking soon. What sold us on hiking was when we visited Elkmont Village…by the way, maybe you can do a video on what you use or recommend for footwear and socks?

  • Awesome job my friend, I am new to your community. I do a thing on my channel called meet and greet our community you should send in a video and let me make you part of the show it will definitely help you grow your Channel👍

  • Great video girlie 👍🏻

  • Great tips and recommendations!

  • Excellent tips! Loved that you used the NPS list as well as your own.

  • Hi! As always, very impressed with your knowledge, and especially with your and Jerry's safety. One item I would add to "Illumination" is having both a handheld AND a headlamp, with one of them being capable of a strobe. Makes it even more visible from the air in the event of an SAR emergency.
    In the mountains here, most of us with any experience always pack for overnight, even on a day hike. You never know when a 8-10 hour hike might become a 24 hour emergency bivouac!
    A little lengthy, But here's a "pledge" I made up when I first began some serious soloing:

    Twelve rules to live by on the trail

    1. First, I will know myself. I will know what I am capable of, and what I am not.
    2. I will do the research. This will include trail descriptions, levels of difficulty, estimated times, escape routes, and recommended gear, including clothing. I will accept the advice of the organizations governing, maintaining, and especially those performing search and rescue operations for the trail, understanding they are my best resources.
    3. Before beginning any hike, I will ensure that a responsible party knows of my plans, including time of departure, all routes I will be taking, estimated time of return (or contact), and who to call if I do not make contact by a prearranged time. I will not deviate from the hike plan unless and until I can verify that my contact knows of the change.
    4. On the day of the hike, before I begin, I will ensure that I have all the recommended gear once before leaving home or campsite, and again when I reach the start of the hike.
    5. I will always be aware of changing weather conditions, and will have an “escape route” planned.
    6. I will turn back without shame if any conditions indicate I should.
    7. I will always be aware that if I am not a 'safe hiker', my actions will put others at risk, including rescue personnel and even other hikers.
    8. I will stay aware of where I am, in order to better report whereabouts to authorities if a rescue is needed by myself or another.
    9. I will always follow 'leave no trace' guidelines.
    10. I will respect the flora and fauna of the region by staying on marked trails whenever possible, and by not interfering with wildlife in their natural habitat.
    11. Once my hike is completed, I will ensure my contact knows as soon as possible.
    12. At all times, I will remember that the area in which I hike does not belong to me- it belongs to the life that was here long before me. I will enjoy these hikes fully, but always keep in mind that I am a visitor here.

    Just getting over a nasty cold, so hope to be back in the hills soon, and still looking forward to seeing you guys up here sometime next year! Maybe sometime I can take a drive down your way, and you can give me a tour of the Smokies!

  • Excellent suggestions. I appreciated the ones you added in addition to the NPS ones.
    I would add, let someone know your plans for the hike: where and when. We RV and leave our itinerary on the counter each day.
    Thanks for posting.

  • I see so many day hikers totally unprepared in the Smokies.

  • Good advice! And I recently saw a video of someone hiking the AT who had to help someone who got lost. The lost person wanted to start hiking and really had no idea what to do (except that she did make it out to a park and was walking — but didn't bring anything with her). So this type of video is great for anyone just getting started (or someone who, uh, needs to restart).

  • Fantastic list and your advice is fantastic as always. I pack two more additional items that I have found necessary after watching your channel. The first one is a black magic marker and the other item is a small trash bag. After watching your "shity diaper hike" I carry the small trash bag just in case, if you know what I mean. That black magic marker is for you to autograph my backpack if I run into you on the trail. That and getting a couple selfless with you and Jerry would make my whole year. God Bless

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