Steps to Safe Hiking

Dress Appropriately

"In the mountains, sturdy, waterproof hiking boots are a must," instructs Auch.

The "must-have" list also includes:

Two pairs of socks—a lightweight liner (eg, polypropylene or polyester) and a cushioning sock made out of wool, plus warm (waterproof) gloves.

Mountain weather is generally cooler, cloudier, and windier than the climate in lowland areas, making improper dressing a serious health risk. Layering helps you stay cool when active and warm when at rest. Just add and remove clothes as needed.

Inner layer —Wear close-fitting long underwear made from polypropylene or silk, which should dry quickly and pull perspiration away from your skin.

Middle layer—This layer should be light-weight and breathable—flannel, wool, down, or fleece. You may want extra middle layers in colder climates.

Outside layer—To block wind and rain, try Supplex (wind-resistant) or Gore-Tex (great for rain and snow).

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