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Natural Hazards in Hiking

Hiking is an adventurous outdoor activity which exposes participants to a wide range of natural and man-made hazards. Hiking can be very soothing and relaxing if everything goes smoothly. But Mother Nature is unpredictable.

Here is a list of some natural hazards in hiking that you might encounter on your next trip:

o Storms and tornado: While storms and tornado cannot be predicted as early as hurricanes, knowing the weather condition is essential before going on a hike. Current weather forecasting technology will often tell us when atmospheric condition is right and this can help you plan your hiking trip.

o Avalanches: An avalanche is a geophysical hazard wherein a large snow (or rock) mass slides down a mountain side. It is one of the major dangers faced by people those who visit snowy mountains. It is best to stay away from edges of cliffs, especially if you are on a snowy mountain.

o Lightning: One of the natural hazards that you may encounter while hiking is lightning. Lightning storms are generally predictable. In fact you can prevent yourself from being trapped in a lightning storm by checking the weather condition before taking a hiking trip. Should you happen to be caught in a lightning storm, make sure you immediately start moving away from the top of a hill, if you are on one.

o Forest fires: If you are engaged in outdoor activities, especially in a forest, then there are chances that you may face the dangers of forest fires. Forest fires are highly destructive. Outdoors are generally highly inflammable with dry grass, leaves, and trees which provide perfect fuel for forest fires. A forest fire is mainly caused due to human error or ignorance. Sometimes in summer forest fires are also caused due to intense heat generated by friction of dry leaves. By taking few precautions like keeping camp fires away from possible fuel source, making sure not to camp under a tree, keeping your camp fire small and under control, you can play your part in preventing forest fires.