Well here we are on the verge of yet another season of hiking and above all the trails in the US, there is no doubt that the famous Appalachian Trail will see more feet this Spring Break than any other trail. Every Spring Break people flock to the trail either for a weekend or week of hiking or just to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and those dreaded school books.

Like most city slickers college kids are not usually prepared for what the AT can throw at you even if it is just a little day hike up to the Blood Mountain Shelter and back. So hopefully this article will raise your awareness of safety on the trail so there are fewer of you that the Rangers will have to rescue this year. Did you know it takes approximately 5 million steps to complete the AT from end to end?

It's true and although many of the backwoods water sources are natural springs, the ATC warns of contaminated water and says ALL water should be sterilized before consumption. So it is very smart to bring with you a water filter of some type as well as sunblock. Even though the sun will not be at its peak during the early spring period, long hours of hiking in the sun can still burn.

During the time of Spring Break, animals will be starting to come from their winter slumber and will be very hungry, if you see a wild animal on the AT during this time stay away. At this time of year, all animals will be dangerous as they are looking for their food. Snakes will be coming from hiding as well so watch the trail, this is where they like to sit and sunbath.

Also never flip over a log or large rocks with your bare hands, snakes will be hiding there to get out of the sun and from predators. When you see a hollow tree that looks ridden with holes, leave it alone, most of those type trees will be nests for springtime bees. If you are allergic to bees, in the wild is no place to be when you get stung.

And as a side note to that safety measure always make sure to carry an anaphylactic shock kit with you, they can be bought in most stores today. Make sure you understand that if you are going out hiking the trail that is will be slippery. There have been record snowfalls this past winter and even though it looks all gone here in the low lands around the mountains of the AT, up high snow will still remain.

Also, the area of the Appalachian Trail usually stays very moist most of the time. Even when there has been a dry spell in the lower regions around the mountains, the higher regions stay wet. So be prepared with a good pair of hiking shoes or boots. You will also want to make sure that if you are tenting that you tent where other camps have been established or in the AT shelters.

Again bears will be out in force in a lot of the southern areas and they will be less of a bother to active camping areas. Bears are afraid of humans but do not underestimate them, if they are provoked they will defend themselves. As a side note to the bear's information, make sure if you are staying overnight at one of the AT shelters that you make good use of the provided “bear lines”.

Bear lines are used to hoist your food bag way in the air so the bears cannot get to it. If a bear line is not provided or is broken as is the situation in some of the older shelters, then just make an added effort to get the bag in the air. Dress warm, even though its spring break, the mountains will still be cooler and even more so at night when the wind picks up.

Again do not underestimate the regions in the mountains. As a rule of thumb and as the boy scouts taught us, “always be prepared”. And please do remember to bring a first aid kit, so many AT hikers go into the mountains without a first aid kit and end up calling 911 or the ranger station for a bad fall and they have no first aid supplies. Watch the video to learn to make a nice compact and practical survival kit and enjoy the hike but do so safely.

Author's Bio: 

I am a published author and freelance writer with over 30 years experience. I have written for many high profile companies online including Yahoo! Inc., Examiner.com, ABCnews.com, Fiverr.com and have done 1000’s of gigs for freelance writing for folks all over the planet. I’ve had pieces published in many high profile magazines such as The New Pioneer, American Frontiersman, Backwoodsman, American Survival Guide, and Self Reliance digital magazine. I currently am a feature writer for Athlon Outdoors Inc. where I write pieces for The New Pioneer, American Frontiersman, and Survivor’s Edge magazines. I write about things that benefit others, because, to me, this is the reason I exist, to help others and to be a truth bringer. Writing is poetry, it is powerful and has a way of uncovering darkness even in the darkest times. I specialize in all things, natural living. But I also write about Zen, Spirituality, homesteading, green and organic living, off-grid living, hiking the Appalachian Trail, prepping, survival and other subjects associated with these. If you are into these or subjects like these, follow me, you won’t be sorry. Find all my books here: https://www.amazon.com/Merlyn-Seeley/e/B008EEZ9QO