Stay Safe on Your New Mexico Nature Hike This Summer
Are you looking forward to exploring the beautiful landscape and connecting with the wild on a New Mexico Nature Hike? If so, expect nature to surprise you. Every summer, there are cases of hikers who get lost, who get bitten by venomous wildlife, and who end up sick with sunburn, dehydration, and heat stroke. It is essential to be well prepared for any possibility and avoid as many hazards as you can. You may be going on a brave and daring adventure, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to minimize the risks just enough to come back alive and well.
What You Wear Matters More than You Think
If you’re going on a hike, you probably know that you need to wear comfortable and durable shoes (if you did not know this, then start here). But when you hike in New Mexico, you would be wise to do better than a good pair of walking shoes and invest in some quality hiking boots. Not only do you need comfortable and supportive footwear, but you also need to think about the safety of your feet and ankles with so many venomous animals in the wild. For this reason, you should also avoid sandals when hiking even a short distance.
Beyond what you wear on your feet, you must think about the rest of your wardrobe. It’s not a good idea to wear dark colors, which absorb the sun, when light colors will keep you cooler. Your clothing should also be light and breathable. Wearing a hat that provides shade can also help to protect you from the sun. If you wear makeup, then you should carefully consider what you apply before a hike, because you’re going to sweat, and your makeup will not only feel hot and trap sweat, but it’s also likely to run.
Know What to Take With You on Your New Mexico Nature Hike
When you are hiking in the wild landscape of New Mexico, you need to prepare for danger. You don’t want to take more than you can carry, but you want to have everything that you may need. So, pack a bag with several bottles of water, a lot of snacks that are high in protein, a first aid kit, and a map. You also need to prepare for the sun and heat by bringing sunscreen, deodorant, and sunglasses.
Finally, although you may be excited to leave behind the trappings of the modern world on your nature hike, you should still bring your cell phone. You can leave it turned off and pretend it isn’t there to more thoroughly enjoy the experience of the wilderness of New Mexico; but you still need to bring it in case there is an emergency. Depending on where you are, you may not get service, but you will be able to get help much more quickly if you can walk to an area where there is service, rather than having to wait until you reach an area with people.
Make it a Point to Avoid Snakes, Spiders, and Scorpions Where Possible
Not all of the creepy crawlies in New Mexico produce a poisonous venom, but there are enough of them that you would be wise to avoid them as much as you can. Unfortunately, they do have a habit of sneaking up on people, so you also need to know who to call if this happens. You can call New Mexico Poison Control 1-800-222-1222 with a description of the animal that bit you and find out what you should do. Or if someone is experiencing alarming symptoms from the bite, you can call 911 for emergency help. If you do not have cell phone service, then the best thing you can do is move quickly to an area where you will have service or an area where there are people to help.
Avoid Going on a New Mexico Nature Hike Alone
There are many people who enjoy solo hiking, and if you have experience with the wildlife of New Mexico, you may feel safe to do so. Yet anyone can suffer from an injury or a venomous bite. And even an expert could make a wrong turn. That’s why we think it is important for everyone to at least strongly consider taking a friend of two with them on their New Mexico nature hike this summer. This way, multiple people can shoulder the weight of supplies, and there is someone to help if an emergency situation arises.
Do you New Mexico hikers have any other advice for staying safe in nature?