Back trail hiking

Hiking the back trails or remote areas is a natural activity combined with tent camping or travel trailer living. Many people hike for a hobby long before taking up RVing or camping out. Those new to hiking should not go about it an a casual manner. The vast majority of the Federal & State Parks/Recreation areas in the USA have some level of hiking. It is important to start this hobby with planning and always putting your safety first. Trails are routinely marked with grades of difficulty. Respect these rating and initially stay on trails that are under your skill set.

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It is strongly recommended that you hike as part of a group. Some people falsely believe that all they need is one other person with them. This is far from reality. A group of three or four is a much better arrangement. In a group or solo, let someone not hiking know where you are going and when you expect to return, checking in with them when you do. This may seem childish, but should you fail to return, rescuers will need an idea of where to come look for you. This is also where multiple people on a hike may be very handy.

For example, should someone fall and be injured and there are only two people the options are that the person remains to care for the seriously injured partner or do they attempt to make it down the trail to notify Search & Rescue personnel? If you have a group of four traveling together, while one remains behind to care for the injured, the remaining two can hike, yes again working in pairs, back to the trail head to seek professional help. And I can tell you from personal experience – the greatest hike in the world is 10 times better with someone to share it with. Even a complete stranger you meet that morning at breakfast.

And while we are on the subject of professional help, many areas have Search and Rescue teams that will mobilize on a moments notice to assist those lost or injured in remote areas. Many of the individuals are also volunteers. They not only are putting their lives on hold and their own life at risk to save you, many have attended 100s of hours in training, practice and other activities to be qualified to even help out. Yes, there are qualification requirements to be a part of most Search and Rescue (SAR) groups with either Federal and/or State mandated minimums. In some situations, such as desert or extreme mountain locations, there may also be additional local requirements they have to qualify for.

Your carelessness on the trails puts their safety at risk to come save you. So before you set out, take basic precautions to prevent the problems that may require them to have to come find you.

If you are going to take up serious hiking for fun, fitness and relaxation, seek out a local group of other hikers to join. These groups will often provide training and guidance on how to prepare for and embark on a hike. Most importantly, they will host or sponsor group hikes. This is not only a great place to learn, but to meet like minded friends and hiking partners.

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Pictures below are provided by contributors or supporters of this website. If you are interested in sharing your pictures of Nevada, please drop us a note.

Courtesy S. Ward – Mount Charleston, near Las Vegas