Emergency preparedness can be the difference between life and death while hiking. There are many hiking trails in Kauai that are treacherous, and if the weather changes, can leave you stranded in the cold for days. There are several ways you can get prepared before going on a typical 8-11 mile hike in Kauai.
Bring an Experienced Hiker
First, make sure you invite someone that knows that trail or has been experienced in some kind of safety class. You might want to invite a friend that was an eagle boy scout back in the day or is a firefighter. You’d be surprised. If you had a blister on your foot, that male friend of yours who was an eagle scout, would duct tape your swollen foot with t-leaf to cool your foot down as you try to step on hills, rocks and ledges? It is amazing what having the right type of company can do when hiking.
Now that you got the right company, you might want to prepare your backpack. Make sure you have ample supply of water, food, duct tape, matches for survival fire pits, lip balm, sun tan lotion first-aid-kit, a small pocket knife to cut branches, hiking shoes, flashlight, wipes, toilet paper and an extra set of clothes and camping gear if you are planning to camp out. The most important tools to have in your backpack is a two-way radio and compass to navigate back to safety.
When lost, stay put. Set up camp near a stream, but not too close and look towards the ocean. Find a place where you can also create a small fire to send smoke when helicopters are visible above. If you are hurt, stay put until another hiker can call 911 or find a ranger to help.
To learn more about Kauai hiking trails and what is prohibited or hazardous, visit the county website at: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/hiking/kauai/.