When doing a Garden Route hiking trail, one should become self-reliant by learning about the terrain and trail conditions (Get and keep at least two maps of the trail during the hike).
- Know the local weather (Get a seven day weather forecast the day/morning you leave on the trail)
- Weather can change quickly and unexpectedly. Fatigue, unexpected weather conditions and an incident/accident can also affect your hike schedule.
- When doing a hiking trail, you should start as a group, hike as a group, end as a group.
- All group members,;especially those who are inexperienced, should be told what to do if they become separated from the group and if there is an emergency. (An injury and severe weather could become life threatening). Don’t assume you will be rescued; know how to rescue yourself.
- A cell phone may allow yοu to call for help if yοu οr sοmeοne in your hiking party has an accident οr wanders οff the trail. (Make sure you know the emergency numbers of the trail custodian, local police, NSRI and Mountain rescue)
- Make sure you leave the correct contact details for at least two contactable family members at the trail custodian
- All members of the hiking group as well as the custodian of the hiking trail should be made aware of any medical conditions of group member that could become an issue. (Asthma, Epilepsy, Heart conditions, Low/High blood pressure ext.)
- All members of the hiking group should at all times carry at least a minimum of gear:
Appropriate footwear (Hiking boots, but if not available, sneakers at the least)
Extra food and water (Water containers)
Sunscreen and sunhat
Winter hat and mitts or gloves
Basic First Aid Kit
- Make sure that yοu have more than enough fοοd and drinks (Extra), just encase something went wrong.
- Know your limitations and when to postpone/cut short your hike (Take the escape route). The trail will be there another day.
- Stay alert, be observant about your surroundings and avoid areas where visibility is poor as well as hiking at night time.
- Never wear headsets or headphones.
- Use discretion when acknowledging strangers, and follow your intuition about unfamiliar people and areas.
- Each night at camp the group should get together around the map and plan out the hike for the next day. This way everyone will be ready for known hazards, such as river crossings. The tide and recent local rainfall should form the bases for decisions around the safe crossing of any river (NB. IF THERE IS ANY DOUBT THAT IT WILL NOT BE SAFE, AN ALTERNATIVE ROUTE SHOULD BE TAKEN)
- You have only two choices when crossing a river; a safe crossing or no crossing.
- During emergencies, you can always try a cell phone first. You can get lucky and pick up a signal. (Try to get to the highest point in the area if easily accessible)
- You can use mirrors to reflect the sun's light to signal passing helicopters or small planes in case of an emergency.