During the Trip

Hiker with pack standing at lookout over mountains

NPS Photo

You are out on your adventure with your family, friends or group. Learn how to avoid some of the common mistakes made that could lead to an injury while exploring in a national park.

Some trails have log books at the trailhead. If available, sign the book and note your return time.

Unless you encounter a safety hazard, stick to your intended route during your activity. Your emergency contact will not know your new route and it will be difficult for Search & Rescue authorities to find you. If something impacts your activity, you may be better off turning around than taking a new route.

Reduce your risk of a serious injury by staying on trail and avoiding shortcuts. Many serious outdoor accidents happen when people go off the designated trail or walkway.

If traveling as a group, stay together. Separating from the main group could lead to a lost or injured group member.

Learn more about how these principles can reduce your risk of injury and minimize your impact on the environment.

Make sure that you are feeling well and are not experiencing conditions such as tiredness, dehydration, heat illness, etc. Also keep an eye out for environmental hazards (e.g. weather changes, wildlife). Determine whether you should keep going, take a break, or turn around. If traveling in a group, the Safety Leader(s) should watch for changes in group members’ health and for environmental hazards.

Last updated: June 15, 2018