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Here are some tips for planning your hike (which is usually done best before you head out) and precautions along the way, assuring that you’ll get back safely:
1. Know the terrain you will cover, the length of the trail, weather conditions, time of day, and hazards along the trail.
2. Allow ample time to return before nightfall by figuring a travel rate of 1.5 miles per hour.
3. Carry proper equipment, including a first aid kit, flashlight, and plenty, plenty of water. Do not drink untreated stream water, as some “fresh” streams can contain the “lepto” bacteria (which can make you deathly ill) from wildlife waste upstream of you.
4. Wear proper shoes and clothing (closed-toe shoes with traction soles; rain gear; etc.).
5. Stay on the designated trail and be extra cautious when crossing streams and walking on wet, slippery trails or on loose, crumbly soil or rock.
6. Hike in a group and keep track of those in your party.
7. When hiking in the mountains, take care swimming near steep cliffs and under waterfalls (rocks fall sometimes).
8. Watch and listen for sudden flash floods from heavy rains that occur far back in the valleys. Signs of flash flood are: increased speed of and rapid rise in stream level, distant rumbling upstream, and the smell of fresh earth.
9. Don’rt rock climb. Hawaii’s porous mountain rock is not suitable for climbing. Steep valley walls and sea cliffs are subject to rock slides. Use extra caution in these areas.
10. Though there are no snakes in Hawaii, be aware that certain insects and arachnids (black widow, scorpion, centipede) can inflict painful stings and bites.
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