Bring adequate water on the trail. Up to two quarts per hour may be needed during the summer to prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion. Signs of dehydration include headache, irritability, and loss of coordination. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek shade, drink water, and rest until the symptoms subside.
Whenever you travel outdoors alone, you should always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
By staying on the trail, you can help minimize damage to the natural resources that you came here to enjoy. Staying on the trail can also reduce your exposure to poison oak, rattlesnakes, and unstable terrain.
Poison Oak can grow as a vine or a shrub. During the spring and summer, the plant is a brilliant green and may have white berries present. During the fall, the foliage turns bright red in color. The plant produces oils that can cause serious skin irritation. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants to minimize your risk. Promptly wash with soap and cold water if you are exposed.
Ticks are particularly active in spring. Check yourself and your pet thoroughly during and after a hike. Wear long pants and shirts tucked in to avoid contact. Remove ticks immediately. Some ticks transmit diseases. If bitten by a tick, contact a doctor.
Rattlesnakes are a natural part of the Southern California environment. You do not need to fear these reptiles, but you must respect them. If you see a rattlesnake, stay away from it. Never harass or intentionally try to harm a snake. You can minimize your risk of snakebites by staying on the trail and always looking first before taking a step.
Appalachian Trail News, Information, and Advice - AppalachianTrail.com