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Tips for Staying Safe on the Trail

As beautiful as the great outdoors can be, nature poses a variety of hazards one needs to be mindful of while enjoying their favorite outdoor activities. So whether you like to hike, mountain bike, or run the trails, we’ve listed a few tips for staying safe while enjoying the outdoors.

Tip #1: Check the weather forecast
Though the skies may be clear when you reach the trailhead, storms can come through in a flash, especially during the spring and summer. Be sure to check your weather forecast ahead of time, and be aware of changing weather conditions, such as increased winds and cloud cover, cooler temperatures, and excessive humidity.

If you happen to get caught in a lightning storm, the key is to stay low. Get to a lower elevation as quickly as possible, and avoid open or watery areas. Look for a low lying area to crouch down, such as a dry ditch, or near a fallen tree, and steer clear of tall trees.

Tip #2: Be prepared
As obvious as this tip is, many runners, hikers, and mountain bikers have found themselves in precarious situations that could have easy been delt with had they been better equipped. In addition to proper clothing, whether it’s water, a cell phone, first aid kit, or food in the form of energy bars or granola, the simple steps you take in preparation can always come through in the clutch.

Tip #3: Stay aware of your surroundings
Your senses are your best defense against potential hazards, so you’ll want to do your best to make sure that they aren’t impaired while you’re out on the trail. Use an eyewear holder for sunglasses so that you can take them on and off when necessary, and avoid diverting your eyes from the trail while in motion.

Additionally, though many people enjoy using an audio device while on the trail, using both earbuds can severely restrict your awareness, limiting your ability to listen for storms, falling rocks, rustling in the bushes from wild animals, or other people using the trail.

To cope, many people like to use only one earbud and leave the other one dangling. However, in addition to poor sound quality and the annoyance of a flapping earbud, doing so increases the risk of the cable catching onto the handlebars.

So rather than use only one earbud from a stereo set, a great way to stay aware of your surroundings while on the trail is by using Far End Gear’s XDU Single Earphone. Specially designed to be worn in one ear, the XDU Single Earphone mixes both audio channels from your stereo device to a single ear, so you can leave one ear open while enjoying your favorite music, and without a dangling earbud. It even comes with a reflective-wrapped cord so you can stay visible at night.

Have any tips of your own for staying safe on the trail? Feel free to share them with us by posting in the space below.