Planning on taking a hike?
You’ll want to keep some these things in mind before your next trek.
“Hiking in the Badlands in the summertime is challenging,” says Eileen Andes, chief of interpretation and public affairs at Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
It can be easy to get lost in the breathtaking views at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. But when you hike the trails, you’ll want to make sure you avoid getting lost yourself.
“Some of our back country trails are really difficult to follow. And it’s always good to have a compass or a topographic map,” says Andes.
A visit to the visitors center is also a good idea for trail recommendations based on skill level. The trails at Theodore Roosevelt National Park are for all experience levels. But if you’re a beginning hiker, you should start with short, manageable trails before working your way up to more difficult ones.
And hikers of any experience level should be adequately prepared.
“Make sure that we’re hydrated, making sure we have our sunscreen, and making sure we have proper shoes and proper gear,” says Janavia Smith, a visitor to the park.
Begin hydrating 24 hours before a hike and bring a gallon of water per person per day when you hit the trails. Closed-toe shoes or hiking boots are also recommended. And beware of wildlife.
“The bison was right there and they were right by the truck. Yes, we got close and living action right there in front of us. As well as the gophers and the prairie dogs,” says Smith.
Distance is key to safety. It’s a good idea to maintain at least 25 yards of distance from bison.
And refrain from using a camera flash to avoid startling them. But perhaps, the best tip of them all-
“Take your time and enjoy it. It’s not a race to get to the end,” says Andes.
Be prepared, take your time, and enjoy the journey and the view.
It’s also a good idea to use the buddy system when hiking. So invite a friend out the next time you hit the trails.