The Times West Virginian

August 5, 2013

Safe hikes require preparation and planning ahead

By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian

BRUCETON MILLS — Whether you go for a few hours one afternoon or plan to cover several miles over the course of a few weeks, there are certain things to keep in mind while hiking.

The main thing is to be aware, and Gwen Jones, an associate professor at Fairmont State University, said awareness helps keep people safe.

Jones has been a Wilderness First Responder for about five years and is an outdoor enthusiast herself. She enjoys hiking so much that she has hiked more than 3,000 miles, and she said people can make sure their hiking trip is a safe one by always being aware.

Jones said she encourages people to hike, especially families, because it creates an interest for kids at a young age. It’s also a great way to spend time with the family while enjoying the outdoors.

Jones said the first step when planning a hike is to be aware of the weather. She said West Virginia is diverse when it comes to temperature and terrain.

“It might not be the same temperature that it is in Fairmont in Canaan or Coopers Rock,” she said. “You can really have a ball out here, but you have to be aware of the different seasons, different weather, and you have to plan for that complexity.”


Full story