Safety for Walkers

You are ready to go out walking.  You have your shoes on, but are you going to be safe while you are out there?  What do you need to do for safety when you go out walking?  Let’s go through some of what you can do.

  1. You must have some sort of emergency information on you. What information should you have on you?
    1. Your name
    2. Any allergies
    3. Medical issues such as diabetic, asthmatic, epileptic, etc
    4. Emergency contact person

These will assist anyone that is around you when you are unable to speak for yourself for whatever reason.  My favorite brand is RoadID.  They have a variety of products including an electronic version that emergency personnel can get even more medical information to help you.  The more information they can have when you are unable to tell them yourself, the better they can help you and quicker.

  1. Headphones/earbuds – don’t wear both of them and don’t have them too loud. You need to be able to hear traffic and people around you.

If you must wear headphones or earbuds then have just one in and keep your other ear fully available to hear what is going on around you.  When you have them turned up and/or in both ears, you run the risk of not hearing people as they come up behind you and want to go around you.   You may also not hear bikes coming up behind you on a trail and you may step into their path without knowing it until you get into an accident.  Worse then stepping in front of a bike would be not hearing a vehicle and getting into an accident with a car or emergency vehicle.

  1. Reflective clothing

When you are out in the early morning or late evening hours vehicles need to see you.  There are reflective vests that will go over your clothing, no matter what you are wearing.  Another option is a headlamp, where you can see better where you are going and for others to see you.  Flashing lights come in a variety of options including ones you can have on your back.  One thing is for sure, don’t wear all black without something reflective on it.  People are going to want to see you and you’ll want them to see you.

  1. Walk with at least one other person

Walking with a partner or a group is not only more fun but also gives you extra eyes and ears when looking out for your safety.  They can assist you if you get hurt and also watch out for people, bikes, and vehicles.

  1. Mace/pepper spray

This is a great option to have available for unwanted animals or people getting too close and posing a threat.  I recommend carrying this when you are out by yourself.  Although you never know if you may need it for animals when in a group.

  1. Water/beverage

When not in a race or even when in a race, you’ll want to make sure that you have water or some sort of electrolyte beverage to drink.  This is especially important when it’s hot and humid out.  You’ll need to keep hydrated.  Dehydration is not a good thing and can be dangerous.

  1. Snacks while walking

Yes, you read that correctly.  You’ll want snacks.  I recommend something small such as jelly beans or hard candies.  These will be easy to fit in your waist pack.

These are not all-inclusive, but a starter to get you thinking about safety when you go out walking.

Happy Walking!

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