Amanda Hollman, Assistant Opinions Editor, @HollmanAmanda
Last week, BYU student Tyler Mayle decided to go on a hike alone. He was reported missing three days after he went on the hike and was found dead the following night. This experience so close to home might make you wonder: Is it ok to hike alone?
Some people enjoy going out on hikes alone as it helps them connect with themselves and with nature. That would not be too much of a problem if there were not so many issues. There are drop offs, some of which are fairly steep, that if you are not careful could become a disaster. If it is really hot, dehydration could easily become a problem if you are not properly prepared.
So what precautions can you take in case the unexpected happens?
According to the Daily Herald, Mayle’s roommates saw him leave Saturday morning but did not talk to him. When the roommates saw he was not home Sunday morning they assumed he had gone on vacation without telling them.
Growing up, my parents never gave me a curfew. In order to go out, I had to tell them where I was going, who I was going to be with and when I would be back home. If the time to be back were to change, I had to call and let them know before that time came.
Now that I am in college, I do not have to report to anyone if I want to go out. Maybe it is a force of habit or maybe it’s just because I care about what happens to me, but I still let people know what is going on in my life. My roommates do not always know where I am, but they know to get worried if I do not come home at night. They know that I will not suddenly leave for a few days and not let them know.
That is one thing you can do to keep yourself safe. Let people know when you are going into a situation that could be potentially dangerous, even in a little way. You never know what things could go wrong, and you might need help.
Make sure that you have plenty of water. You are going to need it! Dehydration can drain you of the energy you need to get back home. It is better to bring more water than you think you will need than to run out and be stuck.
With technology nowadays, most of our phones have capabilities to track you in case of an emergency. A precaution that many people might not think of is to make sure that your phone is fully charged before heading out on a hike. If your phone has battery when search and rescue teams are out looking for you, they will likely find you faster.
While hiking alone is a great experience, the buddy system is always the best way to keep safe. Bring another person with you just in case something happens. I know it sounds funny, but if you want to go alone, bring someone else that also wants to go alone. You both can keep an eye on each other while keeping a distance so that you get the same experience while also being safe.
Get out and have fun this summer in our beautiful mountains. Just be sure to keep yourself safe