Planning for a hike? Follow these guidelines to stay safe

RAPID CITY, S.D. —  The weather the past few days has certainly been cooperating for people who want to go hiking, and there are a few things to remember other than your boots.

5 16 Hiking Safety Sotvo00 00 29 19still001Black Hills National Forest is home to a trail system covering 1,000 miles, from leisurely hikes to more difficult terrain. No matter how challenging of a hike you plan on taking, there are a few things you should remember.

Most importantly, make sure you bring plenty of water, wear proper footwear for the terrain and always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.

It is also important to plan for the weather conditions as they can be vastly different on Black Elk Peak than in your neck of the woods.

“The weather changes kind of depending where you’re out in the hills,” said Scott Jacobson, Public Affairs for Black Hills National Forest. “As we all know, later in the day in the Black Hills during the summer, storms pop up and certainly it’s a good idea to check the weather and kind of knowing what’s coming ahead of you.”

If you’re looking to try a new trail, the national forest ranger stations are a good place to start. The rangers can also answer questions about terrain and the difficulty of the trails.

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