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Hiking equipment and outfit
  1. Wear sun protective and windproof light outfit. Do not wear shorts.  A suitable hat can shield off sunlight in summer and keep you warm in winter (light jacket, sleeping bag and warm clothing too).
  2. Choose a pair of robust, thick-soled, non-slip and ankle protective hiking shoes.
  3. Put in your bag: Hiking poles, sun glasses, sun screening hats, rain gears, towels, changing clothing, gloves, torch, mosquito repellent, compass, map, pocket knife, notebook, pen, first aid kit and your octopus card and mobile phone. Take note of the limited coverage of mobile phone signals in mountainous areas, especially in valleys, which may cause loss of signal and contact.  Also remember to set your phone on battery-saving mode. 
  4. Bring your personal medication and first-aid kit.
  5. Bring sufficient water and food. In winter, you should bring with you high-energy food such as chocolate.
  6. Pack sparingly and do not make your bag too heavy. (Check out the page Enjoy Hiking for more information)
 
Before going
  1. Plan your itinerary carefully and familiarize yourself with the route. It should include emergency exit routes and traffic arrangement.  Choose routes with road markers for hikers. Please refer to our reference websites to choose the best route for you.
  2. Search for information and geographical data on the planned route and the hiking destination. Apart from web-searches, try to contact local hiking groups for more detailed information. Do not overly rely on google maps or GPS.
  3. Choose shorter and easier hiking routes if the hikers are inexperienced. Avoid hiking in difficult terrains or high mountains (e.g. Kowloon Peak)
  4. Find an experienced hiker as your hiking leader. Have an assistant leader for every 10 hikers in the team.
  5. Never go hiking alone. A four-member team is preferable, as the hiking leader can readily take care of every person.
  6. Take note of weather conditions in different seasons:
    November – February: Beware of sudden drops in Beware of sudden drops in temperature. Cold and dry weather, possibilities of hill fires
    March – April: Foggy weather may make hikers lose their way.
    May – October: Frequent thunderstorm and rainstorm may lead to flooding or landslide. Extremely hot weather may cause heat stroke.
  7. When caught in a typhoon or thunderstorm, hikers should immediately retreat to safe places for shelter; and if necessary, call the police for assistance. If weather conditions are unstable or bad, all hiking activities should be suspended, especially when hiking or mountaineering warnings are issued.
  8. Hiking leader should deliver before hiking the following information to a contact person:
    - Nature, itinerary, and destination of the hiking activity
    - Date and details of activity duration and planned return hour
    - Number of participants and their age
    - Names and family contact information of participants
  9. Eat healthy food before hiking, but avoid drinking tea and coffee as they may increase the frequency of urination.  
Safety Guidelines
  1. Take frequent breaks to save energy
  2. Avoid walking on slippery surface, muddy roads or sandy and stony ground.
  3. Do not walk along natural watercourses, especially after rainstorms and in rainy seasons.
  4. Do not hike in the sun for a long time; drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  5. Never take breaks along watercourses.
Pay attention to these signs of landslide:
  1. The seeping of a large quantity of muddy water from the base of a slope or out of its drainage holes
  2. Exposure of inner soil and appearance of new cracks on the slope
  3. Handle fire-kindling materials with great care. Never light a fire except at designated barbecue sites or campsites.
  4. Refrain from smoking during hiking. All cigarette stubs and matches should be totally extinguished before discarded in rubbish bins.
  5. Take note of drifting ashes in the air and note any burning smell. This may indicate a hill fire and hikers should leave immediately.
  6. Follow maintained trails. Do not venture out onto new paths, or into bushes or shrubbery, or uncultivated grassland.
  7. Pay attention to the warning signs along the trail. Do not enter danger zones, nor take shortcuts for convenience. Follow the main road and the signage along the route
  8. Avoid using aromatic lotion which may attract bees
  9. Do not grasp thorny plants.
  10. Protect your head and face or exposed skin with a handkerchief or clothing when passing through a bush.
  11. Do not eat wild fruits/mushrooms.
International Distress Signals
  1. Blowing a whistle
  2. Reflecting light with a mirror or metal sheet
  3. Flashing with your torch light at night
  4. Waving colourful or shiny clothes to attract attention
  5. Using stones or tree branches to form the characters of SOS on a flat and open space (Each character should be 6m x 6m).