Hiking, biking, and horseback riding is great exercise, but it's not always just a "walk in the park." Southern California deserts are harsh environments and even experienced hikers should take care of themselves when on the trail.
Have a plan.
Inform someone of where you're going and when you plan to return
Keep a flashlight and whistle with you
Eat well, stay hydrated: Carry plenty of water
Stay on the trail
Ask for HELP!
Familiarize yourself with the area, use a map
Expect changes in the weather
- Carry and drink plenty of water (a minimum of 1 quart every 2 hours)
- Sturdy footwear with good traction might save an ankle
- Minor/moderate health or medical issues can be easily exacerbated by hiking up steep trails or hiking in high temperatures-- know your limits and pay attention to how you're feeling.
- Stay on established trails.
- Start with a fully charged cell phone, and bring a back-up charger.
- When hiking in a group, each person should carry some water and food in case the party becomes separated, and the group should make a plan for where to meet up (at a vehicle, at the trailhead, etc.) if the members become separated.