How Do You Keep From Falling When Hiking?

Hiking is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy nature. However, it’s important that you take precautions so you don’t fall when hiking. So what do you need to do before heading out on your hike? 

Let’s go over some ways to keep yourself safe while hiking in the wild:

Preventing falls – exercises to reduce your risk of a fall
Use trekking poles to enhance stability and prevent falls.
Properly lace your hiking trail runners for improved support and stability.
Be aware of the risk of runners’ knee while hiking.
Waterproof your hiking pants to prevent slipping on wet or rainy trails.
Plan your hike on the Sunrise Trail considering the estimated duration for a safe experience.

Wear Proper Shoes Or Boots

There are many types of shoes that are appropriate for hiking, including trail runners and hiking boots. 

Trail runners are lightweight and fast with good traction and support, but they may not be waterproof. 

Hiking boots provide the best support and ankle support but will weigh you down more than other types of shoes or boots. 

As long as you make sure your footwear fits properly, has good support, provides adequate traction on all surfaces, and is waterproof or able to withstand moisture easily (like Gore-Tex), then it should serve you well during your hike!

When hiking, it’s essential to maintain balance and stability. One effective technique is to use trekking poles to enhance your stability and prevent falls. Discover the benefits of trekking poles and learn how to carry them properly for a safer hiking experience.

Be Familiar With The Type Of Terrain You’ll Be Hiking On

Know what type of terrain you’ll be hiking on.

To begin with, it’s important to know the types of hazards and challenges that a particular type of terrain can present. 

For example, when I was living in California and taking group hikes through the mountains near my home, one thing that people often forgot was that mountain terrain can include everything from steep cliffs and rock faces to weather conditions like snow storms or high winds. 

The worst part is when someone fails to prepare for this kind of danger; they think “Oh hey! There’s no snow here on the ground there must not be any up there either.” Wrong! Always expect the unexpected when it comes to hiking in mountainous regions or anywhere else with extreme weather conditions…

Additionally, some types of dangerous obstacles are more common than others depending upon where you live (or plan on traveling) so make sure you have an understanding about what kinds of problems might arise from each different situation before setting off into unknown territory!

Terrain TypeKey Considerations
RockyWear sturdy hiking boots with good ankle support. Watch your footing and use caution on uneven surfaces.
SteepUse trekking poles to provide stability and assist with balance on steep ascents and descents. Take frequent breaks to prevent fatigue.
SandyWear lightweight and breathable footwear. Be mindful of sand getting into your shoes and adjust your gait accordingly.
ForestedBe prepared for narrow trails and obstacles like fallen trees. Use bug repellent and be cautious of potential wildlife encounters.
Wet/MuddyWear waterproof boots or consider using gaiters to keep your feet dry. Take care on slippery surfaces and adjust your pace accordingly.
Snow/IceUse crampons or microspikes for traction on icy surfaces. Dress in warm, layered clothing and be prepared for changing conditions.

Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

You should always be looking up, down and ahead when hiking so that you don’t trip over rocks or branches. 

If you’re distracted by other things like talking to a friend or listening to music on your phone, this can be dangerous since you’ll have less time to react if something unexpected happens in front of you. 

Also remember to pay attention to any changes in the weather so that if there is lightning or heavy rain coming soon, it’s best not to continue hiking until it passes

Properly lacing your hiking trail runners can significantly improve your comfort and stability on the trails. Explore our guide on lacing techniques for hiking trail runners to discover different lacing methods that provide better support and reduce the risk of tripping or falling.

Consider Your Center Of Gravity

When you’re walking, keep your center of gravity low. This means that, if you were to draw a line from your head all the way down to the ground, that line should be as close to parallel with your feet as possible.

Obviously this can be a little tricky, since some people are taller than others and also have longer legs than others.

But one simple rule of thumb is that if something is too high or too far forward on your body like your head it will put more weight on those parts of you instead of evenly distributing it across each foot (or shoe). 

And this can cause problems when hiking up or down hills because it’ll throw off how much weight you’re putting over each foot and could cause instability in general.

Watch Where You’re Stepping

Keep an eye on where you’re stepping. Whether you’re going up or down a trail, focus your gaze downward and to the side so that you can spot any hazards. Avoid looking straight ahead; this will make it harder to see rocks or roots in your path.

Use a hiking stick for extra support. Holding onto a sturdy stick while walking can help keep you upright and provide stability when crossing rough terrain or climbing steep inclines.

Point of FocusKey Considerations
Uneven GroundPay attention to the terrain, watch for rocks or roots
Slippery SurfacesTake caution on wet or icy surfaces, use proper footwear
Loose GravelMaintain balance and stability, wear sturdy shoes
Narrow PathsWalk with precision and be aware of the trail’s width
Overhanging ObstaclesLook up for low-hanging branches or protruding rocks
Trail MarkingsStay on marked trails to avoid getting lost

Stay Hydrated, Fueled, And Well-Rested

When you’re hiking, it’s important to stay hydrated, fueled and well-rested. To do that:

Drink plenty of water before, during and after your hike. This will keep you from getting dehydrated and help prevent cramping in your muscles.

Eat a good breakfast before you start hiking so that you don’t have to worry about taking breaks to eat during your hike (because who wants to stop when they’re having fun?).

Bring snacks with you on the trail so that those times when hunger strikes aren’t wasted ground time. You can also munch on them while taking rests along the way or at camp later in the day.

Take breaks as needed—and give yourself permission not only for rest but also for naps if necessary!

While hiking can be an enjoyable activity, it’s important to be aware of potential injuries like runners’ knee. Learn more about the connection between hiking and runners’ knee in our article Can you get runners’ knee from hiking? and find out how to prevent and manage this common hiking-related issue.

Avoid Carrying A Heavy Pack

Carrying a heavy pack can make hiking more difficult. It’s important to understand how to distribute the weight of your pack so that you don’t put too much strain on your shoulders, back and hips. 

When choosing a pack, take into account your level of fitness and whether you’re carrying any extra equipment such as snowshoes or crampons. You should be able to comfortably carry the pack without difficulty at least 100 yards before having to pause for rest.

Be Aware Of Changes In The Weather

The first thing you should do is be aware of the weather forecast before you go hiking. If there’s a chance of rain, make sure to bring an extra jacket or umbrella. 

If you’re hiking in the winter or at high altitude, you’ll want some warm clothes and maybe even a few hot chocolate packets in your backpack if it’s snowing!

When planning your hike, keep an eye on what could change the conditions on the trail: if it’s sunny but windy today and it looks like that might change tomorrow, put some sunscreen in your bag just in case.

Maintain Your Balance On Uneven Terrain

Use a walking stick or poles for balance. If you’re not sure which to choose, read our guide on hiking sticks.

Look down, not up. You’ll be less likely to catch your foot on an unexpected root or rock if you keep your eyes focused on the ground immediately in front of you rather than scanning the whole area around you for potential hazards.

Use your arms for balance (if needed). If a slope is particularly steep and difficult to navigate safely without putting weight on one arm—as might happen when crossing through tall grasses or bushes use that arm for support instead of relying upon it only as a way to move forward.

Hiking in wet or rainy conditions can pose challenges, especially when it comes to keeping your pants dry. Our easy tips on waterproofing hiking pants will help you keep moisture at bay and ensure a comfortable and safe hiking experience, reducing the risk of slipping or falling due to wet clothing.

Use A Staff Or Poles For Stability And Support.

Using a staff or poles is an excellent way to keep your balance while hiking. However, before you head out on the trail with your new walking stick in hand, there are a few things to consider:

Make sure you have the right length of staff or pole for your height and activity level. A good rule of thumb is that it should reach from the ground up to just below your armpit when standing upright. 

Anything longer than this can make it difficult for you to move efficiently by slowing down your stride and making turning more difficult (as well as possibly tripping over rocks!).

If possible, try out different types of sticks before purchasing one so that you can find one that works best for you; some people prefer heavier-duty models made from metal while others prefer lighter ones made from wood.

You should also consider what material would be most comfortable in your hands plastic handles tend toward being slippery but are lightweight and easy to hold onto; solid wood handles feel more sturdy but may soak up moisture over time causing them rot faster than other materials such as aluminum tubing which makes them ideal if hiking conditions involve lots of rain since aluminum doesn’t absorb water easily

ToolKey Benefits
Trekking PolesImprove balance, reduce strain on joints, aid in ascents
Hiking StaffProvide stability on uneven terrain, assist with descents
Nordic Walking PolesEngage upper body muscles, increase stability
Trail Running PolesEnhance agility and speed on challenging trails

Don’t Hike Alone – Take A Buddy With You!

Don’t hike alone – take a buddy with you! If you’re going to be taking long hikes, especially in the wilderness, it’s important to have someone there with you. 

Not only will they be able to help if something unexpected happens (like an injury or finding yourself lost) but they can also rescue you if something goes wrong on the trail. Safety in numbers is crucial when hiking, so it’s best not to go alone.

If you are planning on going out into nature by yourself and don’t have anyone else who wants to come along for the ride then make sure that everyone has all of their gear prior to leaving home. 

This way if an emergency does happen then everyone will have what they need on hand without having to stop mid-trip and get supplies from somewhere else.

Planning a hike on the Sunrise Trail? Knowing the estimated duration of the hike is crucial for a successful and safe adventure. Check out our guide on how long does it take to hike Sunrise Trail to get an idea of the average time required, allowing you to plan your hike effectively and prevent exhaustion-related accidents.


We hope that this post has helped you understand how to stay safe while hiking. Remember that it’s always better to be safe than sorry, so don’t hesitate to make sure your gear works before heading out into the wilderness. 

Be sure also to test out all new equipment beforehand, especially if it hasn’t been used in a while or seems worn down by previous use such as boots or hiking poles. 

Finally, remember not just what gear is necessary but how much water weight is too much on a hot day like today’s!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources you can explore for further information on preventing falls while hiking:


How can I improve my balance while hiking?

Maintaining good balance during hiking is essential to prevent falls. You can improve your balance by practicing exercises that target your core muscles, such as yoga or balance training. Additionally, using trekking poles can provide extra stability and aid in maintaining balance.

Are hiking boots necessary to prevent falls?

While hiking boots can provide better traction and ankle support, they are not the sole factor in preventing falls. Proper footwear that fits well and has a good grip is important, but it’s also crucial to stay vigilant, watch your step, and be aware of the terrain and potential hazards on the trail.

Should I use hiking poles to prevent falls?

Using hiking poles can significantly improve stability and help prevent falls. They provide additional points of contact with the ground, aid in balance, reduce stress on joints, and assist with navigating uneven terrain. Proper technique and adjustment of poles to your height are important for their effective use.

How can I prevent slipping on wet or slippery surfaces during hikes?

To prevent slipping on wet or slippery surfaces, consider wearing hiking shoes or boots with good traction and slip-resistant soles. Slow down your pace, take smaller steps, and use extra caution when walking on slippery surfaces. Using trekking poles can also provide added stability and reduce the risk of slipping.

What should I do if I do fall while hiking?

If you happen to fall while hiking, the first step is to assess yourself for any injuries. Take your time to get up slowly and carefully. If you experience pain or suspect an injury, seek medical attention if necessary. It’s always wise to carry a first aid kit and know basic first aid techniques to handle minor injuries on the trail.