Important Notice When Hiking

I. Calmly respond to and navigate suddenly changing weather

   Rain downpours and thundershowers in the summer are part of the dangers brought by this unique climate conditions. Mountain travelers, please do not let down your guard against these dangers under any circumstances. Make sure you have made the appropriate preparations and taken the proper precautions before undertaking outdoors activity. If you do come across sudden weather changes during your outdoors activities, respond and navigate calmly to overcome hazards and reach safety.

II. Take Proper Precautions Against Bad Weather Conditions

   When rain downpours or thundershowers occur, they threaten the safety of those engaged in outdoors activities. In mountain areas, dangers include hampered ability to move, impaired field of view, flooding of rivers and creeks, lightning strikes, landslides and falling rocks, and disrupted transportation routes. Basically, downpours or thundershowers are times unsuitable for outdoors activity, but quite a few people still insist on going up the mountain due to various reasons. In these cases, constant vigilance and awareness of environmental conditions and taking precautions accordingly are necessary to ensure the capability to respond in time when unexpected situations occur. 

III. Carefully consider last-minute change of plans 

   When the weather forecast indicates that there will be rain downpours, it is a dilemma of proceeding with an already-planned hiking activity or cancelling the program. If the hiking plan was a single-day return trip to a small mountain close by, last-minute decisions on whether to go or to cancel can be made because the distance is short. For alpine activities that are longer distances and last several days, it is critical to constantly follow successive weather developments, and watch out for dangers caused by massively elevated rain levels including slippery roads, landslides, rapidly rising water levels in streams and rivers, and interrupted transportation.

IV. Take Proper measures for Damp proofing and keep warm 

  The most distinct impacts caused by rainfall are coldness and wetness. Without rain gear to protect oneself, one may fall into hypothermia. Taking proper damp proofing measure and keeping warm is essential for hikers, but many new hikers cannot imagine the difficulties that they may encounter. Therefore, the leaders and instructors of the hiking group must constantly pay attention to the physical conditions of new hikers so that timely assistance may be offered to prevent regrets from happening  due to lack of care. 

V. Do Not Keep Hiking in  Downpours

   When encountering rainfall during hiking, small showers that last for short periods may be insulated against by rain gear. But, when heavy rains or downpours happen, hikers shall immediately stop the hiking activity and search for a place to shelter from the rain. Do not keep hiking in the downpour to avoid  hypothermia from happening.

VI. Do Not Underestimate the Danger Caused by Typhoons

   Because the typhoon season is also the peak season for summer outdoors activities, there have been several large-scale hiking incidents, in which the hikers got trapped or even lost their lives. Getting trapped by floods while doing outdoors camping and fishing are also a common occurrence. Fellow lovers of outdoor activities must not underestimate the dangers caused by typhoons. 

VII. When encountering a typhoon, you should try to stay away from the open area in the mountain

  Strong wind is the most dangerous thing that typhoon brings to people who are engaging in outdoors activities; rain downpours come next. If you are in an alpine open area during a typhoon, you must depart immediately and search for a place to take shelter from the winds. There are a lot of thick forests and arrow bamboo groves in Taiwan’s high mountains that can provide shelter. As long as you do not panic and run heedlessly, usually you can wait for one or two more day to get through the storm.

VIII. When Trapped by Floods, You Should Retreat to and Take shelter at a Place Safe from Landslides and Falling Rocks

   Mountain flood flashes and suddenly rising river levels are problems that easily lead to serious disasters. When engaging in activities, such as hiking; fishing; or camping, in mountainous and river valley areas, for easy access to water, parties usually will take note of a route for retreat in case of rising water levels, and the possible highest level reachable by mountain floods.
If unfortunately you are trapped by floods, as long as you are able to retreat to a place safe from landslides and falling rocks, you only have to wait 2 or 3 days for the water levels to fall.

IX. Think of a Strategy Calmly  

   If you encounter a typhoon during outdoors activity, the essence for launching a response is actually the same as encountering other unexpected incidents. The most important method of response is calmly thinking of a strategy to deal with the situation. Carefully observe the dangers in the situation, understand the resources that can be utilized and the possible worst-case scenario. As long as you do not panic, you are the person best positioned to resolve the dangers you face.

In the past, many successful escape from danger involved key players who were able to deal with problems calmly, and those who perished were mostly those who had insufficient preparation and did not deal with the situation well. Fellow lovers of outdoors activities, please invest yourself in the study of weather changes in order to equip yourself for responding calmly in the face of danger and extricating yourself from a perilous situation to safety.