Stay On The TrailMost trail accidents happen when hikers leave the established trail and disregard warning signs. Staying on the trail greatly reduces your chances of having a serious fall or getting lost.
Look Where You StepMany falls happen because of inattention. Keep your eyes on the trail and be aware of drop-offs concealed by brush. Look where you step; step where you look.
Stay Together; RegroupHikers separated from their partners are more apt to make a wrong turn or lose the established trail. Keep track of your hiking party and regroup periodically to count heads, especially near junctions or when the trail gets obscure or overgrown.
Watch The TimeIt's easy to lose track of time. Late starts increase the possibility of getting caught in the dark. Allow enough time to return. Know what your turnaround time is and stick to it. If you're caught by darkness, stay put.
Monitor Everyone's ConditionAs the day wears on, especially in bad weather, periodically ask your hiking companions, "How are you doing?" In hot, cold, or wet weather, hikers who are suffering need to be checked frequently to ensure they can continue.
Monitor The WeatherKeep an eye on the sky. When hiking into valleys or crossing streams, be mindful of rain conditions along the mountain top or ridges which can suddenly raise the water level in the stream. Exercise extreme caution if attempting to cross a swollen stream; it's better to wait till the water level drops or find an alternative.
When hiking open-ridge trails, high winds and heavy rain can make hiking conditions extremely dangerous.
Avoid Undue RisksClimbing waterfalls and following narrow ridgelines off the trail can place you in extreme danger. Rock climbing is extremely dangerous due to the highly crumbly and porous nature of Hawaii's volcanic rock.
Scrub Your BootsScrubbing your boots before you hike is good idea. Hawaii's fragile and unique environment is under constant threat from non- native plants. One way these plants are spread is by seeds mixed in with mud on hiking boots. You can minimize this impact by scrubbing your boots after every hike; start each hike with clean boots.