John Brown

Hiking Safety Tips

Before traveling, we recommend that you check with your embassy or ministry of foreign affairs for the latest travel advisories for Jordan. Many countries have a "Smart Traveler Enrollment Program", where you register your trip intentions and receive important safety and security announcements.

Jordan is considered a very safe country to travel. Visitors are made welcome and assistance is always forthcoming when requested. The danger of violence towards tourists is low. The dangers you are most likely to encounter are related to traffic accidents.

When going to remote places, it may be some time before your absence is noticed if you have not left a plan of your intentions. It is important to notify someone reliable of your hiking intentions, including where you will start and finish, how you are traveling, members and nationalities of your group, vehicle details, phone numbers of group members and when the alarm should be raised. Leaving behind a note in the car explaining what you are doing is often a good idea. You can download travel notes that you can leave in the car from our website.

You may want to carry at least one mobile phone. Having SIM cards of the main mobile phone carriers improves your chances of getting phone reception while you are in remote areas.

About 70 percent of Jordan's rain falls between November and March, mainly in January and February. There is a real danger of flash floods during the rainy season when you hike in valleys (wadis), especially in narrow, rocky valleys near the Dead Sea such as Wadi Assal, Wadi Mujib and Wadi Mukheiris. Wadis surrounded by solid rock formations can experience very rapid run-off when it rains. To know about bow hunting see the link.

Avoid hiking in the narrow wadis if there is any chance of rain upstream. Warning signs while in the wadi include a stream rising quickly with muddy water and a roaring sound upstream. We strongly recommend that you head immediately for higher ground whenever you see indications of a flash flood. Because of flash floods and general high water levels, the RSCN closes the Wadi Mujib reserve between November and March.

When hiking in remote areas, we recommend that you:

• Prepare. Hike at home, keep fit and know your limitations. Carefully choose and be familiar with your equipment and learn first aid. Before a hike, investigate the terrain, conditions and local weather.

• Leave your plans with someone. It is always a good idea that you tell someone where you are going, when you'll return and leave details of your vehicle, phone numbers and group size and composition.

• Stay together. When you start as a group, hike as a group and end as a group. Pace your hike to the slowest person.

• Turn back when it is wise to do so. Fatigue and difficult terrain may slow you down. Don't blindly persevere; stop and reassess your plans.

• Know how to handle an emergency. Even if you are headed out for just an hour, an injury, severe weather or a wrong turn can be life threatening. Don't assume you will be rescued in Jordan; know how to rescue yourself.

It is vital to carry plenty of drinking water while hiking in Jordan. Dehydration is a big danger in Jordan There are a variety of methods to carry water but we recommend that you use a CamelBak" or similar system'. You can sip on water while you're walking, without the need to stop and open your backpack to find a bottle of water.

While drinking during the hike is very important, it is equally imperative that you hydrate yourself before you start. Have a big drink of water while you are on your way to the trail. Try to consume at least one liter of water in the hour before the hike.

The sun in Jordan can be incredibly intense especially in the summer. You will suffer sorely if you do not protect yourself from the sun.

You need a good hat, and a light cotton scarf is also a good idea. Take lightweight trousers and a long sleeve shirt. Take plenty of sunscreen and use it on all exposed parts of your body. Keep it on hand in a side pocket of your pack. Sunglasses are a good investment because the desert landscape produces a lot of glare.

Emergency 911 ……………(toll-free)

Ambulance 199 ................. (toll-free)

Tourist Police 196.............. (toll-free)

We recommend that you bring a first aid kit with a collection of plasters of various sizes, as well as triangular, regular and compression bandages and antiseptic. Despite the high temperatures in summer, it can also be cold in Jordan, especially at night. If there is an emergency, keeping warm is important. Space blankets are inexpensive, very light and highly effective keeping the body warmth in. They are also a high visibility item that assists rescuers in finding you.

If you need rescue or are separated from other hikers, attracting attention is vital. We recommend that you carry:

• Some high visibility items (e.g., bright clothing or space blanket).

• A mirror-on a sunny day this can attract attention from many kilometers away.

• A whistle.

• A flashlight and spare batteries. A headlamp is best.

• Matches or lighter to make a fire to attract attention through light or smoke and to keep warm.

We recommend that you upload the E-trails from our website onto your GPS. Don't forget spare batteries for the GPS. For added security, you can use a lanyard to secure the GPS to your belt to prevent it being lost.

If you have a sprained ankle, you will appreciate having hiking poles. Even if you don't use them, lightweight collapsible poles in your pack will be no burden. They are handy on broken and slippery ground, or if you find yourself out in the dark, and are good to take pressure off your knees on descents.

Regular snacks will keep your energy levels up, which is especially important if you are out longer than expected. Jordanian date bread is a good energy food and can be found locally in bakeries and supermarkets. Nuts and dates can be found in most shops and service stations. Falafel sandwiches are everywhere. You can get fruit in supermarkets and seasonal fruit is often sold by the road.

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