While hiking down the trail from Multanoah Falls in Oregon, a young woman walking behind me fell forward landing on her knees. This was not a steep trail. It was paved. And only four tenths of a mile from the parking lot.
Despite being an easy trail, this twenty something fell. And while I can’t say for certain why this happened, I immediately noticed three problems.
First, she was wearing the wrong shoes. No hiking boots. No sneakers. Instead she had on sandals. Yes, they were more heavy duty than those you might wear to the beach, but without a back on the shoe, they left plenty of room for her foot to slip.
Second, instead of watching her step or enjoying the scenery, she was looking at her phone. Maybe texting. Maybe checking Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. Maybe posting on one of those sites. Whatever the reason, she was not in the moment and distracted.
Finally, because she was holding her phone, her hands were not available so she could catch herself. She fell on her knees while saving the phone.
The result of her fall: one bruised ego, two scraped knees and a limp which probably made it difficult if not impossible to take any more hikes for the day.
Too bad to ruin the day before noon.
I know you’ll want to use your phone on a hike. My phone serves as my trusty camera, but it’s important to be smart about its use. Pull it out when you stop walking. Secure it during the hike so you don’t worry about dropping or losing it. Can you keep it in a zipped pocket or a backpack? Better to miss a shot than take a trip to the ER.
Going for a hike? Enjoy your surroundings and don’t be a distracted hiker.