by Erick Wikum
While consisting of only two words and ten letters, the Boy Scout motto—Be Prepared—provides solid advice for life. What does it require for you to be prepared when using the Little Miami Scenic Trail? Here’s a list of five key items you should carry with you when using the trail to ensure you are ready to address situations you may encounter:
5. Sunscreen: Despite its plentiful tree cover, the trail still exposes you to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Lather up with SPF 15 or greater, being careful to cover all exposed skin including the back of your neck and tops of your ears. Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours.
4. Water or Sports Drink: No matter your activity on the trail—walking, running or cycling—staying hydrated is critical. The amount of fluids to consume depends on your level of exertion as well as environmental conditions. For convenience, consider investing in a hydration backpack or runner’s belt.
3. Nutrition: Long distance athletes require calorie intake as they train and compete, and so do hikers who become lost or misjudge distances. Nutrition is available in many convenient forms ranging from gel packs to bars. Typical serving sizes offer around 100 calories, which doesn’t sound like much, but is enough to provide a pick-me-up. Readily available foods including fruit and crackers can provide a similar effect.
2. Identification: In an emergency, others will need to know who you are, whom to contact and how and what health issues such as allergies you may have. Various companies offer engraved identification bands, but simply printing this information on a piece of paper carried inside a sealed plastic bag will work just as well.
1. Mobile Phone: Use your phone to summon help in an emergency by dialing 911. Report fallen trees or other hazards by calling the Trail Hotline at (513) 212-6958 with a description of the problem and its location (mile marker or intersection). Consult your phone to find your location or check the weather. Cell phone coverage along the trail is generally good. Before departing home, ensure your phone is adequately charged. Carry your phone in a secure way to prevent damage.