Pacific Northwest Trail in Buckhorn Wilderness, Olympic National Forest
It’s no mystery that the Pacific Northwest has some of the best hikes in the country. If you’re looking for wildlife or just want to get outside, then the Pacific Northwest may be for you. Yes, the PNW has wolves, cougars and bears. You don’t have to say “Oh My!” as while meandering in this country you should know they are among you. With a little preparation you can hike and be right by them and not have to worry. It really is about safety. It is worth it as the scenery on these hikes are simply spectacular! There’s a reason they call it God’s country. It is near nature and it is near perfect. We’ve compiled a list for you as you embark on your journey to one of the most beautiful places in the world. Yes the Pacific Northwest has rattlesnakes. Yes, they can be avoided. You just have to know how.
Watch Out for Cougars
Yes there’s cougars that will stalk you when you hike. Know that they can and will stalk you and you may not even know one is near. Your best bet is to go hiking in a group. Remember that cougars are looking for the most vulnerable catch. Herds travel in groups because of safety against wild cats. Do the same to stay protected from cougars.. Traveling in a herd is your best bet. Also know that during drought season, wild cats congregate near water. Stay clear from water during these times.
Arm Yourself with Bear Spray
A few years ago in Yellowstone National Park, the local E.R saw an influx of folks who sprayed bear spray on themselves like a deterrent like you would with insect repellent. Don’t do this. Bear spray is very powerful and is intended to cause harm. It’s to be carried, not sprayed on you. Regardless, you don’t want to interact with any bear out in the wild. If you see a bear cub that means get away. Chances are mama is near and you don’t want to mess with mama.
Pack your First-Aid Kit
You should always have a first-aid kit in your hiking bag. Your kit should include bandages, band-aids and antibiotic cream. I like to keep bromine on me as well. I like it’s sanitary qualities as I clean all my dishes in a bromine solution after I eat. You can also use bleach. You can’t be too clean in the Pacific Northwest. There’s bacteria in them there creeks. Don’t drink spring water and always have a first-aid kit.
They aren’t just a myth and they do exist. You should always wear long pants when you hike in the Pacific Northwest. The easiest way to avoid them is to avoid places they live. They like rock beds. When I am hiking and I see a rock bed I make a point of jumping over it. I also watch out for barbed wire. If it is new and taught, then know it has just been put up and probably for a reason. In places like Turtle lake, barbed wire is put up to keep people out of snake beds.. If you unfortunately come upon a rattlesnake, don’t run like you want to. Stay calm. Movement is what causes them to strike. They then need to be exterminated. If you get bit, go to the hospital. This is why you go hiking in groups. If you get injured, you will need help.
Dress in Layers and Be Prepared to Sweat
You started your hike at 6:00 am in the Dishman Hills on October 1. Chances are you are starting your hike when it’s cold. Know that it will get warmer as the day goes on. That’s why you wear lots of layers instead of one big coat. You will want to shed the layers as the day moves on.
The Thing About Moose…
They also live out in the Pacific Northwest. Do not confront them and know that they are dangerous. They will kill your dog. If they are off the leash if you see one you want to leash them immediately. They are dangerous even if they look tame. They should be avoided.
Yes, the PNW has lots of dangers. It still is beautiful and worth the hike. There’s tons to see in this neck of the woods or neck of the desert. The Olympic Peninsula is home to the majestic Hoh rainforest. I love camping in the Hoh and waking up with a herd of elk outside my tent. The Hoh in the Olympic Peninsula can get up to 170 inches of rain per year. It is one of the most beautiful places to camp in. If you hear a tree fall it could be caused from a bear leaning on it.