Precautions to Take While Hiking on Maui

May 31, 2019, 1:12 PM HST · Updated June 1, 5:04 PM
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Scenic view from wilderness hike. File photo courtesy Haleakalā National Park / Maui Now graphic.

While the tales of missing hikers Noah “Kekai” Mina and Amanda Eller both ended very differently, their stories have drawn attention to a very important subject for anyone hiking the Maui landscape: What kind of precautions to take while hiking.

The Maui County Department of Fire & Public Safety is one of many organizations that list what hikers should do before they head out.

“We were all relieved when Amanda was found and grieved with the Mina ʻohana,” said Fire Captain Rylan Yatsushiro.

The advisory tips for hikers are found here: https://www.mauicounty.gov/2064/Flash-Flood-Precautions. (Although the page is listed under flash flood precautions the list also applies to general everyday hiking excursions.)

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The tips include:

Wearing brightly colored clothes so that rescue crews can more easily spot you if you are lost.
Bring an adequate amount of food and water for the duration of the hike.
Hike during daylight hours and make sure you have adequate time to return to your vehicle. Start hikes early so you can be back before the sun sets.
Let someone else know where you are hiking and when you expect to return.
Make sure you bring a fully charged cell phone along on your hike. Consider bringing an extra battery if possible.
Be aware that some remote areas will not have cell phone coverage.
Never dive or jump into ponds because of submerged rocks/ledges.
Never cross or swim in streams/ponds when dark clouds are over the mountains.
Heed all warning signs and do not trespass on private property.
Stay on tails and pack out any rubbish. Leave only footprints. Never hike alone.
Be prepared for sudden changes in weather. Bring a poncho, jacket, sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
Call the National Weather Service at 1-866-944-5025 to check on the weather before you head out.
Call the Maui County Automated Information line for Maui Emergency Management Agency emergency notifications, such as flash flood warnings or advisories. That number is (808) 986-1200, ext. 1.
You can also check out www.weather.gov/hawaii.

*Below: Video provided by Maui County of flash flooding.

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