The recent story of a lost hiker being found after two weeks on Maui made international headlines and prompts a discussion between Hawaii Vacation Connection Podcast hosts Aloha Bruce and Lanai Tabura about summer hiking in Hawaii Safety Tips(with some shout-outs to longtime podcast listeners and Lanai’s San Francisco pop-up restaurant attendees).
Lanai says that the female hiker’s story is dubious, and possibly a publicity stunt. Both of our hosts note that there does seem to be an opportunistic motive for the hiker. Most importantly, Bruce and Lanai talk about the importance of safety and awareness when hiking in Hawaii.
Hawaii’s location near the equator means that dark falls quickly. Our hosts discuss the importance of getting an early start when hiking in Hawaii. In the event that you find yourself in trouble, it’s better if there is daylight left for rescue crew to spot you visually.
Monitoring weather conditions is also important for visiting hikers. Windward and mauka (mountain) showers are common in Hawaii, and often a short rain squall can render some hiking train impassable. Slick, narrow trails are often the cause of dangerous falls from cliffs and ledges.
Bruce also notes that rockfalls and mudslides pose a hazard to unprepared hikers. This leads to a discussion about leptospirosis, a sometimes deadly water-born infection transmitted by stream water. Lanai notes that still pond water at places like Kapena Falls on Oahu is particularly risky. He says that if the water is still, don’t go in. With their typically expert local knowledge, Bruce and Lanai note the importance of heeding “brown water warnings”.
Our hosts also talk about the importance of staying hydrated, and the real risk of hypothermia for stranded or lost hikers. Hawaii enjoys a warm weather climate, but it does get cold at night in the mountains. Lanai makes the point that you should always let someone know where you’ll be hiking, even if it is simply leaving a note in your hotel room about your hiking plans for the day.
Aloha Bruce and Lanai stress the importance of common-sense tips like always bring your cell phone and plenty of water. Bruce also says to make sure to secure your belongings, as car break-ins are not uncommon. This most recent Hawaii Vacation Connection Podcast gives you the kind of local insight Hawaii Aloha Travel offer.