Hiking in Colorado, especially on the western slope is fun and inspiring.

But if you don't hike with an eye towards safety, you could be putting yourself in danger.

As we all know, the weather in Colorado can turn pretty quick, so when you prepare yourself to go hiking, make sure you take these tips to heart.

First, make sure you check the weather forecast. It may look nice out when you decide to head out, but what will the weather do once you're out on the trails?

Always hike with a friend. Hiking can be a nice, easy thing to do but things happen. Don't ever hike alone. Be sure to take plenty of water with you no matter the heat. Staying hydrated will help keep you aware and awake.

What about gear? It's not all that important, is it?

Yes. It is. Wearing sandals or flip-flops is fine for taking a walk around the block, but they won't help you when you're hiking. Wearing shoes or boots with solid soles will help keep your feet on the trail.

It's also important to let someone know where you're going to hike. Giving friends and family the heads up can save your life.

Finally, know your limitations. If you have never done a difficult hike or gone up in elevation you may want to work up to it. No one knows you better than you do, so make sure you're making hiking plans that make sense for you.

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