Hiking safety is not the most exciting content and hiking in the Bandon area is a relatively safe endeavor. However, as with all outdoor activities there are a few risks involved and some precautions are in order. These are just a few suggestions.
1. In this day of cell phone communication it may seem that help is only a phone call away. However, reception in the area can be very spotty. Further, if you are in trouble, you may not be able to make a call. A cell can be helpful and is a good thing to carry. But don’t make this your only source of help.
2. Make sure someone knows where you are at and when you will return. It is a good idea to file a trip plan with local officials.
3. When hiking on or near the beach, be aware of the waves. Don’t turn your back on the ocean. So called “Sneaker Waves” can suprise a hiker.
4. Be careful when walking on or around drift wood. It may appear stable but a very small amount of water can cause it to shift and move.
5. Some hikes may require crossing a river. Do not attempt to cross these rivers without proper preparation and skill. Don’t attempt crossings when the flows are up.
6. Be aware of the tides. The beach can appear open and accessable when you start a hike and then close off when the tide comes in.
7. Carry some extra water. The water available in the ocean can only be rendered drinkable through reverse osmosis. It can not be filtered to drink.
8. Wildlife is rarely a problem. However, the Southern Coast Range does have some animals that could be hazardous if not treated with respect. This means, when hiking overnight, place your food in a bear secure container and store away from your camp site.
9. Don’t climb the rocks and cliffs. Much of the material that the sea stacks and beach cliffs are made of is loose and unsecure. Further, the sea stacks are part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge and are closed to access.
10. Be weather prepared. While the Bandon area is rarely cold, the weather can change fast. High winds and rain are regular events.
11. Use common Sense. Don’t take risks in your enthusiasm and excitement.