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Maui Travel Tips - Hiking Safety SignsSigns to look out for when enjoying Maui's abundant natural beauty.
August 27, 2014
By Kathy Englert
Just as you would when going to the beach, be sure to keep an eye out for and heed all posted warning and advisory signs while out exploring Maui's many wonderful trails. Here are a few examples of what to look for:
- "End of Trail" - The trail you are currently following ends here. Do not proceed beyond this point, as dangerous conditions may lie ahead.
- "End of Maintained Trail" - Denotes a trail point at which maintenance (such as clearing of safety hazards) ends. It is advised to either not continue at this point, or only continue with extreme caution.
- "Area Closed" - Any area beyond this sign is closed until further notice. Should you encounter this advisory, turn around or find an alternate route.
- "End of Road" - No motor vehicles are allowed to travel beyond this point.
- "Warning: Falling Rocks" - Rocks in this area may break away, failing and causing serious bodily harm or death. Proceed with extreme caution.
- "Warning: Hazardous Cliff" - Ground may break away without warning, leading to serious bodily harm or death. Proceed with extreme caution.
- "Danger: No Diving of Jumping" - While some places (such as waterfalls and ponds) may look safe to dive into, many may in fact have rocks or other objects which could cause serious bodily injury. For this reason, never dive into any body of water when this sign is present, and use extreme caution around any such areas even when there are no warnings posted.
- "Warning: Flash Flood" - Flash flooding / rapid rise in water level and speed may occur in this area without warning. Stay alert for any signs of such conditions, and be prepared to seek higher ground if needed.
Keep an eye out for and heed these and any other posted warning to ensure your next adventure outside your Maui vacation rental is a safe one.
By Kathy Englert
A big part of Maui's charm as a world renowned vacation destination is, of course, our islands wonderfully abundant natural beauty. Amazing lush tropical forests, fabulous top tier beaches (many just steps from your South Maui vacation rental!) and much more make Maui the perfect place to conduct a bit of exploration on foot, safely. Here are a few tips for making sure your Maui exploration experience is a safe one:
Whether exploring a remote beach or hiking through jungle trails, prepare ahead of time. Be sure to bring, pack, apply, etc. a number of common personal safety/comfort items including:
Protective (from sun, bugs, etc.) bright colored clothing.
Water (to prevent dehydration)
Snacks (As tempting as it might be, it is best not to eat or drink fruits, berries, stream water, etc. found "on the trail.")
Adventure adequate footwear (i.e. boots, not sandals, when going for a hike)
Before venturing out, be sure to let a friend or family member know what your plans are, when you expect to be, and when you think you'll be back at your Maui vacation rental. Also brief them on phone numbers of local information and emergency services to notify if you do not make it back/call in a timely manner.
If going for a hike, bring some friends. Not only is it more fun to explore together, it's also a good idea to have some backup with you in the event that experience an issue while out.
Heed all posted warning signs. Hazardous conditions, "No Trespassing," or signs marked "Kapu" (loosely translated as "keep out") in particular should be heeded at all times; regardless of what you may have heard/read from other sources.
If something seems a bit too risky, it is. Rock climbing, diving into a pool at the bottom of a cliff or waterfall, cramped looking trails with deep drop offs, fast moving stream/river water, etc. should all be avoided. In addition, if you notice a rapid change in water level or speed, or hear what sounds like rumbling coming from upstream, get to higher ground immediately. Flash flood waters originating from far upstream are always a possibility, even on the best looking days.
- Check local weather forecasts before going out. If inclement weather is forecast, put off your Maui wilderness adventure for the time being.
Now that you're prepared, get out there and enjoy our island paradise!
By Kathy Englert
In this edition of our Maui Travel Tips series, we give you some suggestions to keep you safe while traveling by foot to and from your waterfront Maui vacation rental . . .
- When venturing out and about town, always use the available sidewalks to make your way to your destination.
- If no sidewalk is available, keep as close to the side of the street as possible, facing oncoming traffic as you go.
- Always cross streets at marked sidewalks and intersections.
- Always be aware of your surroundings before crossing: Even if you have the right of way, mistakes can happen, so it's better to be safe than sorry.
- While crossing inside a crosswalk, most will have a blinking sign with a countdown showing you how much time you have left to cross safely.
- If you see a countdown prior to entering a marked crosswalk, stay on the sidewalk and wait until the sign shows the white "start crossing" pedestrian symbol before continuing.
- Along with being unsafe, jaywalking is against the law in the State of Hawaii, and carries with it a hefty fine. Find the nearest crosswalk and cross there instead.
- As we have mentioned in our other Maui Travel Tips; stay visible when enjoying the island by foot by wearing bright and/or reflective clothing and footwear, especially at night.
- Always use common sense as you walk Maui's friendly streets.
As always, Stay safe!
By Kathy Englert
Biking on Maui has many perks. The skies are (almost) always clear, the views are astounding, and there is generally not much in the way of traffic to speak of. However, just as with any other place where there are roads populated with vehicles of any kinds, there are some general rules you should always abide by when traveling to/from your South Maui vacation rental by bicycle:
- Avoid trouble by heeding all traffic signs and signals.
- Always use marked bicycle lanes where available.
- Never ride your bicycle on sidewalks
- Always wear protective gear. A full complement of safety gear for your head, arms, and legs is preferable, but at the very least you should always ride with a helmet.
- For your kids: Hawaii state law requires any child 15 years of age or younger to wear safety helmet when operating a bicycle.
- Bright clothing, day or night, should be worn while biking to increase your visibility (and therefore safety) to others around you.
- Go with the flow; never ride against the flow of traffic.
- Always use appropriate hand signals.
- Always be courteous to motorists, regardless of whether you are traveling down the quiet residential neighborhood of your waterfront Maui condo, or taking a trek down the side of Mt Haleakala.
With these tips in mind; have fun, stay safe!
By Kathy Englert
As touched upon in our Maui Travel Tips - Water Safety Part 1 guide, before heading out to the water, look for any beach safety signs to avoid potentially dangerous situations at the beach. Here are a few common examples to keep an eye out for:
- "DANGEROUS SHOREBREAK" - Shore breaks are unpredictable wave behavior whereby the wave breaks directly on the shoreline. Such breaks can cause serious injury, particularly to your neck, back, or spine. If you see this sign, check with a lifeguard for an update on current conditions before hitting the water.
- "HIGH SURF" - Indicates hazardous wave conditions which could result in serious injury or even loss of life. If you are at all unsure of your abilities in the water, heed the saying "If in doubt, Don't go out."
- "STORNG CURRENT" - Swift moving channels of water which are difficult to swim against, strong currents commonly accompany high surf, but may be present in seemingly calm waters as well. IF you are caught in such a current remember the following: Keep calm, attempt to swim diagonally to the current instead of against it, or simply wave your hands in the air and call/signal for help.
- "WAVE BREAK ON LEDGE" - As a general rule, even if you do not see this type of warning posted, DO NOT walk along rocky ledges near the water; especially if they are breaking on said ledges. Not only is walking on wet ledges dangerous due to their slippery nature, but waves may appear without warning, some large enough to knock an adult down and sweep them out into the ocean.
- "SUDDEN DROP OFF" - Denotes areas where shallower waters may become deep unexpectedly, causing one to fall under the surface unprepared. Additional hazards include caves or holes (e.g. "blowholes") which, while closer to the shoreline, may still present a danger to those around it due to unexpected drops or spouts of water appearing. Such spouts pose a particular danger as they may have enough force to not only knock an adult over, but also pull them into the hole causing major injury or loss of life.
- "SHARK SIGHTED" - Out of an abundance of caution, signs may be posted when a shark sighting has been reported from shore. For your safety, stay out of the water until an official has deemed it safe to return to the water.
- "JELLYFISH" - While far less prevalent in Maui waters, jellyfish commonly make an appearance near Hawaiian beaches. Plentiful in number and oftentimes difficult to see floating in the water, if you happen to see a "JELLYFISH" sign posted, you are advised to stay out of the water (and away from their painful stings.) If by chance you are stung by one of these creatures, seek a lifeguard and/or medical attention for proper treatment and care.
Stay safe out there!
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