Always hike with another person. If you are hiking alone, take a cell phone with you. You never know when you might need it. Some hiking spots in Hawaii are in remote areas and it might be hours before you see another hiker.
Start your hikes early in the morning in order to avoid the afternoon heat. And take plenty of water with you too. It’s recommended two liters of water per person per day. Be sure to drink some water at least every half hour so you don’t get dehydrated.
Never drink the water from the streams or lakes unless the water has been boiled or chemically treated. There’s a bacteria called Leptospirosis that can cause flu-like symptoms about 2 to 14 days after infection. It can damage your liver and even cause death. This type of bacteria can even enter your body through cuts and scratches on your skin, through your nose, mouth, and eyes.
Be prepared for the rainstorms. They come in at surprising speeds. Check the weather forecast before you head out and try to avoid hiking altogether if it is raining. Even if it’s not raining, be sure to take proper raingear with you just in case.
Take bug spray with you. Mosquitoes can be thick even on the breezy beaches.
Let someone know where you’re going to be hiking and when you expect to be back.
Plan to finish your hike well before the sun sets. Sunsets in Hawaii are quite early due to our closeness to the Equator. It’s usually around 6pm in the winter and 7pm in the summer. If you think you’ll be on the trail while the sun is setting, be sure and take a working flashlight with you and extra batteries.