Outdoor Adventure Safety Tips
Whether it's camping, hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or any other outdoor adventure, it is easy to get up in all the fun and excitement and forget to take the proper safety precautions. To ensure you continue to have a fun and enjoyable experience in the great outdoors, we have collected a number of important safety tips to remember for your next outing.
Pack Safety Essentials:
- No matter what your outdoor adventure of choice is, it is always a good idea to bring a first aid kit, a map, a compass, waterproof matches, a fire starter, a flashlight with extra batteries, sunscreen, and bug spray.
- If a type of transportation will be used on your adventure, such as an ATV, a snowmobile, motorcycle, or even your car, you should bring a spare key, a repair kit, as well as a filled emergency fuel can.
- Pack extra warm clothing in the colder months, especially socks, gloves and hats since those items are more likely to get wet.
- If you will be adventuring on or near bodies of water, bring a lifejacket.
- Always pack a few extra days worth of food and water, as well as a way to purify rain or river water, such as the GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier.
- Additional safety supplies to consider are rope, duct tape, flagger's tape, a whistle or an air horn.
Wildlife Safety Precautions:
- No matter where you live or plan on adventuring, there will be wildlife. Whether it is bears, moose, wolves, snakes, alligators, etc., it is important to be alert. Do not have headphones in and be on the look out for signs of wildlife, such as tracks, scat, diggings, or scratch marks on trees and logs. It is also a good idea to bring binoculars and scan the surrounding area frequently.
- Make a lot of noise while making your way through the wilderness. Talk, sing or clap your hands often to let wildlife know you are in the area. A main cause of attacks is when hikers are too quiet and accidentally sneak up on wildlife.
- Stay on the designated trails if possible and avoid areas with thick brush that block views.
- Hike in groups whenever possible, and make sure to stay together. Do not let anyone get too far ahead or far too far behind.
- Do not approach or try to feed any wildlife you may see. Observe them from established observation areas, use binoculars, a telephoto lens, or a spotting scope.
- Keep children close to you and in your sight at all times, and always keep pets on a leash.
- Avoid carcasses and report them to a park ranger, as wolves or a bear may be just out of sight and guarding the food source.
- Do not pack odorous items, whether it is food or beauty products. Animals, especially bears, have a keen sense of smell and will be more likely to investigate odorous items.
- When camping, set up your sleeping area at least a 100 yards away from the cooking, eating and supply area. You should also store food in bear resistant containers and hang them above ground. Visit BeBearAware.org for more information on odorous item hanging requirements.
- Choose food that is individually sealed and plan out your meals to avoid any leftovers.
- Always keep your sleeping area free from food of any kind and do not sleep in the clothes that you cooked in.
- If you will be outdoors in an area that is known to have bears, bring bear spray and have it readily available.