Recreational Activities- Outdoor Safety


The following tips may be relevant at this time as people are planning vacations and outdoor activities. The most effective way to prevent mishaps is to adequately prepare for the trip. Knowledge of the area, weather, terrain, limitations of your body, plus a little common sense can help to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. In the Southern Hemisphere it is summer and many will be hiking, camping and participating in several outdoor adventures.

Being winter in the Northern Hemisphere does not deter people from adventures such as skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing and exploring. This information was obtained from the US Forest Website.

Travel with a companion

  1. Avoid going just by yourself. In case of an emergency leave a copy of your itinerary with a responsible person.
  2. Include such details as the make, year, and license plate of your car, the equipment you take, the weather you anticipated, and when you plan to return.
  3. If you will be entering a remote area, your group should have a minimum of four people; this way, if one is hurt, another can stay with the victim while two go for help. If you will be going into an area that is unfamiliar to you, take along someone who knows the area or at least speak with those who do before you set out.
  4. If an area is closed, do not go there. Know ahead of time the location of the nearest telephone or ranger station in case an emergency does occur on your trip.

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Be in good physical condition

  1. Set a comfortable pace as you hike. A group trip should be designed for the weakest member of the group.
  2. If you have any medical conditions, discuss your plans with your health care provider and get approval before departing.
  3. Make sure you have the skills you need for your camping or hiking adventure.
  4. You may need to know how to read a compass, erect a temporary shelter, or give first aid. Practice your skills in advance.
  5. If your trip will be strenuous, get into good physical condition before setting out.
  6. If you plan to climb or travel to high altitudes, make plans for proper acclimatization to the altitude.

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Precautions and Equipment

  1. Think about your footing while travelling near cliffs. Trees and bushes may not be strong enough to hold you.
  2. Stay on developed trails or dry, solid rock areas with good footing.
  3. Wear appropriate clothing for the trail conditions and season.
  4. Check your equipment and keep your equipment in good working order. Inspect it before your trip. Do not wait until you are at the trailhead.
  5. Be sure to pack emergency signalling devices.

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  1. Be weather wise. Keep an eye on current and predicted weather conditions. Weather can change very quickly.
  2. Learn basic first aid so you will know how to identify and treat injuries and illnesses. Carry a first aid kit with you.
  3. Learn how to identify the symptoms of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hypothermia, and dehydration, and know how to treat them.

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Make camp before dark

  1. Travelling after darkness has resulted in many accidents from falls, so travel only during daylight.
  2. Set up camp well away from the edge of cliffs, and learn the terrain during daylight.
  3. If you have to leave camp after dark, stay in areas you have seen in daylight, go with a friend, and always use a good flash light.
  4. Be alert for slippery areas and take your time to avoid tripping.
  5. Low-hanging branches and variable terrains make running unsafe, and leaves can hide slippery areas underneath.

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Alcohol and cliffs do not mix

  1. If you drink, stay away from the cliffs.
  2. Judgement, agility, and balance are all reduced by alcohol consumption.

Think before you drink

  1. No matter how clean or pure stream water looks, it is likely to contain water-borne parasites and micro-organisms that can cause discomfort and sometimes serious illness.
  2. Pack your water in, or purify through chemical treatment.

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It is fun to go outdoors. But do take precautions to be safe. Disasters have happened and lives lost, many that could have been prevented by proper planning. I do hope that you take the necessary precautions and travel safely. If you would like to add your tips for safe outdoor adventures, please share them with me, Nirmala via:

You may also reach me via the: Contact Form

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