USDA Forest Service
Recreation, Heritage & Wilderness Resources
Mail Stop Independence Ave. SW
Washington, D.C. (202) Recreational Activities Travel Advisories: Outdoor Safety General Safety | Trail Tips | Camping Tips | Lightning | If You Get Lost | Checklist The most effective approach to stop mishaps is to adequately prepare for the journey. Knowledge of the area, climate, terrain, limitations of your physique, plus slightly widespread sense can help to make sure a secure and pleasant journey. * Travel with a companion. You don’t want to be by your self in case of an emergency. Leave a replica of your itinerary with a accountable individual. Include such details because the make, 12 months, and license plate of your automobile, the tools you are bringing, the climate you have anticipated, and when you plan to return. If you’ll be coming into a remote space, your group should have a minimal of four individuals; this manner, if one is harm, one other can stick with the sufferer whereas two go for assist. If you will be going into an space that’s unfamiliar to you, take along somebody who knows the world or at least converse with those who do before you set out. If an area is closed, do not go there. Know ahead of time the location of the closest phone or ranger station in case an emergency does happen in your journey. * Be in good bodily condition. Set a cushty tempo as you hike. A group trip must be designed for the weakest member of the group. If you have any medical conditions, discuss your plans with your health care supplier and get approval earlier than departing. Make certain you’ve the abilities you want for your camping or hiking journey. You might need to know tips on how to learn a compass, erect a short lived shelter, or give first aid. Practice your abilities upfront. If your trip will be strenuous, get into good bodily condition before setting out. If you intend to climb or journey to excessive altitudes, make plans for correct acclimatization to the altitude. * Think about your footing whereas traveling close to cliffs. Trees and bushes can’t at all times be trusted to hold you. Stay on developed trails or dry, stable rock areas with good footing. * Wear acceptable clothes for the path conditions and season. * Check your gear. Keep your tools in good working order. Inspect it earlier than your journey. Do not wait until you are at the trailhead. Be sure to pack emergency signaling gadgets. * Be weather wise. Keep a watch on present and predicted weather circumstances. In this space, weather can change in a quick time. Know the signs for approaching storms or changing climate situations. Avoid bare ridge tops, exposed locations, lone trees, streams, and rocks throughout lightning storms. Find shelter in a densely forested area at a decrease elevation. Even in the summertime, publicity to wind and rain may end up in hypothermia. * Learn fundamental first help so you will know tips on how to identify and deal with accidents and diseases. Carry a primary assist kit with you. Learn the method to identify the signs of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hypothermia, and dehydration, and know how to treat them. * Make camp before dark. Traveling after darkness has resulted in lots of accidents from falls, so journey solely throughout daylight. Set up camp properly away from the sting of cliffs, and learn the terrain throughout daylight. If you want to depart camp after darkish, stay in areas you have seen in daylight, go with a good friend, and always use a great flashlight. * Be alert for slippery areas and take your time to keep away from tripping. Low-hanging branches and variable terrains make working unsafe, and leaves can hide slippery areas underneath. * Alcohol and cliffs don’t mix! If you drink, stay away from the cliffs. Judgment, agility, and stability are all lowered by alcohol consumption. * Think earlier than you drink! No matter how clear or pure stream water appears, it’s more likely to comprise water-borne parasites and microorganisms that may trigger discomfort and sometimes severe illness. Pack your water in, or purify via chemical therapy. Outdoor Safety: Trail Tips General Safety | Trail Tips | Camping Tips | Lightning | If You Get Lost | Checklist * Before beginning out, do warm-up workouts. Stretching gradually will increase coronary heart rate, temperature and circulation to your muscular tissues. Also, after an evening’s relaxation, your muscular tissues need warming. Stretching will get the body going and increases your flexibility. * Start out slowly, progressively rising your pace and distance traveled. * Let the slowest particular person in your climbing, paddling, and biking or cross-country snowboarding get together set the pace. This is particularly important when children are a apart of your group. * Plan the trip ahead of time and assign duties that folks enjoy. If someone does not prepare dinner, do not pressure him or her. The aim is to have an excellent time outdoors. * Take turns main the group and sharing decision-making obligations. * Hike, bike, or ski only on marked trails in wilderness areas until bushwhacking is allowed and you’ve got glorious navigation abilities. * Hike and travel in groups as a lot as potential, particularly throughout winter and in hazardous terrain. * Leave your itinerary with a pal or family member and check in with them upon your return. * Learn primary repair skills for altering a bike tire, fixing a backpack or mending a snowshoe. Remember to take restore kits in your trail. * Mountain climate is usually cooler, cloudier, and windier than in lowland areas. For every 1,000 feet of elevation, the temperature often drops three to 5 levels. Thus, it is best to decorate in layers. Polyester clothes worn closest to your skin will lure heat air next to the skin and switch or wick body moisture away. * Wear sun shades and a hat or visor if you hike, ski or paddle. Snow blindness, caused by the solar’s glare on snow, may additionally be brought on by sunlight reflecting off water and boulders. Keep your eyes and face covered particularly during your first few days outdoors. * Bring sunscreen regardless of the season. You can get painful sunburn even in subfreezing temperatures. * Bring a customized first help package tailored to your outing. * Develop an emergency plan earlier than you begin your trip. Make positive everybody knows what to do if they turn out to be lost or a medical emergency arises. Give kids whistles with the instructions to “stop and blow” if they turn into misplaced. * Take frequent rests or differ your pace to recuperate from strenuous exercise spurts. A steady tempo will get you there with less discomfort than the sprint-and-catch-your-breath strategy. * Drink loads of water. Water is heavy to hold, however thirst on the trail is a hazard. Take a tip from athletes: before a hike, drink some water so you’re nicely hydrated and energized. Never drink your complete provide between refills. * Backcountry water supplies are unpredictable. It’s higher to reach at a gushing stream with 1/3 quart of water left, than to arrive at an empty stream and haven’t any water left at all. Treat or filter all water. * Pack carbohydrate-energy bars, granola, candy, or fruit. They present an instant pick-me-up on the trail. * Give yourself about two hour’s daylight to arrange camp. * Many national parks and forests and a lot of state parks prohibit canine. Be positive to maintain pets on leashes in restricted areas, especially in cattle and sheep country. Bring water for pets and make sure they have nametags. Watch for accidents to your canine’s footpads in rocky areas, on ice or in extraordinarily scorching terrain. * Pay consideration to local rules, notably regarding campfires. In many desert or drought areas, fires are prohibited and you have to use a camp stove. Outdoor Safety: Camping Tips General Safety | Trail Tips | Camping Tips | Lightning | If You Get Lost | Checklist * Whether you’re roughing it in a tent or planning a household outing to a nationwide forest, there are tons of ways to verify your experience is fun and protected. Consider the next safety suggestions: * Pack a first assist package. Your equipment can show invaluable if you or a member of your group suffers a reduce, bee sting or allergic response. Pack antiseptics for cuts and scrapes, tweezers, insect repellent, bug spray, a snake chew kit, pain relievers, and sunscreen. * Bring emergency supplies. In addition to a primary assist equipment, this contains: a map, compass, flashlight, knife, waterproof fireplace starter, personal shelter, whistle, warm clothing, high vitality meals, water, and bug protection. * Learn the ABC’s of treating emergencies. Recognizing critical accidents will enable you to take care of a victim until medical assist arrives. * Before you leave, discover out the climate report. When you arrive at the web site, watch the skies for changes and carry a compact weather radio. In inclement weather, discover shelter till the more severe passes. Stay dry – wet garments contribute to warmth loss. Also, hold sleeping bags and necessary gear, dry always. * Arrive early. Plan your trip so that you just arrive at your actual campsite with enough daylight to verify over the entire web site and to set-up camp. * Check for potential hazards. Be positive to check the positioning thoroughly for glass, sharp objects, branches, giant ant beds, poison ivy, bees, and hazardous terrain. * Avoid areas of pure hazards. Check the contour of the land and look for potential hassle because of rain. Areas that might flood or turn out to be extremely muddy can pose an issue. * Inspect the location. Look for a level site with enough room to spread out all your gear. Also, a website that has bushes or shrubs on the side of prevailing winds will assist block sturdy, surprising gusts. * Build fires in a protected space. Your open fires and fuel-burning home equipment should be far enough away from the tent to stop ignition from sparks, flames, and heat. Never use a flame or another heating gadget inside a tent. Use a flashlight or battery-powered mild as an alternative. * Make sure your fires are always attended. Be positive you have an area for a hearth that can’t spread laterally or vertically – a grill or stone floor is ideal. When putting the hearth out, drown it with water, making sure all embers, coals and sticks are moist. Embers buried deep within the pile generally tend to reignite later. * Pitch your tent in a protected spot. Make sure your tent is made from a flame-retardant fabric, and set up far sufficient away from the campfire. Keep bugs out of your tent by closing the entrance shortly when coming into or leaving. * Dispose of trash properly. Remember to recycle – use the proper recycling bins if obtainable. * Be cautious when utilizing a propane range. Read the directions that include the range and propane cylinder. Use the range as a cooking appliance solely – never leave it unattended while it is burning. * Watch out for bugs. Hornets, bees, wasps, and yellow jackets are an issue at many campsites. Avoid attracting stinging bugs by sporting light-colored clothes and avoiding perfumes or colognes. Should such an insect approach, don’t wave wildly and swat blindly – as an alternative use a delicate pushing or brushing movement to discourage them. * Beware when encountering wildlife. To beat back bears, hold your campsite clean, and do not leave food, rubbish, coolers, cooking gear or utensils out within the open. Remember that bears are probably dangerous and unpredictable – by no means feed or strategy a bear. Use a flashlight at night time – many animals feed at evening and using a flashlight could warn them away. * Beware of poisonous plants. Familiarize your self with any harmful vegetation which might be widespread to the area. If you come into contact with a toxic plant, immediately rinse the affected space with water and apply a soothing lotion similar to calamine to the affected space. * Practice good hygiene. Make sure you wash your hands, notably after using the toilet and before dealing with food, to stop everyone in your group turning into sick. Outdoor Safety: Lightning General Safety | Trail Tips | Camping Tips | Lightning | If You Get Lost | Checklist High on the record of actions where persons are injured by lightning are mountain climbing, climbing, camping, fishing, boating, and golf. Many vacationers are unaware of the measures they’ll take to decrease their risk of being struck. They ought to educate themselves about lightning strikes. They ought to be near secure shelter and try to avoid excessive terrain, golf courses, and bodies of water throughout excessive lightning activity (late morning to evening). * If you’re caught above the tree line when a storm approaches, descend rapidly. Avoid isolated bushes. It is best to run right into a forest. * Electric storms can also develop in the midst of the night. To decrease your odds, do not pitch your tent near the tallest trees within the neighborhood. * Hikers, golfers, and others should run into a forest if a shelter or automotive just isn’t close by. * Drop steel objects like golf golf equipment, tennis rackets, umbrellas, and packs with internal or exterior metal frames. * Get off bicycles, bikes, horses, and golf carts. Metal bleachers at sports activities events, metallic fences, and utility poles are also to be avoided. * If you are caught in an open area, search a low spot. Crouch along with your feet together and head low. * If Someone Is Struck – People who’ve been hit by lightning carry no electrical cost and could be safely tended to. Also, victims who appear dead can usually be revived. If the person isn’t breathing, begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. But if a pulse is absent as well and you know cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), start CPR. Stay with the victim till assist arrives. * Don’t sit or lie down, because these positions provide rather more contact with the ground, offering a wider path for lightning to comply with. If you might be with a group and the menace of lightning is excessive, unfold out at least 15 feet apart to attenuate the chance of all people getting hit (see “If Someone Is Struck”). * Don’t return to an open area too soon. People have been struck by lightning near the end of a storm, which remains to be a harmful time. * Swimmers, anglers, and boaters ought to get off lakes or rivers and search shelter when storms strategy. Drop any fishing rods. Boaters who can’t get off the water before the storm hits ought to crouch low. Once on land, get at least 100 yards away from shore. * Remember: This data isn’t meant as an different to medical therapy. If you may have a health-related concern, seek the guidance of a doctor. Also, the ideas mentioned here may decrease harm danger, but the unpredictability of lightning affords no guarantees. Outdoor Safety: If You Get Lost General Safety | Trail Tips | Camping Tips | Lightning | If You Get Lost | Checklist * Pay shut attention to your environment and landmarks, and relate this to your location on a map. * Stay calm should you get lost. Panic is your greatest enemy. Try to remember how you got to your current location. * Trust your map and compass, and do not stroll aimlessly. If you’re on a trail, do not leave it. * Stay put whether it is dusk, if you are injured, or if you are close to exhaustion. * As a last resort, observe a drainage or stream downhill. This could be onerous going but will often lead to a path or road. Outdoor Safety: Checklist General Safety | Trail Tips | Camping Tips | Lightning | If You Get Lost | Checklist * Pack the “Essentials” and be prepared for minor accidents, sudden weather changes or delays. The following are objects you must embody in your pack: * Candle * Clothing (always deliver something heat, extra socks, and rain gear) * Compass * First assist kit * Food (bring extra) * Flashlight * Foil (to use as a cup or signaling device) * Hat * Insect repellent * Map * Nylon filament * Pocket knife * Pocket mirror (to use as a signaling device) * Prescription glasses (an further pair) * Prescription drugs for ongoing medical circumstances * Radio with batteries * Space blanket or a bit of plastic (to use for heat or shelter) * Sunglasses * Sunscreen * Trash bag (makes an sufficient poncho) * Water * Waterproof matches or matches in a water-resistant tin * Water purification tablets * Whistle (to scare off animals or to make use of as a signaling device) Last Modified: Thursday, Aug 18, 2022 at 04:28 PM CDT /recreation/safety/safety.shtml

Outdoor Safety Tips
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