Safety should always come first!
Here are a few tips to keep you safe no matter which outdoor adventure you choose.
- Always let someone know where you are when you take even a short trip outside. It’s important that someone who isn’t traveling with you knows how to find you in case of an emergency.
- When visiting a park, always check in with the rangers’ office (if there is one) before you begin exploring. Park rangers will not only go over safety precautions relevant to the area you’re visiting, but they’ll also have great insight on which trails to take and which sites to see.
- Wear appropriate clothing. Wearing flip-flops on a sandy beach will keep you comfortable, but wearing them on a mountain trail puts you at risk for tripping and leaves your feet exposed to jagged terrain and biting bugs. It’s also usually best to wear layered clothing that you can add and remove for comfort. It may be a chilly day, but if you’ll be doing a lot of walking, you’ll quickly generate body heat; having a light jacket over a long-sleeved T-shirt is a better option than wearing a heavy parka and a thin shirt underneath.
- Bring along any safety gear that’s relevant to your exploration, even if you don’t think you’ll use it. If you’ll be outside for more than a couple of hours — especially if you’re going somewhere that doesn’t have park rangers — be sure to bring a first-aid kit with at least a few basic supplies.
- If you’re trying out a new adventure for the first time, consider doing a mini-excursion on your first go. That way, you’ll avoid overexerting yourself and learn how to better prepare for a future extended visit. For example, if you’ve never climbed an uphill trail before, it’s better to start by trekking a 1-mile loop rather than a 5-miler. The shorter option will give you a good sense of your endurance level without burning you out, and if you find it’s too short to be a challenge even on your first try, you can always complete another lap.
- It’s great to document your time outside, but be mindful when doing so. When people are focused on getting the perfect selfie, they often forget about their safety. Ever since smartphones became a daily necessity, there has been a dramatic increase of people sustaining traumatic brain injuries from falling after paying more attention to their devices than their surroundings. Don’t let this happen to you or anyone in your family!
There are also considerations you should make depending on where you’re going and who you’re traveling with. These resources provide helpful information for all kinds of natural outings.
- Beach Safety
- Boat Safety
- Camping Safety
- Children’s Safety
- Disabled Adults’ and Children’s Safety
- Extreme Cold Safety
- Extreme Heat Safety
- Mountain Safety
- Pet Safety
- Plant Safety
- Pregnant Women’s Safety
- Senior Safety