9 Safety Precautions to Take on Your Next Outdoor Adventure
Spending your leisure time outdoors provides a lot of benefits—from strengthening your overall health to providing you with opportunities to socialize. It’s no wonder a lot of people are riding the adventure tourism trend, choosing to travel as campers, hikers, bike trekkers, and more.
While it’s simply wonderful to be in nature, there are also inherent risks and hazards that you have to be aware of when you’re spending extended time outdoors. For instance, according to Hiker’s University, an average of 2,000 hikers get lost each year due to reasons like bad weather and navigation errors. That makes it doubly important to take precautions before going out into the wilderness. A safety mindset will allow you to enjoy your outdoor adventure to the fullest and go home after in one piece.
To travelers who have an outdoor excursion planned soon, here are nine essential safety precautions you should take:
1) Make a Plan
While it’s always fun to throw caution to the wind and go on a spontaneous adventure, it’s also scary to think about the prospect of ending up on the evening news.
Planning can save you from a lot of stress and regret about your travel decision, especially in the outdoors where hazards can come from anywhere. Learn about the particular risks that come with visiting the place, whether they pertain to mountain lions or bears or slippery trails and sudden flash floods.
Consider factors like distance, terrain, and how much time it would typically take to complete your adventure. Being aware of these will allow you to decide prudently about your journey and keep total presence of mind throughout each step.
2) Check the Weather
Remember that outdoor activities are always subject to the whims of Mother Nature. Weather patterns that are initially favorable can change in an instant. Before you step out, make an effort to check the weather forecast and prepare a contingency plan if need be.
Moreover, don’t just check one source. Check other meteorological websites and type in the exact location of the park or trail you’re going to. This simple precaution can mean the difference between a sunny hike and a drenched, unenjoyable camping trip, so stay informed and adapt your plans accordingly.
3) Take a Buddy with You
In case of emergencies, it’s always a good idea to bring a buddy with you on your outdoor adventure. Consider asking your partner, a friend, or another companion you trust along for the ride. Having a travel buddy by your side will not only enhance the experience, but also provide an extra layer of safety on the chance that one of you gets sick or injured and needs extra assistance.
4) Wear the Appropriate Clothing
The right clothing is your shield against the elements. Knowing that, make it a point to dress appropriately for the weather and any hazards or nuisances you may encounter outdoors. Wear some high-quality leggings for women, for example, to ward off insect bites and protect your skin from sunburn. Thicker leggings can also protect against scratches from bushes and twigs on your path.
To keep yourself comfortable in cool environments like mountains, layering will be key. Temperatures can fluctuate the higher you climb, which is why it’s the strategic thing to do to bring jackets and thermal layers with you. These additional garments can turn an unexpected chill into a mere inconvenience instead of something that could make you seriously sick or uncomfortable.
5) Bring All the Necessary Gear with You
The great outdoors is a vast playground, and few things can feel as good as getting to know the sun, skies, and forest trails just like the back of your hand. But even if you have a natural knack for outdoorsmanship, bring sufficient navigational tools with you.
Aside from a cellphone or another device equipped with GPS, you should also bring items that aren’t dependent on a cell signal, like paper maps and compasses. If you know for a fact that your outdoor trip could last until the evening, bring a headlamp to light the way when the sun sets. You should also bring multi-tools for your peace of mind, as they can help you through a number of situations like needing to cut through materials or spark some light.
6) Carry a First Aid Kit
Even in the most idyllic settings, you’re at risk of getting a cut or scrape. Be sure to bring a well-stocked first aid kit that contains bandages, antiseptic wipes, ointments, antihistamines, pain relievers, and any medications you take for an outstanding health condition. Even if you don’t have to use it, your first aid kit will prove invaluable when you’re miles away from medical help.
7) Have Enough Water with You
Staying hydrated is non-negotiable during outdoor activities. The wilderness can be deceptively taxing on your body, so calculate your water needs carefully. Carrying an ample supply of water or a reliable purification method with you for an extended camping trip is your best bet against dehydration.
8) Don’t Wander from the Trail
Marked trails exist for a reason: to keep you safe and on the right path. Venturing off-trail without proper knowledge and equipment can lead to you getting lost and even more susceptible to danger. As such, stick to the marked routes and follow trail markers, and consult your map as regularly as you need to. Doing so will allow you to avoid unnecessary complications and ensure you stay on track all throughout your adventure.
9) Set Up Camp Before the Sun Sets
If you’re going out camping, remember the golden rule of arriving at your camping spot with daylight to spare. This will allow you to establish a comfortable and secure outdoor base before darkness falls. It will be even more appealing to enjoy the tranquility of sitting by a crackling campfire, all because you planned and timed your arrival wisely.
Spending time in nature is a wonderful way to destress, exercise, and bond with any friends or family members coming with you. But you shouldn’t skimp on taking proper precautions both before and during the trip. You’ll have an even better time if you aren’t hung up on the risks and dangers posed by the wilderness, so make the extra effort and bake these safety precautions into your preparations.