If you haven’t already, we know you’re probably dying to get out there and explore after being cooped up for so long.
And with August right around the corner, there’s still plenty of time to have some outdoor summer fun.
But exploring the great outdoors requires a healthy amount of precaution and a close eye on your surroundings.
Whether you’re hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, or camping, there are plenty of ways to make sure you and your travel companions are prepared for the trip.
If you’re the adventurous type, keep reading as we cover some essential tips and things to look out for to ensure your safety in the outdoors.
Always Plan Ahead
For your adventure to be as fun and stress-free as possible, it’s crucial to make a solid plan that accounts for all the nitty-gritty details.
Of course, things rarely ever go the way we expect them to.
But going through the following checklist before you set out can help guarantee your trip goes off with as few hitches as possible:
- Let friends and loved ones know your plans – Pick a couple family members or friends to send your itinerary to so someone knows where you are. You can tell them the general area you’ll be in, the trails you plan to take, and set up regular check-ins to ensure your safety along the way.
- Get to know the area you’re visiting – Study the local map, operating hours, trails, and other relevant information before you go. Taking screenshots of your campsite, trails, and other areas of interest can help you find your way around as well. However, while phones are a great resource, you should always bring a map and compass with you in case your battery runs out.
- Pick the right trails for your physical capabilities – If you don’t go hiking or mountain biking often, go with beginner-friendly routes. Aiming for trails outside your scope of ability greatly increases your risk of becoming exhausted and stranded in an unfamiliar place.
- Check the weather – Understanding the local forecast can help you plan your activities around the weather and avoid getting rained or stormed out.
- Good timing is everything – This tip may seem obvious, but organize your hikes and other excursions so that you have plenty of time to get back safely before dark.
Prep & Pack Your Outdoor Safety Gear
Depending on where you’re going, what activities you have planned, and the local weather, you’ll need various types of outdoor safety gear.
If you’re going for a hike, you’ll need:
- Your map and compass
- Enough water and food to last you the trip
- Sunscreen and bug repellent
- Trail shoes or hiking boots
- A weather-appropriate shirt, pants, or jacket (if necessary)
- A first-aid kit or supplies like band-aids and anti-bacterial ointment
- Your travel backpack
If camping is on your list of activities, you’ll of course want to pack your tents, chairs, lighting, food supplies, firewood (if allowed), and sleeping equipment.
But if your campground is home to bears or other curious wildlife, don’t forget to bring sealable food containers to minimize the smell of food and prevent any encounters.
For other adventures like kayaking or mountain biking, make sure to pack essentials like your life jacket, helmet, gloves, and other riding gear.
When it comes to safety in the outdoors, it’s better to have something and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Learn the Local Outdoor Safety Rules
Your pre-trip planning process should also include a quick rundown of the outdoor safety rules that apply wherever you’re headed.
- If you’re going camping, campgrounds in dry regions often don’t allow for campfires to minimize the risk of accidents.
- If there are bears in the area, you may be required to store your coolers and other food supplies in a metal bear locker within your campsite. There may also be special bear-proof trash and recycling bins in the campground.
- Depending on where you’re adventuring, you may need to follow outdoor safety rules for flash floods. If one occurs in your area, follow these guidelines from Ready.gov:
- Don’t walk, swim, or drive through floodwaters
- Find shelter right away
- Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.
- Based on the situation, you may be told to evacuate, stay where you are, or move to higher ground. It’s crucial to do as instructed in these emergencies.
- When you’re hiking, camping, or spending time in nature, there will be designated paths and public spaces to explore. These areas are made for your safety and that of the wildlife, and straying from them can be a safety risk. So, study your campgrounds and trails and make sure not to go off the beaten path.
Prepare for Emergencies With the Rescu GPS Medical Alert App
When you’re far from civilization, relying on 911 can be problematic.
If you’re out hiking and you have an injury, not only do you have to spend time on the phone explaining your situation, but you also have to try and describe your location, which can be difficult when all you see is rocks and trees around you.
And as you can imagine, by the time help is finally on its way, it could take responders quite a while to reach you.
In an emergency – especially if the situation is life-threatening – every second is critical. You don’t want to wait one more second than you have to to receive the medical attention you need.
To avoid dangerous delays like these, it’s best to set yourself up with a GPS medical alert system like the Rescu app.
With Rescu’s upcoming Prime subscription, you can notify emergency responders of your exact location and dispatch them right away in just two taps.
Without the need to talk to a dispatcher, Rescu Prime cuts your emergency response time down drastically, providing the fastest way to get help in an emergency – anywhere in the United States.
As long as you have your smartphone and a working network connection, help is right at your fingertips.
For peace of mind and safety in the outdoors, go with Rescu. Click below to download today, and look out for the launch of Rescu Prime this August!