Into the Wild: 6 Steps to Stay Safe on Your Outdoor Adventure
The days are longer and lighter, and that can only mean one thing: it’s time to play outside! Whether you grew up camping every summer or you’re a nature newbie, everyone can use more Vitamin N these days (that’s N for Nature!).
There’s nothing quite like the power and joy of the natural world, whether it’s beach, forest, lake, or desert. Getting outdoors:
- Provides the body with necessary Vitamin D
- Connects you to other living things
- Inspires creativity
- Allows for a change of scene and perspective
1. Let Someone Know Where You’re Going
As you set out on an adventure into the wild unknown of the great outdoors, let someone know where you’re going:
- Tell a friend where you’re headed (even if you’re bringing one along!)
- Call your mom, best friend, or significant other
- Let the park ranger know which trail you’re taking
- Leave a note in your car or at home
Although most outdoor experiences are safe, it’s a good idea to tell someone close to you exactly where you’re going, when you’re leaving, and around what time you expect to be back. That way, someone will know to send help if you’re not back when planned.
Keep in mind: sharing your plan with someone who cares about you is very different than posting your whereabouts on social media. Although it’s fun to share photos and stories of your adventures on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, posting for all the world to see (read: strangers and enemies) that you’re running solo on a particular trail or that your house will be empty for several days is just not a good idea. Use common sense and keep yourself and your property safe by telling someone—but not everyone—where you’ll be.
2. Be Prepared
This safety tip is borrowed from the Girl Scouts, but that’s because it’s an important one! Make it your motto, too. Although being prepared can’t necessarily save you when the unexpected occurs, or if there’s an accident, it’s the best place to start. Prevention works. Check in with yourself:
- Do you know anything about where you’re traveling?
- Did you pack a raincoat just in case?
- Does your headlamp have fresh batteries?
- Are the Band-Aids packed?
- Are you physically prepared for the terrain you’ll be treading?
- Did you train and stretch?
- Are you mentally prepared to be out of touch from email/phone?
- Are you ready to be immersed in nature for the duration of your trip?
- Are you aware of where you are emotionally and sure that you’ll keep yourself safe?
3. Drink Plenty of Water
Bring enough. Bring a lot. Drink it! Although you can go without food for three weeks, common survival knowledge says you’ll only live for three days without water. Pack it, drink it, and survive.