Before you launch out into the wild, you want to make sure you’ve prepared yourself. Here are ten things to do before you go.
1. Hatch A Plan Don’t just head off blindly into the wilderness. Create a plan for your outdoor excursion.
2. Learn The Lay of the Land Study a map of the location you will be exploring, and bring the map with you when you go (along with a compass). Carrying a GPS device or having a navigation app on your phone isn’t a bad idea either.
3. Share Your Plan Make sure that more than one responsible person knows about your outdoor plans. They need to know where you are going, parking and hiking; which vehicle you are taking; your mobile phone number; who’s going with you; and most importantly – they need to know when you should return. This way, if you don’t contact them or return by the appointed time – they know that you’ve run into trouble and they have the information to help.
4. Bring Your Phone A charged mobile phone should always be part of your outdoor gear. You can call for help, and turn a potential disaster into a mere inconvenience.
5. Carry A Kit Bring a survival kit on every outing. It should include items for shelter, signaling, fire making, water procurement, first aid, navigation, spare outer wear and food.
6. Bring a Friend It’s more fun to be outside with a friend, and there’s safety in numbers. Even with one hiking companion, you have someone to watch your back, render first aid or go for help.
7. Keep an Eye on the Horizon Get the most accurate weather forecast before you head out, and keep your own watch on the weather while you are out there. A sharp change in the weather can turn a pleasant campout into a dangerous situation.
8. Get Some First Aid Training Once you have some knowledge and skills with first aid, you can perform first aid anytime and anywhere – even if you don’t have many supplies to work with.
9. Practice Survival Skills Before You Need Them Learning facts can be handy, but they are no substitute for actually experience.
10. Dress The Part Wear appropriate clothing and outerwear: layers, wool, and synthetic are all ideal. Skip the cotton in most conditions, unless you are trying to activate your life insurance policy.
Do you have any different precautions you take before heading out? Let us know by leaving a comment.