Be Safe in the Outdoors This Summer

Latest News

Be Safe in the Outdoors This Summer

Date: 04/10/11

Be Safe in the Outdoors This Summer

Make the most out Montana’s great outdoors this summer by making every effort to stay safe.

Following are several steps everyone can take to ensure healthy recreational outings.

Remember to take essentials with you on any outdoor excursion, including

  • an extra layer of clothing
  • waterproof jacket or shell
  • plenty of water or a filter to disinfect stream water
  • matches
  • sun protection
  • map
  • compass
  • insect repellent
  • adequate food and water
  • duct tape
  • first aid kit

Optional items include

  • multi-tool or pocketknife
  • antibacterial hand sanitizing gel
  • antihistamines
  • pain relievers
  • a bandana
  • blister treatment pads or nail polish for protecting hot spots

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the route you'll be taking. Talk to park rangers or anyone else who can alert you to hazardous water crossings, wildlife activity, and snow conditions.

Always tell someone exactly where you are going and when you are expected back. 

If the altitude is new to you or the temperature is something that you're not used to (especially heat), take time to acclimate your body one to two weeks before the hike with proper physical training and adequate hydration.

Avoid dehydration once you're there by drinking clean filtered water frequently. Don't go for more than 30 minutes without sipping some fluid.

Cleaning your hands before food prep can help ensure you don't suffer a trailside stomachache. If there is no room for soap in your day pack, use a hand sanitizing gel. 

Assume that any creek or spring is a likely source of giardia and all water needs to be treated.

Avoiding trips and tumbles on the trail can be as simple as looking often at the ground.  Staying aware of your foot placement can keep an ankle sprain from putting a damper on your hike. Hiking boots (rather than plain sneakers or even running shoes) can also help support your ankles. 

Dress in light-colored, loose-fitting layers, so that no matter what the weather, you'll be comfortable and protected. Bring a hat; it can provide heat retention or sun protection. Long pants or even capris can keep mosquitoes and ticks from making a meal out of you.

When Something Goes Wrong

If you begin feeling weak, confused, nauseated, have a headache, and a rapid pulse, you could have heat exhaustion. If you think you have heat exhaustion, remove any clothes made from heat-retentive synthetic fabrics like nylon and get out of the sun. Drink water, wet your skin, and have a companion fan you. If you return to feeling normal, it's alright to continue on your way. If not, get help immediately.

If a snake bites you, to slow the influx of venom, keep the bitten limb still and lie down flat. It's best to have medical care come to you, but if you're alone and can't find anyone to help you, you'll have to get yourself out to treatment.

You should see a doctor at once for any bite from a poisonous snake that causes swelling above the puncture, throat tightness and tingling, or breathing problems.

If you're allergic to bee stings, always carry injectable epinephrine, which is available by prescription from your doctor. After the bee has stung you, it may have left the stinger behind, and removing the splinter-like tail will help quell the reaction. Either pluck it out with your fingers or use a knife blade (or other firm, sharp-edged item) to gently scrape the skin surface and pull out the stinger.

If you've got one, take an antihistamine pill (like Benadryl) to help minimize the swelling and reaction.

If you sprain a knee or ankle, take the weight out of your pack and fashion a walking stick so you can hobble with more balance.  Send your buddy to get help if you absolutely can’t get back down the trail on your own. If it's your ankle that's sprained, keep your boot laced up to prevent further swelling. When you return to civilization, treat the sprain with RICE—rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

Site Powered By | Thermal Creative