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Safety Tips

Please review these brief “Safety Tips”. It offers some insightful tips to help make your visit to the great outdoors more safe.

Weather can change rapidly. Summer temperatures can exceed 90 degrees (F), but cold weather may be encountered at any time of the year. Hypothermia is a danger which results from low body temperature. Wear adequate clothing, stay dry and out of the wind. Carry rain gear and wear fabrics that wick sweat away from your body.


 “Leaves of Three” – “Let it Be”!  Western poison ivy is a low, woody-stemmed plant with long-stalked leaves divided into bright green, veiny, rather large, waxy-appearing, coarse toothed leaflets that turn red in the fall. Poison ivy is found at lower elevations, in thickets along stream and on rocky hillsides. An allergic reaction can start as quickly as 10 to 15 minutes of exposure.  The skin will develop a rash within 12 to 48 hours and will continue for two to four weeks. Washing with soap and water after exposure may help reduce the rash. Other applications can be found at a drug store.


 If you are camping or hiking above altitudes of 5,000 feet above sea level, you may experience altitude sickness. Altitude sickness is brought on by ascending to high elevations too rapidly.  Symptoms include headache, loss of appetite, and weakness or drowsiness. If you get these symptoms, you should descend to lower elevations.


Lightning is the most underrated weather hazard. On average, only floods kill more people. Lightning is common on summer afternoons and generally comes before a storm and stays after the storm has passed.  Stay off high peaks and ridges. The higher you are the greater the risk. Stay away from lone, tall objects like a single tree in an open field. Avoid metal objects and bodies of water. This includes metal pack frames, canoes, etc. Avoid wide open spaces. If in your tent, laying on pads or cots insulates you from the ground….lightning can run through the ground if it hits nearby. Being inside your car places you in a metallic “cage”, and the current from lighting tends to go through the frame rather than through you. It is “not” the rubber tires that protect you.


Mosquitoes, which can carry the West Nile virus, are found in damp and forested locations. Avoid wet, low-lying areas. Take advantage of breezes and use insect repellant’s.  Other insects such as bees, ants, ticks, flies, etc. should not be taken lightly. Not only can they be annoying but they can also cause quite a bit of pain and discomfort.


Campfires are part of the great joys of camping but please obey and consider some very safe guidelines to make your experience safe. Keep campfires in designated fire rings only.  Do not overload your fire ring with large wood fuels as the flames and sparks can ignite nearby vegetation. Locate your tents or sleeping equipment away from campfire. Supervise children closely around a campfire. Teach everyone to stop, drop and roll should any clothing catch fire. Be sure your campfire is out before leaving your campsite. NEVER leave fires unattended.


No matter how clean or pure stream water looks, it’s likely to contain water-borne parasites and microorganisms that can cause serious illness. Pack your water in, or purify through chemical treatment or use water from an approved source in a campground. Untreated water must be brought to a sustained boil (3-5 min.) to kill harmful organisms.


Don’t attract unwanted visitors to your campsite. Small mammals have an acute sense of smell. If lured to your campsite by the aroma of goodies or trash, they can cause a lot of damage. Store food and trash carefully.

These “Safety Tips” are provided by WESTrek Services
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