Outdoor Safety

Outdoor Safety
Lakes and Rivers
  • Always wear a life jacket while in a boat and while skiing, even if you’re a good swimmer.
  • Don’t drink alcohol while swimming, boating, or water skiing.
  • Select the class of river according to your skill level.
  • Do not raft alone.
  • Do not raft near dams or outlets.
  • Stay alert to stumps, snags, and other objects that could pose a potential hazard, particularly in swift water.
  • Keep a lookout for floating debris, downed or fallen trees, and in-stream objects as these can cause a serious threat.
  • Look for a V-shaped pattern on the surface of the water. Often, this wrinkled water signals the presence of potentially dangerous objects below the surface.
  • If you capsize in swift water, stay with your boat, float feet-first downstream on your back until you can swim to shore.
  • Have an emergency plan of what to do and where to go in case of an emergency.
  • If not familiar with the river, ask for advice from a knowledgeable guide.
Hikers and Backpackers
  • Always hike or pack in groups.
  • Stay on the trail, if there is one.
  • Carry plenty of water and make frequent stops to drink.
  • Carry adequate high-nutrition food.
  • Outdoor necessities include a compass, first aid kit, a whistle and mirror for signaling, space blanket, and a detailed map of the area.
  • Familiarize yourself with the area before you enter, and take someone with you who knows the area.
  • Always be specific with friends or relatives about your planned route and stick to it.
  • If you get lost…stay put!  Especially at night.  Stationary people are much easier to find.
  • Be specific about your hunt area and boundaries.  Tell somebody where you are going and how long you will be gone.
  • Prearrange with friends or relatives what time and day you plan to return.
  • Wear the approved clothing – bright orange colors which can easily be seen.
  • Carry the same supplies and gear as for hikers.
  • Hunting in rugged terrain is strenuous work.  Know your physical limits.
Winter Recreation
The winter outdoors can provide a wonderful experience, but it also demands respect.  Following the below advice can help ensure your trip is safe and enjoyable.

  • Never travel alone.
  • Always let someone know where your group is going and when you’re to return.
  • Be aware of current and forecast weather and avalanche conditions.
  • Realize that weather and avalanche conditions can change unexpectedly.
  • Individually equip and train all members of your group with an avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe pole.
  • All should wear proper winter clothing, such as wool or a synthetic fiber.
  • Everyone should carry a pack with the survival gear.
  • Stop and think about safety if your trip appears hazardous at any time, to anyone, in your group.
  • Be prepared to turn back if conditions or circumstances take a turn for the worst.