Happy Trails

As things are finally cooling off a bit, it’s time to take in the great outdoors we’ve been taking refuge from all summer. Whether that’s hiking and camping or just an afternoon picnic, remember these simple ways to ensure happy trails.

  • Check the weather forecast before heading out for a hike. It’s not safe to hike when thunderstorms or heavy snowfall is expected.
  • Carry drinking water. Streams, lakes, and springs are not the same as drinking fountains, so don’t drink from them without first properly treating the water.
  • Observe wildlife… from a safe distance. It’s called wildlife for a reason, so don’t get too close to wild animals.
  • Stay on the trail — leaving it could result in getting lost. I know you guys who are reading this thinking “getting lost is the adventure,” but staying lost, my friends, is a hazard.
  • Help prevent food poisoning by keeping cold foods cold and hot foods hot. Perishable items do not belong in a hot car.
  • Clean all surfaces and utensils that come in contact with raw meat or meat juices before using them again.
  • Wash your hands frequently when preparing food and before serving and eating.
  • Keep children away from grills and lighter fluid. Keep grills away from anything that can burn them.
  • Be aware of tiny deer ticks. They could carry Lyme disease, so know what symptoms to watch out for! When in potentially infested area, apply insect repellant, wear light-colored, long sleeved shirts, pants, and socks.
  • Do not build a fire near tree trunks, fallen trees, or over hanging branches. Always keep the flames at a size you can control.
  • When it’s time extinguish a campfire, let the flames die down, then break up the coals or logs, spread the pieces, soak them with water, and cover the area with dirt or sand.

Photo credit: http://therepublicofless.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/camping-glow-night2.jpg

Content credit: http://www.ci.dupont.wa.us/files/library/9ed9c444fe7e45c0_o.pdf

Sandy Hayden

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