Friday, May 19, 2006, 02:24 PM - SafetySo why do we like to hike and camp? Most of us would say that there is nothing like the closeness of nature at her finest. Hiking brings you closer to the natural world and puts you in touch with things you may have lost or forgotten: things that civilization takes from us. You'll discover and cultivate a harmony with and a respect for the wilderness that no nature show on public television can generate. No matter if you are a seasoned pro or just getting started at hiking, lets not overestimate our abilities or try to fool mother nature, because either one could and often does ruin your outing. A few things I have learned over the years to be safe and to enjoy the great outdoors is to get some reference material on hiking and camping and to stay fit. I still have my Boy Scott manual that I refer back to from time to time. Here are a few more tips that I've learned over my 40 years of enjoying the outdoors:
If you get cold at night put on a wool stocking cap and socks on your feet. Most heat loss in a sleeping bag is via your head. Plan your trip and take along a compos or now a days a GPS. Take along extra garbage and Ziploc bags. They have a thousand uses in camp. A paper bag can have other uses too like you can boil water over a fire if you have to. Water boils at 212 degrees while paper burns at around 452 Degrees. It is a good idea to start out by taking short trips then work your way up to longer ones. It is better to have a shallow fire pit instead if ringing the camp fire with rocks because some rocks explode when they are heated unevenly. A note on tents, zip the zipper closed before pitching it, that way you know it will close latter. If the zipper is hard to work rub some unscented soap on it to keep it moving. If the weather man misses the forecast and you find yourself out in an electrical storm get as low to the ground as possible or go to the middle of a stand of trees.
Enjoy the wildlife from afar by using binoculars and do not try to pet that cute bear cub, because momma bear is closer than you think and playing dead will not save you. The wildlife deserve there space to, respect them. A comfortable backpack is one forth your body weight properly adjusted to your back. A pair of leather gloves is good to protect your hands from hot pots and firewood. Dental floss is not only for your teeth but a good camp thread because it is strong and durable. It can be used to sew up holes in tents, sleeping bags, and clothing. In a pinch, a fishing line as well. Dry your tent and sleeping bag before storing. Putting them away wet is a good way to rot the fabric and make them smell. A blackened pan heats up faster then a silver pan. But if a blackened pan bothers you rub some liquid detergent on the outside to aid in the clean up.
One thing I always pack is my first aid kit; because accidents do happen, even the preventable ones. I like to take along one of those shake or crank LED flashlights, because you will always have a light they do not need batteries and the LED are good for 50,000 hours. Always let someone know where you are going and when you will be back. So be safe and enjoy the great outdoors. For quality hiking equipment, I recommend TheHikerHut.com.
by John E. Spragg: I am fifty one years old and have hiked around most of the USA and parts of Europe, but I prefer seeing more of the United States. I enjoy being out in Nature and seeing Mother Nature at her finest. I have had a few close calls and decided that being prepared and more knowledgeable would cut down on the unexpected and make hiking safer and more rewarding for all
Furnished by the Campground Directory from the lifestyle section of Resources For Attorneys.