5 Safety Tips for Outdoor Summer Adventures
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Even with blue skies, abundant sunshine, and westerly breezes, summertime can be a dangerous time for children and adults. From extreme heat to deadly insects, venturing outdoors for some summer fun can pose a risk even to the seasoned hiker. Trampling through the wrong underbrush can cause itchy rashes, and hiking over loose rock can cause serious accidents. And spending time out in the sun all day in warm weather can lead to dehydration and sunburn--which can cause skin cancer. Before you get excited about summertime outdoor activities, take precautions and head out prepared with these summer safety tips and items. Don't forget the sunscreen! If you're planning on doing some water sports this summer season, it’s also important to bring the life jackets. They greatly reduce the risk of drowning.
Water Hydration Pack
The most important safety tip is always bring water. While you can live more than three weeks without food, you can only live up to a week without water. If you throw in extreme heat and a lack of shade, you may only last a couple of days. A water hydration pack ensures you have plenty of water on hand in such emergencies. It has zippered pockets for storing items and padded shoulders for comfort. Because the 2-liter bladder connects to a long hose, you can take a drink without having to stop along the trail.
Water Purification & Filtration
When your bottled water or other water supply runs dry and you need hydration, don’t drink from streams, ponds, or puddles without first purifying the water. Untreated water contains thousands of small organisms and parasites, such as Giardia, which causes bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. You don't want that ruining your summer vacation. Purification tablets not only kill bacteria and viruses but also neutralize the water's taste, color, and odor. Also, water filters can effectively remove bacteria and protozoa. For example, the Sawyer Mini is ideal for outdoor recreation, hiking, camping, scouting, domestic and international travel, and emergency preparedness. This high performance mini filter fits in the palm of your hand, weighs only two ounces, and filters up to 100,000 gallons.
Poison Ivy Treatment
It's maybe been a while since you attended summer camp and learned the hard way about poison ivy. You never know when the trail will lead you through a patch of poison ivy, a three-leafed plant that causes an irritating rash, blisters, and itching. A poison ivy kit can help prevent the itch and make your trek through the underbrush less risky. Apply a pre-contact towelette to your skin before contact with poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac--or use IvyX cleanser towelettes after coming in contact with poison ivy, oak, and sumac.
From fleas and ticks to black flies and mosquitos, these insects turn a pleasant outdoor adventure into a huge annoyance. Little bug bites can cause a large amount of discomfort. To make matters worse, some of these insects carry and spread diseases, such as the West Nile Virus and Lyme disease. Use an insect repellant and protect your body from the onslaught of these summertime pests before you head outdoors.
Always carry a first-aid kit with you on a mountain trek, a forest hike, or even a day at the pool. From bumps and bruises to cuts and headaches, a first-aid kit contains everything from antiseptic wipes to aspirin and helps in times of an emergency. A small first-aid case fits neatly in a hiking backpack and has clear pockets with organized supplies. With the COVID 19 pandemic, it's also a good idea to bring a mask with you and to remember to social distance. Social distancing is still a great way to help keep everyone safe and healthy. Be sure to social distance and mask up around unvaccinated people. Enjoy some fun activities but stay safe in the hot weather!