If you’ve ever participated in outdoor club groups or classes, outdoor safety was likely the first thing on your curriculum list. But even for regular outdoor explorers, there’s no such thing as too many safety reminders. Let’s brush up and go over the basics.

CHECK THE TEMPERATURE

Being outside exposes your body to the elements, so it is wise to check the temperature ahead of time and be prepared. Dress accordingly to prevent temperature related illness and wear layers of loose-fitting clothing. Keep yourself hydrated with fluids that are alcohol and caffeine free, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Also be aware of UV rays from the sun and bring sunscreen with you. If it’s hot outside, seek shelter in the middle of the day.

LOOK, DON’T TOUCH

Viewing wild animals in their native habitat is one of the many wonders of the Great Outdoors. But only view them at a safe distance. Avoid touching wild animals, and definitely don’t feed them. This practice gives them respect, and prevents you from getting hurt or catching diseases.

WATER SAFETY

Most camping-related injuries and illnesses are water related each year. Outdoor water isn’t treated and contains naturally occurring bacteria, so don’t swallow it when you swim. If you’re sick, stay out of the water. Wear a lifejacket while doing watersports, and never swim alone.

The golden rule of outdoor fun is being safe! Follow common sense, and you will continue enjoying the endless beauty of nature.