Whatever your favorite activities might be, it’s important to keep safety top of mind when enjoying the outdoors! Here are a few tips to help you prepare:
- Check the weather. Always read forecasts and consider from which direction inclement weather may be approaching. Be prepared for changes and adjust plans as needed.
- Wear and pack the right gear. Here’s a great list of the “10 Essentials” recommended by the US Forest Service. Additionally, take precautions to avoid tick-borne illnesses, which can occur any time of year – even in winter.
- Do not rely on your mobile device. Although GPS devices and cell phones are helpful, you should not rely on them to work consistently in the Berkshires. Even a few hundred yards up some trails there is no reception and batteries wear out at the most inconvenient times.
- Carry a first aid kit and learn basic first aid to identify and treat injuries and illnesses including heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hypothermia, and dehydration.
- Share your plans. Make sure to tell someone where you’ll be and for how long. Better yet, use the buddy system to enjoy the outdoors more safely!
- Stay on the trail. Do not wander too far from the designated trail – for your own safety and to protect wildlife (including plants).
- Be safe, be seen. Hunters and non-hunters alike should remember to “be safe, be seen.” Wearing blaze orange during hunting season dramatically reduces hunting-related accidents. Be especially vigilant during the early morning and late afternoon, when game animals are most active. Click HERE for more hunting and fishing safety tips.
- Respect wildlife. Keep a safe distance from animals and be careful not to disturb delicate habitats.