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New hikers, bikers, and campers should follow these easy safety tips.

Tell someone your plans

Before heading off on an epic adventure, tell a friend or family member about your plans. They need to know: when you’re leaving when you’ll be back, where you are going, and what you’re planning on doing. You’ll need to tell someone who you trust to report that you’re in danger if they don’t hear from you.

Check the forecast

Do not set out for a hike or camping trip without checking for bad weather. Any chance of a storm means that your adventure is canceled until the weather clears up. Also, avoid long day trips in exceptionally hot temperatures.

Do your research

While it may seem like a fun idea to embrace the unknown, it’s not. Before going to a particular trail or campsite, look up as much information on it as you can find. Make sure to learn wildlife in the area and any poisonous plants indigenous to the region. Also, check for any hiking updates before you set off.

Hike and bike only during the day

Hiking or biking at night is extremely dangerous. Nocturnal animals that aren’t a risk during the day can become predatory at night. Also, it is easy to get lost at night. To ensure you don’t accidentally get caught on the trail after dark, set a definite turnaround time before beginning your hike. You want to make sure you get back home or back to camp before nightfall.

Make a list and check it twice.

Take the time to make a list of everything you think you need for your trip. You don’t want to realize you forgot something after it’s too late, so be sure to check off every item on the list right after you pack it. No one wants to be unprepared.

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