There's nothing quite like getting out in the great outdoors and enjoying yourself. Whether you're going for a hike, heading out for a climb, or hunting, however, you want to make sure you're following a few critical safety tips along the way. These critical points in outdoor safety for women will help you be sure you're safe while enjoying your favorite activities.
Before You Go
Safety and preparation starts before you leave. Even if you don't have a trip on the horizon, as the weather warms up, go ahead and check your gear to make sure you're prepared. This includes:
Selecting a weapon option that works for you. If you're comfortable with a gun and licensed to carry one, it can be a great way to protect yourself from predators of all varieties. Pepper spray or even a good knife can also be fantastic self-defense options.
Checking your shoes. You should pay as much--or more--attention to the shoes you hike and camp in as you do to the ones you wear with your favorite sexy outfit. Make sure that they fit comfortably and aren't showing signs of excessive wear. You don't want to end up with blisters halfway up a mountain!
Packing your kit. Any time you're going to be outside, away from your car and away from people, you want to make sure you have a few basic supplies. These include:
- Granola bars, protein bars, or some other food that's easy to carry but high in protein
- Bug spray
Having the right gear in your kit can be the difference between a trip that's a pleasure and one that turns into a nightmare. You don't have to carry a heavy backpack if you're only going to be out for a few hours, but make sure you have the right equipment to take care of yourself on your trip. Once it's packed, you can head out as spontaneously as you like--after you make sure all of your supplies are still in place.
On Your Way
You're headed out the door for your outdoor experience. As you head out, however, make sure you're checking off a few vital safety points.
Let someone know where you're going. It takes a few seconds to send a text message and a few minutes to make a phone call. If you're headed out off the beaten path, mark your trail in some way. You don't plan on letting anything happen--after all, you're a savvy, competent woman!--but you don't want to run the risk that no one will be able to find you if it does. Include information about where you're going, what you're wearing, and when you expect to be back.
Drink regularly. Yes, if you keep drinking, you're eventually going to have to figure out how to pee standing up--though there's a special cup that can help with that. Not drinking regularly, however, can lead to dehydration--and that's going to put a damper on your trip.
Pay attention. Sure, you're in a virtually deserted area with no one around you--and that's all the more reason to pay strict attention to your surroundings. You never know when a predator--of either the two-footed or four-footed variety--might be lurking. If you have a bad feeling, don't take chances. Act on it!
Know the symptoms of a problem. Become familiar with the symptoms of heat exhaustion and overexposure to sun--both in yourself and in someone else. Avoid pushing yourself too hard. You don't have anything to prove--and more importantly, you're not going to prove anything if you collapse and can't make your way back home.
Travel with someone. Sure, one of the best things about the great outdoors is the sense of solitude. Traveling in a pack, however, is sensible for a number of reasons. You never know when an injury will happen or you'll run into trouble, and if you're out alone, it can be difficult for you to get the help you need.
Don't always take the same route. You don't want to be predictable, especially if you're out hiking or running alone. Change it up periodically to make yourself harder to follow.
If Something Goes Wrong
You're relatively sure that you're prepared for the worst, but that doesn't necessarily mean that everything will go perfectly. If something does happen while you're out, whether alone or with a group, take these key steps to minimize problems.
Call for help. Make a lot of noise. Many women are reluctant to draw attention to themselves, but if you're in trouble, you want to draw attention!
React quickly to a problem. That may mean taking some time to sit and rest--or even potentially calling for help or sending one member of your party to get help--instead of pushing on. If you or one of your friends is injured or becoming ill due to dehydration or heat exhaustion, make sure you react quickly to get them out of the sun and give them water or treat the injury. Don't push on and make a problem worse!
Know your limits. There are things that you can treat and things that you can't. Don't make things worse by trying to deal with an injury you aren't familiar with! Instead, try to keep the injured individual stable while someone else goes for help.
Give specific assignments. When you're out with a group, make sure you specifically assign people to take care of problems. If you don't know everyone's names, point! Giving a vague instruction to the group as a whole is less likely to get the results you need.
After Your Trip
Whew! You've completed your hike or other outdoor experience, and you're ready to go home. That doesn't mean, however, that your safety preparation is over.
Check your gear. Make sure that everything is still in good condition before you put it away for next time. Replace items like protein bars or items from your first aid kit that may have been consumed.
Report any problems. Were there places where the trail was washed away, trees were down, or there were other obstructions? Did you see animals that shouldn't have been in the area? Find out who the local authority is and make sure you report any problems you had along the way.
Consider the problems you, personally, had. Were you a bit ambitious in your choice of hike, ending up winded and exhausted before you were done? Did your shoes feel great for the first half mile or so, but start rubbing blisters before the day was done? If you had an issue while you were on this trip, take the time to solve it before you go out again.
Enjoying the great outdoors is all well and good, but you want to make sure that when you do it, you're doing it safely! By following these safety tips, you can continue enjoying your outdoor time without putting yourself at risk.