More Advice Concerning the Great Outdoors

Always appoint an experienced person to watch the group for signs of injury, fatigue, hypothermia, dehydration, sunstroke, frostbite, or any other illness. Avoid hypothermia by staying rested, maintaining good nutrition, and consuming lots of high-energy food.

In addition, bring and use the proper clothing for the area and the time of year. If you become tired, injured, or lost, make camp early. If you have any signs of hypothermia, discuss it with your group and take immediate action together.

To avoid frostbite, bring and wear the proper clothing for the area and for the weather; maintain good nutrition; drink water; maintain core temperature by staying active; and use your buddies to create a system to check critical areas such as face, nose, and ears. Don't wait for crisis; respond with immediate treatment for all symptoms, no matter how minor they seem.

Essential

Don't forget! As soon as you stop, you run a greater risk of hypothermia, so weigh the dangers of treating an injury with rest against the potential for hypothermia. The danger of exposure may be the greater risk.

Let Common Sense Be Your Guide

In any unknown territory, it's essential to take extra precautions to avoid danger and prevent accidents. It's also best to plan for the very worst scenarios. For these types of trips, you must pack a survival kit that includes not only your first-aid kit, but a good and comprehensive map; a compass; at least two flashlights with spare batteries; a waterproof fire starter; a good, versatile hunting knife; personal shelter; whistles; warm clothing; sturdy, comfortable hiking boots; rain gear; high-energy food; and water.

Take a first-aid manual, and if you are able, take a course before you leave to learn about and have hands on practice with the ABCs of first aid and how to treat and manage emergencies. Use your senses and your common sense and stay away from dangerous areas where hazards of nature may occur, such as rock falls, floods, rip currents, rapids, avalanches, hazardous plants and animals, any other hazardous terrain, areas of poor sanitation, and treacherous climates.

Fact

Make sure to have a method for calling for help, an understanding of first aid, and first-aid supplies whenever traveling. And be aware that accidents are most common when vacations involve traveling on the road, to beaches, staying in hotels, skiing, and in remote locations.

Everyone in your group needs to know the locations of the first-aid kit, who their buddy is, and the overall supervisor and camp leader who needs to set the pace based on the slowest individual. Before you leave for any outdoor trip, you need to inform at least one friend at home what your plans are, when you are expected home, when you are expected at certain checkpoints, and other clues that may indicate your need for rescue.

If an accident or injury occurs, make sure that everyone stays calm. Even in the case of becoming lost or separated from your group, stay calm and see if you are able to retrace your steps. Know how to use your compass, identify points, and use your common sense. Chances are, while roughing it, you may not be near any help or a hospital, so on all outdoor trips it's critical to be careful, vigilant, prepared, and safe.

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