Outdoor safety tips

Most of us love the outdoors and we can all probably recall a time where someone got injured while enjoying the beautiful Colorado country side.

CSU student goes hiking over summer break
CSU student goes hiking over summer break

In an effort to prevent injuries this summer we’ve compiled a list of outdoor safety tips.

Patrick Love of the Poudre Fire Authority provided some suggestions to keep yourself and  your family safe over this summer. “It’s very important to plan your trip with adequate supplies and a safety plan in mind,” Love said.

Stephanie Carpino, a CSU student, recalled a hiking trip last summer, “I went hiking on my own and ended up twisting an ankle on the way back. Thankfully it wasn’t as bad as it could have been or I would have been stuck out there.”

The following is a list of safety tips provided by Pouter Fire Authority and USDA Forest Service.

  • Never travel alone, make sure you are with a companion and always make sure someone knows where you are and what time you’ll be back.
  • Make sure you follow all laws and regulations. Check with the Sheriff’s office for updates and clarification. Due to the current drought conditions many areas have fire bans. Currently Larimer County does not have a fire ban.
  • Be in good Physical Condition, don’t pick an event that you’re not physically prepared for as it will increase risk of injury.
  • Wear Appropriate Clothing, make sure to check the weather and dress accordingly. The proper shoes are one of the most important things you can do to prevent that twisted ankle. Remember that weather can change quickly in the mountains especially if your above the tree line you don’t want to get caught in a storm.
  • Check your equipment, before you leave your home make sure to check that all of your equipment is in good working condition.
  • Learn basic first aid, this includes bringing a basic first aid kit. There are many organizations around town that offer first aid courses.
  • Set up camp before dark, traveling in the dark not only increases your risk of injury but has also resulted in many lost hikers. If you do have to move around after dark make sure to only travel in areas that you did during the day light.
  • Think before you drink, the water coming down a mountain stream may look clean but many times contains water-borne parasites and microorganisms that can cause discomfort and sometimes serious illness. Pack your own water with you or you can purchase water purification kits and pills.
  • Alcohol and altitude, remember that not only do alcohol and hiking not mix, but you’re affected much more when you’re at a higher altitude. Even the most experienced drinker will be affected sooner at nine thousand feet.

If you’re ever in doubt about safety or laws and regulations call your local sheriff’s office and they will be happy to answer any questions you might have. Remember while Colorado offers some of the most beautiful terrain around, it also has some of the most dangerous countryside as well.

The best advice we’ve heard is make sure to not accidently die as a result of poor planning.

Editor in chief Darin Hinman can be reached at news@collegian.com