Wilderness sports can provide a much needed break from civilization. However, when you are in a remote setting, it's important to be aware that the responsibility to keep yourself safe falls squarely on your own shoulders. Following a few wilderness safety guidelines helps to ensure that you enjoy your sport without putting yourself in danger.
Bring Extra Supplies
It's a good idea to bring more supplies than you need for your trip. This way, if you get stuck in the wilderness for longer than you expected to, you won't run out of food or water. At the least, bring along a few extra snacks and a spare liter of water.
Plan for Inclement Weather
Weather can change quickly, and you don't want to be caught unprepared. Bring along rain gear and an extra layer of clothing in case it gets cold. Keeping your core temperature well regulated prevents you from compromising your body to illness. Make sure that your footwear is able to handle inclement weather; you can prevent slips and falls in the rain by wearing shoes with sturdy soles.
Keep Others Informed
Someone should always know where you plan to be and what time you'll be back. If you will have a phone on your trip, ask someone to check in with you if you are not back by a certain time. If you will be in a place where your phone won't work, you should still give an estimated time for when you'll return. This way, your family or friends can get ready for action if you don't return within a reasonable amount of time past the deadline you set.
It may be tempting to leave your phone at home, but having a contact method can help others to ensure your safety. If a storm is rolling into your area, or an emergency occurs back home, you'll want to be able to find out the news. If the last thing you want is to have your cell phone going off all day long, you can certainly set some boundaries to let others know only to call you in case of an emergency.
While a day of solitude in nature can sound appealing, it's not a safe choice. Having at least one other person with you can prevent many small accidents from becoming more serious. For instance, if you twist your ankle and can't move on your own, the other person is there to help you walk to the nearest road for pickup. If you are by yourself, it may take a rescue team a long time to find you and you'll risk having your injury get worse while you wait.
Carry a First Aid Kit
Even a few basic first aid supplies can come in handy in case of an accident. Your focus in treating an injury in the woods would be on preventing further damage before you can get to medical care. Items like tweezers, antiseptic pads, gauze, and medical tape can easily fit into a day bag.
A few simple safety precautions can go a long way in keeping you safe in the woods. What it boils down to is being well prepared with enough supplies to deal with the situations that can arise in the woods. Staying safe in the wilderness also means connecting with others and letting them keep an eye out for you. Many of the accidents that occur in the woods can easily be prevented with a bit of forethought. Follow these guidelines during your trip, and you'll likely be able to keep your self out of harm's way.