The Great Outdoors: something has been both feared and respected throughout history. While much of human history has been spent in fierce opposition to the ravages of nature, modern humans desire to reconnect with nature by exploring it. However, the risks humanity has tried so hard to avoid are still present, but these tips can help you stay safe while seeing more of the natural beauty of the world.
Protect Yourself From Others
One thing to keep in mind throughout your travels is that you can only really trust yourself. Being in an unfamiliar place means having no safety net, and being taken advantage can be devastating in that kind of situation. Therefore, you’ll want to take certain precautions to prevent your belongings or your money from being stolen during this vulnerable period. Installing a vehicle camera system can give you a place to turn if your car is broken into, for example. Likewise, it’s generally advised when traveling to make sure that any valuables are secured within your backpack in a place in which it can be taken easily or without notice. A backpack can serve this purpose amicably, provided that the bag can’t simply be taken off of your back without resistance. Hiking backpacks are popular even among non-hikers for this very reason. While they might be made for heavy duty expeditions, the harness-like straps can also keep your bag firmly affixed to your person, thwarting any potential thieves.
Protect Yourself From Nature
While being out in nature is a wonderful feeling, the natural world isn’t always hospitable, and you need to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store for you. For example, you’ll need to carry plenty of water during a summer hike, because safe hydration isn’t typically available in the wilderness. Bringing plenty of bottled water is a great place to start. However, this can present its own problems on longer backpacking trips in which case the amount of water needed to sustain the trip would be too heavy to carry. In these cases, bringing a portable means of purifying water will serve you well, giving you the hydration you need without risking disease. Likewise, dressing for your destination will be important. If you’re in a cold environment, you’ll want to dress in heavy layers of clothing, allowing you to stay warm as needed, but with the freedom to lighten the load as the temperature fluctuates. You might be tempted to pursue an equal and opposite approach for warm weather, but you shouldn’t do so in a wooded area, for example, because protecting your legs with full length pants can be important when it comes to creatures like snakes and spiders, not to mention plants like poison ivy. For all of these reasons, understanding your destination is important, up to and including the weather forecast during your trip.
Protect Yourself From Injury
It’s practically impossible for a human being to be on guard at all times, and an avid explorer will occasionally kind him or herself with a couple of injuries. Severe injuries can be devastating in the wild, and it’s for this reason that you should never take the unnecessary risks of exploring the wilderness alone. It’s also important to keep a cell phone on your person. While wilderness destinations often preclude cell phone service, this isn’t always the case. Even when it is, you still have the option of moving to another area in which to potentially get service with which you can call for help. Lastly, keeping a first aid kit on hand and, more importantly, knowing how to use it can save your life or the life of a loved one, should the need arise.
Exploring the natural beauty of the world around you is a nearly universal drive. While it no longer serves the practical purpose of aiding survival, reconnecting with nature can be fun, not to mention therapeutic. Using these tips, you can explore nature without sacrificing the safety of civilization.
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