Your Outdoor Skills: Backcountry Safety
We love heading into the backcountry. It’s a wonderful way to remove the tyranny of time and schedules from our lives and reconnect with the natural rhythms that surround us. It truly is rejuvenating.
We cherish experiencing nature and appreciate that, along with its wild beauty, its unpredictability. It is important to understand and know the measures to take to stay safe while on your backcountry adventure.
Before heading out on your backcountry trip, a few things need to be checked off your safety list.
Share Your Trip Itinerary
First, always tell a close friend, family member or roommate your trip plans. Let them know where you’re going and when you expect to return. If something happens, this information could be invaluable in an emergency.
Littlbug Tip: When you park at the trailhead, leave a map of your route with the anticipated return date on your dashboard or car seat.
Second, pack a first aid kit. Simple things like a blister from your shoes or a cut from a rock or a branch can turn deadly if not treated properly. Packing a lightweight first aid kit with bandages, alcohol wipes and an antibiotic doesn’t add a lot of weight to your gear and can help prevent infections.
Littbug Tip: Take a Wilderness First Aid class to learn how to react and treat different wilderness injuries.
Check the weather a day before you leave and understand the weather patterns of the area you’ll be venturing into. You may have checked the weather a week before your trip, but it is always best to double check it the day before you leave. Nature is unpredictable and the weather can change a day or two before you head into the backcountry. Use your judgement and knowledge to gauge the weather. Remember, it is always better to be safe, than sorry.
Littlbug Tip: Trust your gut. If you are feeling uneasy about a trip, it may be best to delay the adventure.
Pack the Meds
Pack Benadryl or other mild over the counter allergy medication. If you have a reaction to a bee sting, snake bite, or poisonous foliage like poison ivy or poison oak, the allergy medicine could lessen symptoms long enough for you to find help or continue the trip.
Educate yourself on the wildlife and foliage in the area and how to respond when you encounter animals while you are out. Animals have different instincts based on your response, but a good initial reaction is to stay calm. In addition to animals, understanding wild plants and how to spot poisonous plants can help avoid accidentally coming in contact with them.
You want to make sure you have reliable equipment to purify your water. Water filters and purifiers work great, however, they can clog, break, or become compromised after so many uses. Non-iodine purification drops like Aquamira are effective and leave no bad taste in your mouth.
Boiling water to remove harmful bacteria is a reliable option as long as you have a pot and a heating element. Wood burning stoves work great for this because they rely on a variety of fuel sources. If you run out of your alcohol based fuel source for your stove, you can easily use sticks, leaves, or other natural fuel sources. Littlbug stoves are a clean burning, lightweight, dependable wood burning stove.
For more great information on backcountry safety, visit this page . This information was shared with Littlbug Enterprises by the Senior Scouts of a Girl Scout troop in California. Thank you!
Keep these safety tips to make the most of your next backcountry adventure.
When it comes to outdoor skills the more you bring along, the less you have to carry. Skills don't break and they're never left behind. They don’t leak, tear, and they don’t get wet!