Safety Tips for Summer Camping and Hiking

Our beautiful Pacific Northwest region is a true outdoors wonderland for one and all. The
incomparable trails and campsites offer many choices of terrain in which to enjoy nature at its best. If your travel plans include exploring the great
outdoors, take a look at these tips to do so safely

Be Prepared

Before departing on any camping or hiking trip, review the
equipment, supplies and skills you’ll need.

  • Have supplies like navigation tools, sun protection, proper
    insulation, illumination, first aid supplies, fire-making tools, repair kit
    tools, hydration, an emergency shelter, and nutrition.
  • Make sure you have the skills your need like reading a compass, performing
    CPR, making a temporary shelter or starting a camp fire safely.
  • If your camping trip includes a pet, check your destination’s
    specific rules; most state parks allow leashed dogs. Make sure to pack your pet’s
    supplies like a leash collar with tags and water.
  • If you plan on camping, bring a tent that is made of waterproof
    material and extra tarps to protect your bedding from moisture.

Make a Plan
Research the area, including nearby trails, ledges and waterways. Be aware of any hazards.

  • Check the local weather reports, learn about the area and know the
    area’s specific rules.
    • Before you leave for your trip, check the website of the area in
      which you will be hiking. Make sure the trails are open. ***
    • Share your destinations with a family member or friend and go
      on the adventure with a friend or two.

    Dress the Part

    Clothing can make the difference between happiness and misery
    while camping or hiking.

    • Make sure your shoes are well broken in and sturdy.
    • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing wide brim hats,
      UV-protection sunglasses and lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants that are
      light in color and are loose-fitting.
    • Always bring rain gear with you. Wear clothing in layers, with the
      innermost layer made of a water-wicking material.

    Take Care of Your

    It’s your home away from home and protection from the elements.

    • Allow two hours to set up your campsite. Place your tent on a
      level parcel of ground.
    • If you plan to start a campfire, make sure that there are no
      bushes or low-hanging branches nearby and clear the brush from the ground. Have
      a full bucket of water and shovel nearby to put out the fire. Never leave a
      campfire unattended and never leave children alone near it!
    • To keep wild animals at bay, store all food safely away from
      animals. Keep garbage picked up. Keep the campsite clean. Use up fresh,
      odoriferous food first. Do NOT touch, feed or approach a wild animal.

    Stay Hydrated
    and Energized

    Drinking enough water and getting proper nutrition are vital. You’ll be burning more calories than you normally would.

    • Drink plenty of water. If you are thirsty, you are already
      dehydrated. It is critical that you drink the required eight 8-ounce glasses
      each day.
    • Include Gatorade or another energy drink in your pack. Energize
      with “fuel” foods high in protein and carbohydrates.

    ***Currently, the following are closed in the Columbia River Gorge
    National Scenic Area

    • Angel’s Rest Trail, Eagle Creek Campground
    • Eagle Creek Day Use Area
    • Eagle Creek Trailhead & Trail
    • HCRH (US 30) (Open Troutdale to Bridal Veil only)
    • HCRH State Trail Mitchell Point segment
    • Herman Creek Campground/Horse Camp
    • Horsetail Falls & Trail

    The following are currently closed in the Hatfield Wilderness:

    • Columbia Gorge
    • Metlako Falls Spur Trail
    • Nesmith Point Trail
    • Oneonta Trailhead
    • Wahkeena Falls



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