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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

Survival Guide 101 for Outdoor Activities


By Dadrian Paris

Nowadays, outdoor activities can be a very daunting and scary hobby without the proper equipment and knowledge. But with this survival guide, the fear of the outdoors will no longer be present. 

When going on a trip somewhere new and exciting, the most important thing is to make sure someone knows where you are going and what you plan on doing the entire time. If something terrible were to happen, someone knows when you are supposed to be back, and if you aren’t, something went wrong. 

The next most important thing is to pack for this trip. Primarily when hiking, people think that packing lighter will be more beneficial. That is never the case. When packing for a trip, it’s important to overpack rather than under-pack. Yes, carrying all the luggage throughout the trip will be inconvenient, but it’s better to be prepared for the worst rather than be unprepared.

Nothing is more depressing than showing up to your destination to find out that it is closed due to weather conditions or uncontrollable circumstances. But that’s nothing to be discouraged by! There is nothing wrong with picking another close destination to hike or enjoy the weather outside. Another important thing is to make sure there is some backup plan in case the trail or destination you were heading to is closed for some reason.

 As far as wildlife and safety go, always have some weapon for self-defense while exploring the mountains. As everyone probably knows, the mountains are home to most of the nature on the planet, and all wildlife isn’t so friendly. More specifically, mountain lions and bears are the most feared animals while hiking. 

Bears are the most prevalent encounters of wildlife while hiking. Most bear encounters don’t end in injury or death as long as simple guidelines are met. If a bear is seen on a trail, don’t approach the bear or make any sudden loud noises. This may confuse the bear into thinking you are prey rather than an animal. If there is a detour to the trail, then use the detour to avoid any unwanted escalation. If the bear starts to attack, use a weapon to scare off the bear and aim for the face. A weapon could be a bear spray, a firearm or a sharp object such as a knife. Never run away from a bear, as this will make them chase after a dog chasing after a squirrel. 

Mountain Lions are another wildlife animal encountered while hiking or biking on trails. The most important rule in a mountain lion encounter is NEVER run. This will make the lion chase and attack. If a mountain lion is seen on a trail, don’t break eye contact with it. Make as much noise as possible and throw objects in its direction. This will make it known that you are not prey and you are a human. Instead of making the lion mad, this will make the lion understand you are not to be messed with. Slowly back away from the mountain lion without breaking eye contact. Don’t turn your back to the lion and leave the trail. Immediately contact the local authorities about a wild animal on the trail and ensure no one else hikes until further precautions are taken. 

Weather, like all things, can be unpredictable and hard to judge. But before doing any activity, you must check the local weather to dress appropriately for the occasion. 

Here in Colorado, starting in August, it’s usually always good to pack a jacket or coat in case the weather suddenly changes. The wind is also another prevalent issue here in Colorado. The wind is known to blow over boats and paddle boards which can lead to people drowning. If there are high wind warnings throughout the day, it’s never a good idea to go boating or be on the water in local lakes/ponds. Never be on the water if the wind is 10 mph or above. The same goes for rain. With rain coming lighting storms and it’s always more dangerous to be on the water than indoors during a rainstorm. 

Going outdoors isn’t as bad as some think as long as proper precautions are taken. The world and its beauty should be enjoyed to the fullest while still being safe and packed correctly for the occasion.

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