After months of spending more time at home, you’re ready to stretch your legs and soak up some vitamin D on an outdoor adventure. But while outdoor recreation is safe as long as you maintain social distancing, there are other dangers that lurk in the great outdoors. Whether you’re looking to lace up your hiking boots, trek into the backcountry, or hit the open water, Wild Bum offers everything you need to stay safe and have fun on your next outdoor adventure.
Hiking is the ideal outdoor activity because it’s adaptable to every ability level, and many hikers feel energized and find balance in the mountains. But while it’s easy to get started hiking, it’s also easy to go wrong and end up in trouble on the trail.
Find trails that match your skill level by using AllTrails to locate trails near you, read reviews, and see pictures before you go. Always tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back.
Wearing the right shoes and socks is key for comfort on the trail. Look for socks made out of a moisture-wicking material like merino wool or a polyester/nylon blend. The right boot depends on the type of hiking you plan to do. Sites like Adventure Daily can help you decide.
Always bring plenty of water when hiking. Each hiker should bring one liter of water for every two hours you’ll be hiking. Since that can add up, invest in a hydration bladder or water filter.
Why end your adventure at nightfall? With the right gear, you can load up the car and head to a campground or pack your bag for a night in the backcountry.
Every camping trip starts with a good tent. Big, spacious tents are great for car camping but look for something small and lightweight if you’re hiking in. You’ll also need sleeping bags and pads and a headlamp for after dark. Headlamps vary widely in quality, so pay attention to reviews to find one that’s bright enough, dimmable, and water-resistant.
While cooking isn’t an essential part of camping, it does make the experience a lot more pleasant. Decide if you’ll prepare your meal around a campfire, grill, or camp stove. Don’t forget to pack dishes! Collapsible cups and bowls are the perfect space-saving solution for your campfire meals.
Of course, it’s always wise to pack safety essentials on any camping trip: A knife, first aid kit, and sun protection are must-haves for any campout.
Bicycling is a great way to exercise near home while maintaining social distance. While multi-use trails offer a safe place for cyclists to ride, not everyone has access to car-free biking trails. If you’re taking to the road on your bike, there are some things you need to do first.
A helmet is a must for any cyclist sharing space with traffic. There are a number of helmet styles, but the most important thing is that a helmet fits correctly. A helmet should fit snugly without creating any pressure points.
Lights are also key, especially if you’ll be riding after dark or at dusk. Cyclists should have both rear and front bike lights, ideally with blinking to increase visibility. Pay attention to how a light connects to your bike. In populated areas, removable bike lights will help prevent theft.
Whether you’re floating a canoe on flat water or out on a speedboat, there are some precautions that are always smart on a boat.
The first and most important is life jackets. Boaters are required to have a Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person on board, with children wearing life jackets at all times. When buying a life jacket, ensure it fits correctly.
Boaters should also pack basic safety gear, including a fire extinguisher, flashlight, first aid kit, ropes, and a whistle. If taking your boat on the water for the first time this season, schedule a free vessel safety check.
There’s no better time to get acquainted with the great outdoors than when businesses are shut down due to COVID-19. But first, make sure you’re taking responsibility for your safety. With the right precautions — and the right gear — you can get active, have fun, and stay safe doing it.
When planning your next outdoor adventure, check out Wild Bum to find a curated travel guide that helps you make the most of your excursion!