Outdoor Safety Gear and Tips

By: Kinsey Staff: Brandon Rapp

Excitement is in the air as the weather has finally warmed up, the woods have become green again, the clock for us outdoor lovers has been reset! When we start enjoying outdoor activities like fishing, hunting, kayaking, hiking, and camping again we might tend to forget one of the most important things…safety! Do yourself a favor and always have the mindset to come back safe and sound.

I was standing on top of a mountain in West Virginia a few Octobers ago with a college friend who was proudly explaining to me that he doesn’t carry a cell phone with him in the woods. He’s by far a more intelligent person than me and a native of Northeastern Pennsylvania with legitimate outdoor experiences. As a personal trait I hate to interject my opinions on others, especially unprovoked, but without a thought or hint of hesitation I told him what a bad idea I thought that was. The sentence was out of my mouth before I completed the thought in my head. We all know how much trouble we can get into out there with water, rocks, heights, or wildlife. The addition of firearms, hooks, knives, and archery equipment and this danger can be compounded.

Outdoor Safety | Gear You Should Have With You

One of the most important things you can do to be safe might seem counterintuitive to hunters or anglers…always let someone know where you’re going. I know divulging our favorite secret spot can taste like vinegar coming out of your mouth but if you find yourself in a bad situation you’ll be happy you let someone at home know. It’s considerate and eases things for those waiting to see you and hear the story of what you saw outside that day. Besides that, it’s always a good idea to take the following gear.

Cell Phone

These days with how connected we are it seems we could equally feel the need to carry or not carry our cell phones with us. A lot of us are excited to take pictures and videos to post them to social media or check on some work emails every now and then. A lot of us can get in places where there certainly is no signal or reception but try to carry one just in case. When working properly it serves as a compass and can help determine property boundaries. It can obviously help you out if you get in a rough situation of any scale, but if for nothing else you have a camera with you to take a picture of a place you want to go back to or just something neat you’d like to remember.

First Aid Kit

If you can, carry a first aid kit and do a little research on how to use it. Just having it helps but without knowing how to use it especially when you might have to use it quickly can certainly be difficult. Basic ones can be found pretty affordable at your favorite local outdoor store.

Online Maps

Use technology to help you with a new spot. Online maps are a great and easy way to get a lay of the land before you lace up your boots. It’ll narrow your search obviously and help you find spots you’ll like faster. It’ll also help you avoid some spots and let you either share your location or explain to someone better where you might be if you need to.

There’s no need for anxiety as long as you’re aware and prepared so please don’t scare yourself out of the woods or water. With all of the great things that await us on hikes, hunts, camping, and fishing trips it’s easy to become distracted. If not for at least others, you have a responsibility to yourself to take a little effort to be safe.