Archive for category Safety
For adventure seeking souls on float trips, there’s nothing like the adrenaline rush from cliff diving. Yet every summer injuries and deaths are reported because of it. Whether your friends dare you to do it or you took the initiative yourself, it’s always important to remember that jumping off a cliff is dangerous. Cliff diving should only be done under expert supervision when you’re a beginner. In fact, it should never be done alone, no matter how experienced you think you are. Here are some tips for cliff diving. Read the rest of this entry »
Whether you wear one on a cruise ship for a muster drill or on a float trip in a canoe, most of us think we know how to properly wear a life jacket. The sad truth is that most of us don’t. Manufacturers make life jackets, also known as a PFD (personal floatation device), according to a person’s size and weight. Fitting a life jacket properly will help to keep your head above water, saving your life. But when a life jacket is too large it will ride up around your face and when it’s too small it won’t have enough flotation to keep you afloat. Taking the following steps to ensure your life jacket fits properly offers you and your family the best chance of survival if the worst happens on your next float trip. Read the rest of this entry »
While black bear encounters are rare in Missouri, it’s better to err on the side of caution, taking the necessary steps to keep them away from your campsite. Here are some safety tips.
Keep your campsite clean. Your pots and pans, utensils and any other items that come into contact with food will attract bears if you keep them out in the open. Keep food and any items that come into contact with food in your car.
As soon as everyone is done eating clean all your utensils and cooking items and never pitch cooking grease or any other food residues into the campfire. The smell of cooked foods will only attract bears.
State parks have bear-proof containers or dumpsters that prevent bears from smelling or gaining access to food. Place your garbage in these designated containers or dumpsters. Never burn or bury your garbage either because bears will dig it up.
Avoid eating or cooking in your tent. The last place you want to encounter a bear is in your tent which is why storing food or other attractants in tents or in your sleeping bags is a bad idea. If you’re backpacking, store these items in your backpack, suspending the backpacks from trees.
Bears have an acute sense of smell and though it’s hard to believe, bears are also attracted to non-food items like deodorant, soap and even gum. So treat these items as food when you’re on your next float trip.
If your pet is camping with you, keep your dog on a leash. Store their food in an airtight container in your car, keeping the container sealed after every use. Be sure to clean up any leftovers or scraps of food after your dog has finished eating. This too can attract bears. Your cooler should be kept in your car’s trunk or truck cab, concealed from view since bears associate coolers with food.
When planning your float trip menu prepare meals that will generate as little garbage as possible. The less garbage you have, the fewer smells you’ll create that could attract bears to your campsite.
If you do see any wild animals at or near your campsite, you should avoid contact with them and never attempt to feed them. This will only make them more attracted to this campsite in the future, causing them to bother future guests and even be considered a nuisance to the point that rangers may be forced to euthanize them. So by avoiding contact with them in the first place, you may be saving the animal’s life. And you should never approach black bears. They are extremely dangerous.
If you plan to do some hiking, bears are usually prompted to leave by normal trail noise before humans can actually see them. When you’re in a berry patch, keep a look out for bears as they are likely to venture into these areas. If you see a bear, don’t approach it and only observe it from a distance. Clap, talk, sing or make other noises so the bear is aware of your presence. If you ever encounter a bear at close range, remain calm and stay standing upright. Don’t look the bear directly in the eye. Speak in a calm, assertive and assured voice as you back up slowly to leave the area.
If a bear comes into your campsite, remain calm and make the bear aware of your presence. Some campers have thrown rocks, banged pots and pans, waved their arms and used airhorns to scare bears away. Don’t feed bears and be sure they have an escape route. If the bear swats at the ground, snaps or pops its jaws or utters a series of huffs you are too close and need to slowly back away. Move to a car or building as soon as possible if the bear won’t go away. Notify park rangers and authorities if the bear is aggressive. While black bears rarely attack people, you should be prepared in the event that one does. Black bears are intimidated by counter attacks so fighting the bear aggressively with anything close by like pots and pans or sticks or your fists can help you to get out of a dangerous situation.
This spring and summer many people will be reluctant to go on a float trip because of their fear of snakes. Missouri’s snakes play a vital role in nature, eating other animals like mice, and disease carrying rats, lizards, toads and frogs while serving as a source of food for hawks, owls, mink, skunks and herons. Unfortunately, many people are afraid of snakes, frequently killing those that are harmless. The more you know about snakes, the more you’ll appreciate their role in nature and overcome your fear of them. Read the rest of this entry »
Fires and camping are as inseparable as coffee and cream. Camping just isn’t camping without a campfire. Whether roasting marshmallows or hotdogs, keeping warm from a crisp evening’s chill or to light our surroundings, a campfire provides that one of a kind camping experience. Today’s campfires are fueled by wood, propane and white gas. Abide by the necessary safety precautions and a campfire can be enjoyed by all. But ignoring or failing to observe the right precautions can be extremely dangerous. Follow these campfire safety tips to keep you and your fellow campers safe when enjoying the outdoors.
Going on a float trip can be an exciting way to experience nature. People come from all over the country just to enjoy floating on the beautiful rivers and streams that wind there way through the woods of Missouri. Floaters will generally see a vast variety of landscapes from jetting cliffs, pristine woods and even caves.
With the summer rapidly approaching, it brings with it a plethora of different bugs and one unwelcomed variety is the mosquito. Because mosquitoes carry diseases like encephalitis and the West Nile virus, it is important to use insect repellant if you are going to be exposed to these pesky bugs for any length of time. Some people are sensitive to the ingredients in commercial insect repellants, which is why some individuals prefer to use precautions and all natural bug repellants to ward off these tiny flying vampires.
Read the rest of this entry »
The skill of being able to read a map and compass is valuable to any person. These skills are used in most peoples every day life. Before most people head out on vacation they usually begin the trip by going over a highway map or a map that you might get off the internet or from a travel agency. Most people find it helpful to have even a simple map drawn for them when going to a new place. A simple sketch of mapped directions to a new friend’s house or even to a birthday party is helpful to find your way there. Most people will stop at the nearest service station to try and get directions to where they are going. This can be helpful as well as confusing, be sure to try and draw a picture of which ay to go, or at least right down which direction to turn. The success of any gathering rests upon how skillfully the direction are given or drawn for each person invited.
Read the rest of this entry »
Whether you are buying a first aid kit or building one, you will want to be sure keep your kit in a watertight or waterproof container or bag. If all your first aid supplies get wet and ruined they will do you no good. You will want to make sure after every trip that you check your kit before going out again and replace all the items you used. This will ensure you have all that you need. The basic items you will need are as follows:
Read the rest of this entry »
The average person would not have a hard time finding a canoe that would fit them. When you are a larger person you have to think ahead about these things. There are many types of canoes out there it is just a matter of doing your homework.
One popular choice for a two person canoe is the ten feet nine inch inflatable Colorado canoe. They have freshened up the look and made some valve changes as well. They have also added large motor mount grommets. The weight limit on this is five hundred pounds. This model comes in blue and hunter green. The Rio one person inflatable canoe features the same new look and is nine feet ten inches long and has a weight limit of three hundred fifty. The double person pointer K2 series also can be paddled solo with an optional spray skirt and spray deck attachment system. This canoe is fourteen feet two inches long and has a weight limit of 600 pounds.
Read the rest of this entry »