Safety Minute for December
In many parts of the country, winter is upon us – although, if you’re in southern Arizona, you’re probably hoping it gets here (or, at least on Mt. Lemmon) very soon. That means it’s time to think about winter camping.
Here are fifteen safety tips that you should keep in mind as you prepare for and go on your winter camping adventures:
- Always bring more than what you think you’ll need – water, food, clothes.
- Make sure that you know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia in others and in yourself and tell someone right away if anyone is showing signs of cold-related problems.
- Before setting up your tent, pack down the snow in your campsite. If you don’t, you run the risk of stepping tearing the floor of your tent if you step into a soft bit of snow.
- If your flashlight batteries stop working in the cold, warm them up before using them.
- Because plastic can break if frozen, keep your matches in a metal, not plastic container.
- Keep your water storage containers and water bottles upside down so that they freeze at the bottom first.
- Even though it’s winter, you can still get dehydrated so don’t forget to drink lots of water.
- Always eat hot meals, if possible, and keep a pot of hot water available for cocoa or Cup-a-Soup.
- Don’t forget the 3 W’s of layering – Inside layer: Wicking; Middle layer: Warmth; Outside layer: Wind/Water.
- Put on tomorrow’s t-shirt and underwear at bedtime so you won’t be starting with everything cold next to your skin in the morning.
- Put tomorrow’s clothes in your sleeping bag with you.
- Put a couple of long-lasting hand warmers into your boots after you take them off so that they dry out during the night. You can Â also use warmers to heat up your sleeping bag before you get in.
- Everyone should be dry by sundown – no wet (sweaty) bodies or wet inner clothing.
- A zipped-up coat pulled over the foot of a sleeping bag makes an extra layer of insulation.
- Eat a high-energy snack before bed, then brush your teeth. The extra fuel will help your body stay warm.
And, most important of all – BE SAFE and HAVE FUN!