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Safely Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Alaska remains one of the most marvelous outdoor recreation destinations in the world. Enjoying the experience with fond memories of your trip can be greatly enhanced by following fundamental safety advice.

Increment weather can become more than an inconvenience: it can turn dangerous. Winds in excess of 20 knots, deep fog limiting visibility to less than a half mile, snow, heavy rain and extreme cold can be any one, or multiple, considerations when planning your trip. Always check the weather report for predictions before and during the duration of your outing.

Plan for emergencies. Essential items: a first aid kit, a communication device such as a cell phone, compass or GPS, flashlight, waterproof fire starting kit, a versatile knife, warm clothing, rain gear, enough high energy food to last you more than a single meal, personal shelter, insect repellent and a whistle to signal for help if needed.

Let someone know your travel plans. Be sure to tell someone your basic itinerary: where you expect to be, how long and where. It is also advisable to never travel alone.

Practice safe camping. Allow plenty of time to properly establish your base camp before dark. This includes selecting a proper location that accounts for possible heavy winds, rain or other weather hazards. Near shrubs and trees provides added protection during a weather event. Furthermore, a poorly prepared campsite with unsecured garbage or food left exposed can attract unwanted wildlife.

 Attend your fire and stove. Never leave your cooking device or campfire unattended. Make sure your fire is a safe distance from your tent or other potentially flammable gear. Embers and coals buried under ash can still ignite a fire when perceived as extinguished. Drown the pit with water to ensure the fire will not spring back to life while away.

Enjoy your trip. Alaska can be one of the greatest outdoor adventures you will embark upon. Be safe and enjoy the beautiful outdoors of this vast wilderness.