Fire Safety Tips for Campers

Saturday, May 17 2014 6:00 am - for General Camping
  The sight was chilling, to say the least. My tent and everything inside it had burned to the ground. Nothing was left but a pile of charred fabric and blackened gear. I had been gone only a few minutes. A friend and I were camping near a backcountry lake, and needing some water for dinner preparation, I grabbed a jug and headed to the shore to fill it. In the brief time I was away, the wind shifted and apparently blew embers on the too-close tent, which caught fire. I was only 100 or so yards away, but never…
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Graphic via U.S. Coast Guard Every boater on the water should be able to read and understand colored navigational aids. Knowing what these aids mean is very important to the safety of everyone on the water. According to the Boating Safety Resource Center, there were 651 deaths in 4,515 U.S. boating accidents in 2012. Another 3,000 were injured. Of those, 13 deaths and 236 injuries were caused by navigation rules violation. By understanding the basic markings of navigational aids in the waterway, boaters can make sure time on the water is fun as it should be. These green and red…
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When the longer days and warmer temperatures of springtime arrive, there’s nothing better than getting outside and enjoying yourself.  That said, springtime weather can seemingly change at the drop of a hat, changing from mild and sunny to stormy with little warning. It’s key that while you’re out basking in the nicer weather, you’re also ready in case it takes a turn, resulting in a thunderstorm, a tornado and/or flooding. Get yourself prepared for crazy spring weather by following the tips below, compiled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Weather Service and the American Red Cross:…
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ATV Safety

Wednesday, April 30 2014 10:00 am - for General Outdoors
The latest studies show that the number of all-terrain vehicle injuries in 2011 surpassed 100,000, with 30 percent of those involving kids under 16, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). And even more heartbreaking: In an average year, 556 adults and 149 children lose their lives in ATV accidents. While those who enjoy tearing up the trails with some ATV fun should, by no means, give up their hobby altogether, it is crucial that they follow all ATV safety practices themselves, and spread the word about those safety practices to other riders, as well. Below is…
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Boating Safety: Getting it Right

Thursday, March 06 2014 6:00 pm - for Boating
 While there are numerous safety and regulatory rules governing boats that focus on keeping everyone aboard safe, there are also many misunderstandings and myths. If you deviate into one of the gray areas and are caught, the fine could be costly. So what are the areas, and what are the answers? Believe it or not, every time a boat pulls up to a dock or ramp, the situation on board can change. Life jackets or Personal Floatation Devices are one of the areas that cause problems for many boat operators. The reason is simple: an additional person might have boarded,…
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Winter Hiking Season Safety

Friday, December 13 2013 6:00 am - for Hiking
The trail was covered with a couple inches of snow — obviously not winter tundra conditions — but the trail conditions required hikers' attention. I was within ear shot of the trailhead parking lot. A group of voices floating from the parking lot and out into the forest told me a family hike was about to begin. I was correct — a middle-aged couple and two offspring (the kids were already engaged in a brief snowball fight). We traded greetings and I took it upon myself to warn them of the creek crossing less than a half-mile ahead. No bridge was present, that…
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Hard Lessons on Gun Safety

Wednesday, November 06 2013 3:00 pm - for General Hunting
Looking into the barrel of a loaded shotgun is as horrifying as gazing into the maw of a rabid dog. Looking into the barrel of a loaded shotgun held by your son is more horrifying still.         Had I not turned when I did, this transgression might have gone unnoticed. My son did it unintentionally. He was hamming it up with his brothers while we were squirrel hunting with a friend and his dogs, and during a moment of inattention, my son pointed the loaded 20-gauge at my head. I turned to look at the four boys who were…
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First Ice Safety

Tuesday, November 05 2013 7:27 am - for Ice Fishing
Ice fishermen are probably one of the most dedicated groups of anglers to their sport in the world. Just about anywhere there are fish and a walkable coating of ice, anglers will be there drilling holes and setting lines. Early ice is always anticipated like a holiday; excitement builds with ice in the driveway puddles, then skim ice on local roadside ponds, and finally...ice up on the lakes and rivers. Following is advice from Keith Worrall of OutdoorsFIRST on the Ice to help you stay safe. Safety First, all Ice is NOT Equal  Every Winter as many as 60 people…
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Autumn Campfire Safety

Friday, October 18 2013 6:00 am - for General Camping
For many campers, there is not a more pleasing time of year to sit around a cozy campfire than during the autumn months. Although, campfires can also become a roaring, damaging wildfire in only a few minutes if not started, maintained and watched carefully. A covering of freshly fallen leaves provide a campfire spark the fuel for big trouble. Some parks and wild areas are protected during the fall with open fire regulations. Those regulations are in place for good reason, so if you see someone breaking the law, alert the land managers. But the best safety policy for autumn…
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Taking Tree Stand Safety Seriously

Thursday, September 19 2013 12:00 am - for General Hunting
Two hunting seasons ago, I found myself doing a desperate and unexpected chin-up to pull myself back into the climber portion of my climbing tree stand — the platform had just slipped out from under me and was at the base of the tree 15 feet below. The fact that I wasn't wearing a safety harness didn't do much for my morale either. I won't bore you with the series of incredibly stupid decisions that got me in that predicament. Suffice it to say, I got complacent about safety and set up. I knew better, but, like most guys who find…
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