Regardless of whether you are birdwatching, walking a trail or boating, a true “wilderness experience” requires proper preparation. To ensure your personal safety, consider the following guidelines before you go:
- File a Float Plan (does someone know where you are going and when you will return?)
- Wear your life jacket while onboard a vessel.
- Carry a compass, chart, and whistle.
- Bring plenty of water and snacks, even if you are only expecting to be out for a short trip.
- Be aware of weather and tide conditions.
It is also within reason to anticipate a wildlife encounter. Bears, panthers, snakes, fire ants and poison ivy could pose risk to visitors who are ill prepared and/or are not alert for these potential hazards. Have a camera handy, however, keep your distance from any wildlife for your own safety and that of the wildlife.