Safety tips for the great outdoors

(NC) Spending time in the great outdoors can be awe-inspiring yet challenging. With a little preparation and know-how, you can keep outdoor adventures safe and still exciting. For those who plan to relax at a campground or hit the trail as the weather gets warmer, keep these three simple tips in mind.

Prepare for unpredictable weather
Inclement weather can arrive quickly and unexpectedly, so it’s smart to get oriented with a campsite or park when you arrive. Make sure you can locate nearby shelters in case you need to wait out a bad storm, and keep a portable radio on hand to watch for weather updates. If you hear a storm is on the way, secure tents and tarps with durable rope and shock-absorbing tie-downs to help you withstand strong winds.

Pack the right gear
Whether you’re camping overnight or planning a day trip, bring a waterproof or windproof outer layer and have layers on hand in case the temperatures start to dip. Always bring a first aid kit with antiseptics for cuts, pain relievers and anti-itch cream. If hiking is part of your adventure plans, invest in a trail map, carry a compass and whistle, and don't rely on your phone since service may be spotty and drain your battery.

Practice campfire safety
Build your campfire in a pit or bare patch of dirt and keep it low and away from brush. Tend to your fire or grill at all times and ensure that it’s completely extinguished before leaving your campsite or going to bed for the night. Be prepared for an emergency by packing a compact, lightweight extinguishing device such as the First Alert EZ Fire Spray, which has a familiar spray-can design with no pins or levers so you canjust point and spray.

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