Following simple trail safety tips can help keep you prepared during the summer and avoid problems such as dehydration, accidents and injury. Proper preparation is the key to enjoying your activity in the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks.
Dehydration is a major concern for outdoor activities, especially in summer. Drinking water before, during and after your activity is the best way to stay hydrated. Most people are not aware that thirst can be an early sign of dehydration, so drink before you’re thirsty. Water is generally not available at the staging areas or along the trails, so it’s important to bring your own. A good rule of thumb to follow is to bring 1 liter, or 32 ounces, of water for each hour, per person.
“Many of our programs are in areas or on trails that offer little or no cover,” said Irvine Ranch Conservancy Interpretive Specialist Brian Hughes. “Specialized gear is generally not needed; however, wearing a loose-fitting shirt with long sleeves, a hat and sunscreen will help participants keep safe from the hot sun.”
Being prepared can also help avoid accidents or injury on the trail. For most activities within the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, close-toed shoes are required. Sturdy hiking shoes are recommended for the more strenuous hikes with steep or rocky trails. Mountain bikers and equestrians should wear helmets for protection. Participants should bring allergy medications and information about any health-relation issues that might arise.
Being safe on the trail actually begins at home by choosing an activity suited to your interest and skill level. Most activities at www.LetsGoOutside.org will rate the activity by difficulty level. Review the event description and compare the difficulty to make sure this is an activity for you. If not sure, try a shorter or slower activity first. For more trail tips on how to be safe, please visit www.LetsGoOutside.org/activities/trail-tips.