As the weather continues to warm and the National Weather Service forecasting record high temperatures this weekend, Forest Service and National Park Service officials are asking visitors to recreate responsibly. Public lands are a great place to enjoy or escape the heat, but the higher temperatures pose some challenges and risks. By following these safety tips during hot summer days everyone can help keep public lands and neighboring communities safe:
- Stay hydrated.
- During hot weather, you will need to increase your fluid intake. Plan to bring .5-1L of water per hour of your visit, per person, and don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink it.
- Dress appropriately.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Use sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses when outdoors.
- Do not over challenge yourself.
- There are plenty of recreation opportunities on the peninsula for everyone’s experience and skill level. There is no shame in turning around if the trail is too strenuous or you are not properly prepared – your friends and family will thank you.
Those hoping to visit a lake or river on public lands are reminded:
- Bodies of water are colder than expected.
- Warm air doesn’t always mean warm water in lakes, streams, or oceans. Enter bodies of water slowly as cold water can drain body heat quickly and lead to cold shock or hypothermia.
- Bring a life jacket.
- In many areas, state law requires life jackets aboard most boats and personal watercraft, including paddleboards and kayaks – especially for children. Make sure your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard approved, and check to make sure it fits securely and is rated to support the weight of the person who will wear it.
- Forest and Park wide:
- High use and heavy congestion are expected along roadways adjacent to lakes and rivers. Be patient and alert as there may be individuals crossing roadways.
- If a parking lot is full be prepared with an alternative plan to visit another area. Do not park along roadsides.
- Leave valuables at home if you don’t need them; keep critical items on your person. Thefts from vehicles parked at recreation sites do occur.
- Ensure campfires are out. If it’s too hot for your hand it is too hot to leave.