Safety for Visitors to the National Forests
The National Forests offer a variety of recreation opportunities in vastly contrasting natural settings. You must be prepared to take care of yourself. As a general precaution, travel with another person and/or tell a responsible person where you plan to be and when you plan to return. Know basic first aid and carry a suitable kit.
Be aware of the weather! Weather conditions can change quickly during any season in the forest and are especially unpredictable when you reach high altitudes. Plan your outing and clothing accordingly!
Thunderstorms and lightening activity can move in without warning. Avoid high ridge tops, open areas and large trees or rock outcrops during storms and lightening activity. Always take extra food, clothing and shelter.
Better to be safe than sorry! All drinking water should be filtered, boiled or treated, as giardia exists in many natural water sources.
To check water availability visit the USGS real time flow site.
In case of serious injury, treat the victim to the extent of your abilities and send for help. Leave one person with the victim, and then notify the local Ranger District or County Sheriff; they will take the steps to activate the local search and rescue.
If you plan to visit bear country make sure you obtain and understand special safety and food regulations. Be aware of where bears live, eat, and travel. Food odors can attract hungry or curious bears and other animals too, so it is important to store your food properly. In some areas, this means using bear-proof boxes and panniers.