Before you lace up your boots, jump into the car and head up to your favorite Angeles National Forest destination, take the time to prepare. Just a little bit of information and a couple of extra supplies can go a long way in making your trip successful. It could even save your life!
The secret is to KNOW BEFORE YOU GO…

Unexpected things happen in the outdoors! Here’s a list of things to consider before you ever leave home:

1) Know the area and the route you plan to visit. Plan ahead and learn about the area by using guidebooks, maps, the internet and by calling the nearest Forest Service office responsible for the area. Make sure you know your route!

2) Know your physical capabilities. Use common sense and don’t go on a trip that you are not prepared for or plan a trip that is past your physical and skill capabilities.

3) Know the weather conditions and forecast. After you check the weather conditions and forecast, dress, pack your clothing and plan your trip accordingly. As we all know, forecasts aren’t always 100% accurate but they can give you a good idea of what to expect. If the weather turns bad, turn back.

4) Know what equipment to bring and the proper shoes and clothes for your activity. Layering your clothing is a great idea! Bring extra clothes so you can adapt to weather changes. 60 percent of your body’s heat loss is through your head. If it’s cold outside, covering your head will keep you warmer. High heels do not work well in rocky areas!

5) Know all necessary skills for your adventure and be prepared to use them. If you do not have all the technical skills you need go with someone else who has the experience. If you are going to an area where you need to read a detailed map, make sure you know how!

6) Know the regulations and rules for the area you are visiting. Some areas require you to have reservations or certain permits. If an area is closed do not go there. There may be rules about campfires or guidelines about wildlife.

7) Let someone else know where you are going. Leave a copy of your itinerary with at responsible person. Let them know where and what time you are going and when you plan to return. Don’t change your itinerary without letting someone know.

8) Don’t hike alone. It’s safest to hike or camp with at least one companion.

9) Know what to do in case of an emergency. Know ahead of time where the nearest telephone, ranger station or emergency help is. Remember, cell phones often do not work in remote areas. Know the signs of dehydration, heat stroke, heat exhaustion and hypothermia and how to treat them. Bring a first aid kit with you.

10) Always bring water with you, at least two liters per person.
Operate with the assumption that you may get lost or stay out longer than planned. Mountain water sources are not always year round, reliable or clean enough to drink. Always be prepared.

11) Remember other safety items: food, sunglasses, a pocket knife, insect repellant, first aid kit, flashlight, extra clothing.