Safety Tips

Photo of Island Lake


General Safety Tips

  • Plan your route, check the weather, and be reasonable about travel distances.
  • Do not travel alone; take a companion with you.
  • Always let someone know where you are going and when you plan on returning.
  • Wear clothing to protect you from the elements, such as wide-brim hats for sun protection or long pants and sturdy shoes for protection from insects and sticks. Check the list of day-use gear.  Remember that you may run into snow and freezing temperatures in the mountains, even in summer.
  • Bring drinking water and high-energy snacks.  DO NOT drink from streams and lakes unless you have first properly filtered or treated the water.
  • Make sure to drink enough water to avoid dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration are headache, feelings of irritation and frustration, and more tiredness than warranted by the trip. If your headache persists after drinking plenty of water, you may have altitude sickness. Return to a lower elevation and seek medical attention if warranted.
  • Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes or boots suitable for the activity you have selected.
  • Keep a clean camp. Pack it in and pack it out. Visitors are asked to follow Leave No Trace principles when enjoying Shoshone National Forest.
  • Store food and other bear attractants properly, and be familiar with safety precautions for traveling and camping in bear country. Visit our Bear Safety page for more information.
  • Carry a map and compass and know how to use them.
  • Pay close attention to your surroundings and landmarks, and relate this to your location on a map.
  • Stay calm if you get lost. Try to remember how you got to your present location. Trust your map and compass, and do not walk aimlessly. If you are on a trail, do not leave it. Stay put if it is nightfall, if you are injured or if near exhaustion. As a last resort, follow a drainage or stream downhill. This can be hard going but will often lead to a trail or road.

Photo of a sign for Shoshone National Forest



Travel Precautions

  • Be aware of high traffic on winding roads
  • Watch out for animals on the road
  • Comply with speed limits
  • Be aware of the many pedestrian and trail crosswalks
  • Drive with your lights on