“In June, we celebrate America’s natural and cultural treasures and rich bounty of resources, and we recommit to upholding our responsibility, as those who came before us did, to ensure they are sustained for those who will inherit them.” – President Barack Obama, 2016 Great Outdoors Month Proclamation
National Great Outdoors Month is upon us and there are plenty of ways to celebrate. Hiking, biking, mountain climbing, and any variety of other outdoor sports are all fair game.
In addition, Great Outdoors Month has several particular dates of interest:
- Free fishing opportunities during National Fishing and Boating Week (June 4-12). Most states are offering these opportunities, with or without a fishing license.
- Get an introduction to boating on National Marina Day (June 11). http://www.nationalmarinaday.org
- Visit public lands and reconnect with the great outdoors on National Get Outdoors Day (June 11).
- Join your fellow Americans for s’mores for the Great American Campout (June 25). Citizens of thirteen participating states will have the opportunity to campout at their Governor’s house or a nearby State or Federal Park.
Things to consider when embarking on your outdoor adventure:
- Check the weather before you head out and know the signs of an approaching storm.
- Get a feel for the wildlife you might encounter before you leave and how to react if you encounter some.
- Take a break when you need it. Eat a granola bar, take a sip of water.
- Check your equipment. Break in your hiking boots and get your bike checked out if it’s been sitting in the garage for a while.
- Wear clothing appropriate to your outing. Sunscreen, insect repellent, and sunglasses are never a bad idea. For hiking and other activities that take place in wilderness areas, contemplate wearing bright colors.
- Know where you’re going—plot your route before you go—and make sure you follow markers on the trail, for your own safety and to avoid contributing to local erosion.
- Carry an emergency kit with a few basics in the event of emergency.
- Consider learning basic first aid. Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hypothermia, dehydration, and poison ivy, and how to treat them. You can review that information on this chart, featuring material compiled from the Mayo Clinic.
Gather your friends and family and head outdoors this June. Have a fun adventure and stay safe!