Safety First and other important thoughts
When we are outdoors, we sometimes forget about a few important facts in our life. We all are driven to be on the safe side of life. However, our safety concerns are often based on money, money, and money again.
With money, we can transfer our duties to somebody else. When we are doing something for fun or for wellness by visiting a cinema or a gym, we expect to find everything organized, because we pay a lot of money.
Mother nature does not care about that. Nothing is prepared and Mother nature can’t be paid with money. Forest recreation centers’ first aim is to care for the trees, for fauna and flora. And not to treat visitors, walkers, hikers. When we want to be outdoors, enjoying the nature and having fun, we can’t transfer these duties. We have to care for ourselves and additionally we have to respect mother nature’s needs.
Before planing a tour
To store snacks and drinks, a rucksack is the easiest way to carry things when walking and hiking. You don’t feel it as a load as it is carried on your back. When you want to undress, because it is warm, you can carry your unused clothes as well and it doesn’t bother. Vice versa, you can pack a rain jacket during summer and it doesn’t bother you, but in the worst case, you have it with you.
If you walk longer distances or in general with children, it’s not a bad idea to have a small first aid kit with you. A plaster can heal small wounds in seconds.
Here you can find suitable rucksacks, backpacks etc.
Weather can be unpredictable and the best option is to dress in layers. 3 thin layers are better than 1 thick sweater, and if it is too warm, you can get rid of some of them. A hooded jacket is valuable in any case. A warmer one for the winter and a lighter one for the summer.
When walking on forest roads and other natural paths, we will encounter large roots or small canals need to be crossed. Muddy spots challenge us. That’s why good walking shoes are definitely a plus.
nota bene: Good shoes doesn’t necessarily mean expensive shoes.They must fit and be waterproof. If you feel comfortable with them, the most important criteria are resolved.
Here is a link to search for outdoor clothing.
Planning the route:
Before we start for a walk or a hike on a natural path/trail, we should think about the following:
What distance do I/we want to walk or hike?
Do I/we have children with me/us and which age are they?
Where to go?
How long will it take approximately?
Do I need to carry something to eat and drink with me?
Can I reach the location by bus or do I need to go by car?
How will the weather be?
From my own experience, it doesn’t make too much sense to walk for 5 km or more if you outdoors with small children. Older children, however, are often excited to walk and explore. But they walk probably a longer distance than you do. They run forth and back and find something here and there which might be interesting. Having spare clothing with you might not be bad, as children could be attracted to any form of water. To keep children away from exploring the area destroys the whole wonderful day.
Don’t forget to take something along to eat and drink. The longer the trail, the more time you need, the better it is to have a thought on that. If I need an hour for a walk, then you might need the double of time if you walk with children. I always take something to drink with me. It is convenient to have it available and if it is in your car for “after the walk”
It doesn’t make sense to go for a walk to the beach during high tide. Best option is to take an app like “My Tide Times – Tables &Chart”. It’s available for iOS and Android. I use it myself and I am absolutely happy with it. Simply chose the nearest location and you know exactly when low and high tides happen. You will also find tide times for special location and whole Ireland as such on websites like https://www.tidetimes.co.uk/
In my blog post about Tracton Woods, I faced a large muddy place. And so my first task was to evaluate how to cross. Best option without slipping and getting too dirty. At another place, I had to find out how to choose the safest way to pass a fallen tree.
In such cases “Safety first” has the highest priority. You don’t have to kill yourself when being outdoors. Don’t risk more than necessary. If you’re facing such unplanned situations, please be careful and take your time. When being outdoors there is no goal to meet. There’s no rush. There’s no time limit.
In worst case always choose the safest option. It is no disgrace to interrupt and return.
Leave no trace
Nature can not fight back immediately and that’s why we have to respect and care for. Please take all the waste with you and do not dump it anywhere. In your backpack is always a bit of space for the smallest waste. Empty plastic and glass bottles, cigarette butts, plastic bags, beverage cartons and similar are better left in the recycling bin.
Have much fun, relax and come back safe and sound!