Fall safety tips in the woods

Fall is a great time to be outside enjoying the cooler air and colors of the trees. Think about safety when hiking or exploring the woods this time of year.

Many people enjoy the woods during the fall months. Hikers enjoy taking walks to see the color and the wildlife that is around. Hunters are out getting ready for the season and preparing to harvest some wild game. Others might be out in the woods cleaning up from the falling leaves or taking dogs for walks.

No matter the reason you’re in the woods in the fall, it is important we think about ways to keep ourselves safe. Michigan State University Extension offers the following tips for enjoying the woods and staying safe.

Clothing. Fall days and nights can be a little cooler one day and warmer the next. Wear layers of clothes so that clothing can be taken off or added if the weather changes. Also, with hunting season in November, it is important to wear bright colors, preferably hunter orange. This will help hunters identify you as a person, not an animal.

Flashlights and phones. Exploring any place in the dark can be scary, so make sure you have a flashlight handy. Many phones now have flashlights installed on them. There are many obstacles in the woods and it is important to see where you are going. A phone can come in handy as well if you get lost or turned around.

Compass or GPS unit. Getting turned around in the woods is very easy to do. Make sure you know where you started and where you are headed. Having a compass or GPS is a great tool. On your GPS, you can mark your starting spot and see where you are at while exploring.

Communicating with others when you are going to the woods is one of the most important things you can do to stay safe. Let someone know what your plans are and when you plan to be back. In case of an emergency or if something happens, someone knows where you went and how long you have been gone.

Michigan State University Extension wants everyone to enjoy the beautiful nature and outdoors in the fall, but remember these tips to stay safe.

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