Darkness is setting in as you start to try and orient yourself on the trail, miles away from your car. Unsure of where you are, and not prepared to spend the night outdoors, what do you do next?
As you enjoy 1,100 miles of trails on DNR-managed lands, stay safe by planning ahead. Here are some tips:
- Check for recreation alerts in the forest you’ll be exploring before you go.
- Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return.
- Orient yourself with the trail. DNR has many trail maps you can print and navigate with a mobile device.
- Bring a first aid kit and the ten essentials, like these suggested from the Washington Trails Association.
- Hike within your own abilities and allow yourself to turn back early if necessary.
- Although cell service is often unavailable, it’s still a good precaution to have a charged mobile phone with you for an emergency call or text.
For more information about the best ways to keep your trips safe and fun, visit our recreation guide. For emergencies, dial 911.
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