Close-up image of cyclist holding a pair of AfterShokz OpenMove wireless headphones
Close-up image of cyclist holding a pair of AfterShokz OpenMove wireless headphones
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Outdoor Safety Tips Every Adventurer Should Know

When thinking about outdoor safety, one word immediately comes to mind: preparedness. 

Nature is an endless source of joy and wonder. But can also be cruel, unforgiving, and unpredictable. This split personality is, I believe, what makes spending time outdoors so rewarding; delighting in beauty while simultaneously challenging your body and your mind.

At the end of the day, if any one of us were to be pitted against the full force of nature without support, there would only ever be one winner. But our ability as a species to plan ahead, share knowledge, and use tools means that in the course of life, we most likely won’t find ourselves in a situation like that. 

And so the very best outdoor safety advice has always been (and will always be) along the same lines:

  1. Respect nature
  2. Educate yourself
  3. Plan ahead
  4. Carry the right kit 

A fifth piece of advice is to stay alert. The number of times I see people outdoors with their headphones in, blocking out sound… It just seems like an accident waiting to happen. It’s one of the reasons AfterShokz open-ear technology is so cool because it means you can listen to music as well as being alert to your surroundings. Below are a few more tips on preparing for the elements.

How To Handle Getting Lost

I once got lost in Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, CA. I was with my wife and 3-month-old daughter. Our guides had left us to attend to a family emergency. We took a wrong turn trying to get back to the car. 

We had no water, no food, no outdoor clothes, and no cell reception.

Oh! And it was evening.... 

After an hour of ever-rising panic, we spotted a small group of people and tagged along, eventually we got back to our vehicles (which were the last two vehicles in the park) and headed home in the darkness.

In the grand scheme of things, it was not the most dramatic experience. It was only an hour after all. Our friends knew roughly where we were and would have alerted the authorities. But it was nevertheless one of the most terrifying experiences of my life, largely because of our baby.

Never. Again.

Telling people where you are going is probably the single most important thing you can do from a safety point of view. Be as precise as you can about location and timing. This was the only thing that stopped the blind panic setting in for me.

It’s also a really good idea to know how to read a map and use a compass for all but the shortest, best-marked, simplest trails. You may also consider investing in a GPS tracker (or even an app on your phone) but I personally would never want to rely on technology alone. Understanding basic navigation skills is essential for outdoor safety.

For longer trips to the backcountry and folks who are ultra-cautious, you may want to invest in a personal locator beacon.

I could go on about this topic all day, so if you’re interested in more information about managing a situation where you get lost, you might want to read this article.

How To Prepare For Bad Weather 

Thankfully, I haven’t personally had a really bad experience with the weather. I do remember my friend struggling on one occasion when I was in college, though. Some of us were going camping in the mountains and the weather didn’t look great. My friend asked to tag along and when we set up camp 10 miles from the nearest road, we discovered he’d bought a comforter and a pillow.

No sleeping pad. No sleeping bag. Just a comforter and a pillow. Which got wet almost immediately!

He had a seriously cold trip, hardly got any sleep, and in retrospect was lucky that was as bad as it got.<