Land Steward Brandon Perry shared a few of his best tips and tricks for staying safe and having fun on the trails this summer as temps get hotter and some wildlife become more active!
Keep an eye out for snakes. Snakes are friends and we don’t harm them. Please be careful when hiking and give them plenty of space. Snakes are often found sunning on rocks or hiking trails. When not working on their tan, they will hide under debris or in shady spots. Always be careful when stepping over obstructions or reaching into or around logs and rocks. The space just might be occupied! If you do encounter a snake, back away slowly or provide a wide berth. It is difficult to get into the strike zone of a snake this time of year. Chances are the snake will warn you or head the other way.
Ticks are especially prevalent this season. Always check yourself and pets for ticks after hiking. But in order to avoid them, we suggest using a bug spray with DEET, permethrin or picaridin. Wear light-colored protective clothing and tuck your pant legs into socks. Stick to the trails to avoid areas that ticks commonly reside, like tall grasses or other vegetation.
If you do find a tick, the best way to prevent the spread of tick-borne infections is to remove any “biters” within four hours. Tweezers or tick keys are the suggested method of removal, just make sure that the tick’s head is removed from the site.
Pro Tip: Bring a sticky lint roller and roll it along your clothing at the end of your hike to pick up any ticks that might be hanging on to the fabric or too small to easily spot.
Be sure to bring drinking water on your adventure. Hiking involves sweating and sweating requires rehydration. Safety first and know that you will be thirsty on your way out of the woods.
Consider bringing a hiking stick, especially to assist on steep, difficult trails. They are inexpensive and can help you keep your balance to avoid injuries.
Bring along a trail map! It is important to always know your location. You can find Trail Maps for all Land Trust nature preserves at landtrustnal.org/trailmaps. GPS on your phone can be helpful but consider bringing a paper copy of the map in case your phone dies during your hike. Land Trust Members can access a free map app to track their hike. Not a member? Join at landtrustnal.org/join-today.
Did we miss something? Share your tips and suggestions for summer outdoor adventures!