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Enjoying America's National Parks Safely

Oct 31, 2007
Although a vacation to a National Park or other great camping locations will certainly result in a memorable experience, it is important to utilize caution any time you go hiking or stay in the wilderness. Although wild creatures are very beautiful and being near to them is a thrill, there are still risks involved with these types of activities. By following certain precautions, however, you can be certain that your vacation is memorable for all of the right reasons.

One tip to remember is that you should actually make noise while hiking the trails within a National Park. If you are quiet, you might accidentally sneak up on a wild creature, which can cause the animal to panic. When an animal becomes frightened, it sometimes does things that it normally wouldn't do - such as attack a human. So, this is one of the rare times that you actually want to encourage the children to be bit noisy if you are traveling with young ones!

When hiking in a National Park or other wilderness area, you should also be sure to stay on the marked trails. While it may be tempting to go off of the trails, it simply isn't safe unless you know what you are doing and are properly prepared. The trails that are marked are maintained by the park in order to ensure that they are safe for visitors.

In addition, if you become injured, it will make it much more difficult for you to be found if you are not on marked trails. Furthermore, you may accidentally stumble upon a den or other animal burrow, which will force that animal to protect its home from you. This could result in injury or even death if you are not careful. For your own safety, it is very important that you stay on the trails as they are marked.

If you are camping in the wilderness, you will need to follow additional precautions. For example, all of your food needs to be strung up high above you and away from camp. Otherwise, wild creatures such as bears will come to steal your food from you. Not only will this leave you hungry, it puts you at risk of getting harmed. Anything that might smell edible, even your toothpaste, should be included in the sack that you put high in the sky away from camp.

In addition, do not leave garbage lying around. Not only is this inviting a confrontation with an animal, it also harms the animals as they lose their hunting skills and rely on garbage from humans instead.
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