Hiking and Outdoor Safety

hiking Outdoor Safety Anchorage

As you ramp up your vacation plans, remember our mission at Verging Dynamics is to make a difference in the lives of people.  We do this by emphasizing safety at work because we all have families and loved ones who care about us and depend on us for so much more than just putting bread on the table.

Verging Dynamics wants to focus on the whole person and not just working relationships and safety environments.  Therefore, we want to spend this month’s post going over some more safety considerations for the summer.

Water Activities:  Most drowning fatalities are the result of either not wearing life jacket properly, or at all, or the involvement of alcohol.  For life jackets, give each other the “lift test” to make sure that if you pull upward on the shoulder straps, the life jacket doesn’t slip over the person’s head.

It’s also important to realize that victims of drowning often don’t look like you’d imagine they would according to most stereotypes of drown victims in the media and movies. Rather than the “violent, splashy call for help.”  Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children under 15.  Around half of childhood drownings occur within 25 yards of an adult.  Look for the victim to NOT have waving or flailing arms and their mouth to bob up and down in the water while trying to breathe. Eyes may be closed or hair fallen over their face and they may resemble climbing an invisible ladder.

Hiking in the Backcountry:  If you’re going on a hike, whether it’s with a group or by yourself, always tell someone where you’re going and when you’re planning to return.  This acts as a backstop for when the “poop hits the oscillator,” and the unexpected actually happens.

Do a quick Internet search or call the local ranger office regarding hazardous animals in the area.  Many people fear bears as the biggest predators in the US.  Black bears are non-territorial and are naturally curious.  They can quickly become habituated to human food waste and any food left unattended, which makes them become unafraid of people.  Therefore, protect yourself and others by scaring them away with a loud voice an waving your arms or banging on pots.  Grizzly bears, found out West are territorial and will attack if they want to.  Play dead with grizzly attacks, but if it’s a black bear (and attacks are extremely rare with the blacks) fight back, going for the eyes, nose, and ears.

Remember, a little research and knowledge goes a long way in keeping yourself and loved ones safe and sound.  It’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.  Go out and have an adventure, and, remember that coming home safely is number 1!

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