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Hiking is one of the best ways to spend time in the great outdoors.  Whether you’re hiking alone or in a group, be sure to follow the written and unwritten rules of the trail. Proper hiking etiquette helps instill respect for other trail users, and it promotes stewardship of the land. The best thing you can do when hiking is to remember the “golden rule”: treat others the way you would want to be treated. Here are some main points of hiking etiquette. Know your right of way. Check signage for the trail you are hiking, and follow the correct...

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The warm sunshine on your face, the sound of the wind rushing through the trees overhead, and the soft earthy feel of the trail under your boots. Not only are these experiences enjoyable to have, but they’re good for you, too. Hiking is proven to have many health benefits, ranging from physical exercise you get when out on the trail, to emotional or mental relief that comes from being in nature. Hiking in Canyonlands National Park NPS Photo / M. Reed Physical Exercise Hiking is one of the best ways to get exercise. No matter what type of trail you...

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Prepare - Gear Up! Identify your equipment. Every camping trip will have its own equipment needs based on the setting, time of year, difficulty, and duration. Take time to identify the essential tools and supplies you'll need for a successful and safe adventure. Start with this top 10 Essentials list1: Navigational supplies: Include a map, GPS unit, and compass. Sun and insect protection: Pack sunscreen, a hat, insect repellent, sunglasses, etc. Insulation: Always bring extra clothing in case of cold weather conditions and precipitation or wind. Shelter: Whether you're on the trail or at camp, make sure to have an...

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                      <p dir="ltr"><strong>Be aware.</strong> Be alert while on the trail, and always be on the lookout for bears. Keep an eye out for fresh tracks, scat, other signs (torn up logs, digging, fresh claw marks on trees), and carrion (carcasses) in the area.</p> <p dir="ltr">Check with individual parks to find out what kind of bears can be found in the park and if any areas are closed for bear management. Stay out of these areas!</p> Know when you are entering bear country, and know what kind of habitat may be holding...

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Water-related accidents are among the most common cause of death in some of our nation’s most visited parks, forests and waterways. Many drowning victims were not trying to swim but were simply engaging in activities as innocent as wading, taking photos or playing along the stream bank. Those victims attempting to swim in swift waters overestimated their swimming ability and underestimated river currents. None of these drowning victims suspected that tragedy was about to overwhelm them. Spring and summer activities often find visitors and their children near rivers and streams, enjoying nature's serene sounds or cooling sore feet from a...

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