With the warm weather, now is the time to head out fishing, or hiking, or biking. But whatever the activity, make sure someone else knows where you’re going, and when you’ll be back. Of course, remember to get in touch with your emergency contact when you’re safely back in your car.

When out in the backcountry, assume your cellphone and e-devices may not work. And, be certain to carry these ten essential items:

1. Navigation devices (map and compass, or GPS)
2. Sun protection (sunglasses, sunscreen)
3. Insulation (extra clothing)
4. Illumination (headlamp or flashlight)
5. First-aid supplies
6. Fire-making tools (waterproof matches, lighter, candles)
7. Repair kit and tools
8. Extra food
9. Extra water
10. Emergency shelter

If you do become lost, stay put. It’s easier for rescuers to find you. If you’re injured, staying in place may prevent your injury from getting worse. And be certain to stay as dry as you can. When you are wet, you lose body heat much faster risking hypothermia.
Create a shelter if you can with tree branches and pine boughs to block the wind. Build a floor of leaves or pine boughs to keep your body off the ground, which can drain your body heat.

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