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Missouri Dept. of Conservation: Five safety tips before you hit the trails

Updated: Jun. 6, 2021 at 9:02 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Hiking is a great way to spend the day, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you hit the trails.

The Missouri Department of Conservation reminds of five particular tips before you hit the trails this spring and summer.

1) Prep before you head out

Make sure you have bug repellent and sunscreen because nobody wants a tick bite and a sunburn.

”Yes, we have ticks out there. It’s part of life in Missouri. If you spray down in advance, that will help repel the ticks,” said Francis Skalicky with the Missouri Department of Conservation.

2) Check out the trail map

So you know where you’re headed and how long it should take you.

”Before you go to an area, don’t just show up to the parking lot and start walking,” said Skalicky “All of our conservation areas and lots of other places have some kind of tail map. Sometimes those loop trails don’t exactly loop as cleanly as you want them to, so it’s always nice to know the outlay of the trail.”

3) Have a water bottle handy

The weather is warming up, and the last thing you want when you’re hiking the trails is to get dehydrated. Bring a full water bottle with you and fill up at water fountains when possible.

4) Watch out for snakes!

”If you are bitten by a snake the answer is a short one. Get medical help immediately. Call the emergency room or go to the doctor. Even if its a non-venomous snake, it can still hurt and become infected,” said Skalicky.

5) Take a buddy with you

”Obviously, if something goes wrong, you have an assistant right there. At the very least, if you hike by yourself, let somebody know where you’re going to be,” said Skalicky.

For fun trails to explore in Missouri, CLICK HERE.

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