Outdoor Safety / Day-Hike Checklist

Pay Close attention to your surroundings and landmarks, and relate this to your location on a map.

Stay calm if you get lost. Panic is your greatest enemy. Try to remember how you got to your present location.

Trust your map and compass, and do not walk aimlessly. If you are on a trail, don't leave it.

Stay put if it is nightfall, if you are injured, or if you are near exhaustion. traveling after darkness has resulted in many accidents from falls, so travel only during daylight. 

Weather conditions. Weather can change very quickly. Know the signs for approaching storms or changing weather conditions. Even in the summer, exposure to wind and rain can result in hypothermia. 

Avoiding Lightning. If you are caught above the tree line when a storm approaches, descend quickly. Avoid isolated trees. It is better to run into a forest.  Avoid bare ridge tops, exposed places, lone trees, streams and rocks during lighting storms. If you are caught in an open field, seek a low spot. Crouch with your feet together and head low. Don't sit or lie down because these positions will provide much more contact with the ground, proving a wider path for lighting to follow.