Safety Tips For Your Exploration of the Blue Ridge Mountains

The Blue Ridge Mountains is a great way to spend your summer vacation. With our affordable family vacations the Mountains of North Carolina is a great way to get out and explore the High Country. We have many pet friendly cabins in NC so that, you, your family and friends, and your pet can enjoy the outdoors of the NC Mountains! There are many trails, waterfalls, picnic areas, swimming creeks, and tubing areas on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 4 Seasons Vacation Rentals and Sales is conveniently located near Boone, NC and the Blue Ridge Parkway, with trails located just minutes away! There are many tourist attractions in the NC Mountains! But before you go out on any kind of adventure we have provided some safety tips for your explorations!

Be prepared for emergencies. Bring a cell phone for use during emergencies and learn where emergency phones and help are located in the park.

Safety Tips
State parks are great places to explore nature. If you are planning an adventure in a state park, here are a few tips to make your visit safer:

For other safety tips or for an explanation of park rules, contact park staff.

Travel with a friend; don't go alone.

Get a weather report for the area, and wear the proper clothes and equipment. Bring additional clothing for unexpected weather.

Be prepared for emergencies. Bring a cell phone and the phone number of the state park you're visiting for use during emergencies. Learn where emergency phones and help are located in the park.

Consider planning your route using US Geological Survey topographical maps, especially if you are traveling long distances through secluded wilderness.

Leave your trip information, including the time you'll return from your state park visit, with a responsible person.

Remember to bring water for both you and your pets.

Avoid overexertion. Heat and wind may be tiring and may cause dehydration.

Insects and Snakes
Ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes and other insects may be encountered in the park. Insect repellent should be used.

Venomous snakes may be encountered along park trails. Be cautious and alert. Treat any encounter with snakes with caution and respect.

Poison oak and poison ivy may be found along park trails. Be alert.

If You Are Lost
No one expects to get lost in the woods, but it sometimes happens. If one day you become lost, don't worry! Our park rangers and search and rescue teams will find you. In the meantime, here are some tips that will help you survive and help our search teams find you quickly.

Stop, look and listen. Do you see a familiar landmark? Do you hear traffic noises? If not, stay in one place and do not wander. If you are lost, park rangers will notice your vehicle in the parking lot. Or, if you leave a trip plan with a friend or relative, they will call the park when you don't arrive home on time. Immediately, park rangers and search and rescue teams will begin looking for you. The people who are looking for you search for clues that will lead them to you. So, if you stay in one place, you will be found faster and you will not walk away from the searchers who are following the trail you have already left. Also, if you are lost and begin running around trying to find out where you are, especially in the dark, you risk falling or injuring yourself.

Stick together. If you are hiking with a friend or a pet, never split up. Stay together. Not only will you have a companion there to comfort you while waiting for the rescuers, your friend or pet is a good source of warmth. If you become cold, huddle together to get warm.

Keep warm and dry. Your clothes will help you stay warm, so don't take them off. In cool weather, zip up or button your jacket and put on a hat and mittens, if you have them. To keep dry, find a waiting place that is out of the wind and rain. But, be careful to choose a place where searchers can see you. Sometimes the best place to stay is under a large tree. Never lie on the cold, bare ground except if you are signaling to an aircraft overhead. If you want to lie down, build a thick mattress using branches, moss, leaves and other natural items. Once you are on the mattress, you can use more moss and leaves as a blanket but make sure something colorful is noticeable in case someone looking for you walks nearby.

Attract attention. Put out something bright or make something that will draw attention to where you are. Hang white paper or tie a hair ribbon on a tree limb. Put a shiny coin in a place where a rescuer might see it. Spell 'Help' or 'SOS' on the ground using rocks and sticks, or create a large arrow on the ground pointing to where you are. Make anything that will attract attention.

Help rescuers find you. If you hear someone or something coming, make a noise. If the noise is an animal, it will run away. If the noise is someone looking for you, the person will come to you. Never run in the direction of the noise. If your waiting place is near an open space like a meadow and you hear an aircraft coming, you should go to the open place, lay down and wave your arms and legs. This will help searchers see you better from the air. Stand up immediately after the aircraft passes so you won't get cold from lying on bare ground.

Be careful of what you put in your mouth. Do not eat anything you are unsure of. Wild berries, fruit and mushrooms may make you sick. If you must have drinking water, lick dew off forest leaves.

Stay calm and don't worry. Take comfort in knowing that people are looking for you.

(The information on what to do when lost was based on 'Child Survival: Lost in the Woods' by Wake County Public Safety and the Wake County Emergency Management Division.)

Trip Planning and Supplies
If you are planning a long trip through state park wilderness, it is a good idea to share your trip plans with a relative, friend or responsible person such as a park ranger.

Tell them where you're going and when you will return, the names of people going with you, your vehicle type and color, and your license plate number.

Stick with your trip plan or notify the responsible party of any changes.

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