Here are a few cold weather safety tips to keep you safe and warm during outdoor recreation pursuits.
1. No matter what activity you have planned, whether it is hiking, hunting, ice fishing, or bird watching, always tell someone where you are going and what you are doing. Make sure someone knows where you are going so they know what time to expect you back. It’s also a good idea to leave a note on your vehicle dashboard so Natural Resource Officers are aware of your approximate location and time of return.
2. As always, be prepared with water and first aid kit to prevent a minor incident from becoming an emergency. A few other additions to your backpack could include a flashlight, a map, and snacks. Ask for a Sandy Neck map at the gatehouse prior to your hike.
3. As with any activity outdoors, be realistic about your abilities, know what you are capable of accomplishing before heading out. Walking in soft sand can be very taxing on the body and uses a lot more energy than walking on a hard surface. Remember when you get to your destination you are only half way through your journey because you still have to make it back.
4. If driving off-road making sure to maintain safe speed and be aware of your surroundings. High tides are extreme in the winter months and will often cause the beach to pinch off trapping you and your vehicle. Exercise more caution during the winter months to avoid getting stuck on the beach and pay attention to the tide charts.
5. Be prepared for anything. Get updated weather information before you set off for a hike or drive and plan accordingly. Be ready for unexpected weather with extra clothing, gloves, and hats. If planning to be outside for a long period of time, bring extra layers to add as the temperature drops. Sandy Neck hats and sweatshirts can be purchased at the Sandy Neck gatehouse.
6. Hunters, hikers, and everyone else recreating outdoors should be wearing bright clothing to maintain visibility. Even during the winter there is a lot of activity in the great outdoors, always be aware and respectful of others using recreational areas.
Contact the Sandy Neck Gatehouse with any concerns you have while recreating at Sandy Neck at 508-362-8300.