Having a Safe Summer Outdoors

A guest post BY TRISTAN ROBERTS

Tristan Roberts is a writer and agent who sells real estate in the Tahoe area and who loves spending every minute he can on the Lake Tahoe shores.

Emerald Bay State Park, photo © Claire Toney

Emerald Bay State Park, photo © Claire Toney

This time of year America’s parks and lakes fill up with families enjoying beautiful scenery and weather. I know that the Lake Tahoe lakefront fills up with locals and visitors alike so quickly that it can become difficult to find enough space to lay out a towel. Unfortunately, extreme heat, unfamiliar terrain, and risky behaviors can lead to injuries. By following just a few simple tips you can avoid any trouble and have a fun, safe summer outdoors.

  • Dehydration

One of the most common causes of summer hospital visits for people of all ages is dehydration. Drinking enough water is important at any time of year, but if you’re spending your days outside in the sun and the heat, it becomes critical. Drinking anywhere from 8-10 8oz glasses of water each day can help fend off dehydration, and paying close attention to your body will help you catch any symptoms early.

If you notice that you’re hot but you aren’t sweating, or if you develop dry mouth, get out of the sun and start pushing fluids. If you feel dizzy, weak, or faint, you may need to seek medical care. Be sure to avoid liquids that dehydrate you, such as coffee or caffeinated soda.

  • Sun burns

As unpleasant as a mild burn can be, nobody wants to cope with a hospital-worthy sun burn. Many people forget that when they’re next to a body of water, the sun is hitting them from two directions. Obviously remember your sunscreen, but if you’re going to be out in the sun for most of the day, keep a long-sleeved, light colored shirt handy to protect your skin from as much exposure as you can. Choose breathable fabrics that will allow you to keep cool as well.

  • Don’t go alone

The buddy system exists for a reason. Hiking or swimming alone is just dangerous behavior. Just ask the guy from “127 Hours.” Bringing a friend will add to your fun and prevent any situation where you wind up stranded alone.

  • Know the rules

Whether you’re on the water or in a state park, know the rules. Do you need a life vest? Are there wild animals who you should prepare to encounter? Will you require some kind of license or permit? Whatever you’re doing this summer, investigate any rules or regulations that you’ll need to follow before you head out so that you’ll be prepared for any event.

Enjoy your safe summer in the parks!

Show us Why You’re Defending State Parks

As you saw last week, we launched our new Defend What’s Yours PSAs and awareness campaign. We’ve had great response from all of you, so thank you for getting involved and sharing these videos with everyone you know!

See the other PSAs here.

Because you have all had some really great things to say about parks and defending what’s yours, we thought it would be fun if YOU make the next video. So here’s what we have in mind:

  • Make a video about why you love state parks, or about why you want to defend state parks from closure.
  • It doesn’t have to be shot in a state park. Use your web cam if you want! It doesn’t matter, we just want to hear what you have to say because you are passionate about state parks and your voice matters.
  • Make the video as short at 10 seconds or as long as you want.
  • Don’t worry about being artsy fartsy. It can be raw and sincere and still be totally awesome. Use the Defend What’s Yours image below in your video if you want to brand it to the campaign.
  • Upload your video to YouTube and tag us in your description or post it on our Facebook page so we know you made it. (Or if you don’t want to upload it just contact us and we can upload it for you.)  We will share it with our friends and members so we can hear your individual voices.

We hope the Defend What’s Yours campaign has inspired you and that you will “show” us why you are defending state parks!

Defend What’s Yours—Your State Parks

Today we are announcing the launch of a new public awareness campaign called Defend What’s Yours. This is the message we are bringing to the public (in more or less words):

‘California state parks belong to you, but not for long. Six months from now 25 percent of your parks will be closed unless you step up to defend them.’

It’s a strong message, but we believe public awareness is necessary in this moment to empower citizen action and mobilize grassroots support to save the nation’s biggest and best state park system.

As part of the big launch today, we unveiled a new series of television public service announcements (PSAs) that will air statewide starting this week. Take a look at one here:

See the other PSAs on our YouTube channel.

It’s time to say enough is enough. Enjoy the videos, and please join us in this fight to defend state parks. Do you want to be a defender?