Winter Safety |

Winter Safety

Kristofer B. Wakefield
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Dress in layers: It is important to have enough insulation to stay warm and also be able to remove enough to compensate for the body heat generated by physical exertion. Avoid cotton clothing in the snow, opt instead for cold-weather synthetics or wool, both of which offer good wet and dry insulation.

Wear sunscreen: The sun can be intense in the higher altitudes of snow country. The snow also reflects sunlight, increasing your exposure.

Wear sunglasses or goggles: In addition to blocking out intense sunlight, these can protect your eyes from stray branches over the trails.

Bring water: Most people think of water when it’s warm, but forget it when it’s cold. Don’t make that mistake. Outdoor activities can be strenuous and the higher altitudes lead to faster dehydration.

Leave your route: Make sure someone knows where you are going. If you become lost, it’s important for searchers to know where to begin looking.

Bring a map: Topographical maps are essential for any backcountry activities. Be sure you know how to read it before setting out. You should also have a compass for finding direction and a whistle to signal with if you become lost. Maps are available at Forest Service Ranger Stations and at most outdoors shops. Call the Tahoe National Forest main phone number at (530) 265-4531 for more information.

Prepare your vehicle: Make sure you have a winter emergency kit that includes chains, flares, matches, a flashlight and a blanket. It’s a good idea to add some energy bars, extra water and dry clothes.

Also keep two small candles in the kit, they can generate heat in a closed vehicle, but don’t let them burn while you sleep.

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