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Staying Safe in Our National Parks

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, so all of us at Resurgens Orthopaedics encourage you to spend some time in the great outdoors enjoying our nation’s many gorgeous national parks.  With over a dozen national parks here in Georgia you have plenty of options to explore close to home.  Whether you want to brush up on some Civil War history at Kennesaw Mountain or just enjoy the scenic splendor of the Chattahoochee River, Georgia’s national parks have so much to offer.  Of course, we want you to stay safe at all time, so here are a few tips from our staff that will help you prevent injuries or other issues while you enjoy the national parks here in Georgia (or anywhere else for that matter).

Hiking Safety

Going for a hike in a national park is a great way to get some exercise while you gain a deeper appreciation for nature.  Of course, nature can be a dangerous place so it’s important to follow a few precautions if you plan to go hiking.

First, it’s always a good idea to hike with a partner so that if one of you becomes lost or injured, the other can go for help.  If you absolutely must hike alone, be sure to tell a friend or family member where you’re going so it will be easier to find you if you run into problems.

When it comes to wildlife, even seemingly gentle creatures can be dangerous if spooked, so if you see any animals, it’s best to just observe them; don’t bother them in any way.  And if you see a dangerous animal like a bear or venomous snake, it’s best to quietly leave the area as quickly as possible.

Camping Safety

Some national parks have campsites where you can set up for the night and sleep under the stars.  Once again, it’s important to remember that nature can be a dangerous place, so if you’ve never been camping before, it’s a good idea to bring an experienced outdoorsman along with you.

Also remember that your food and camping supplies can attract predators and scavengers, so be sure to pack all food in a sealed cooler and hang it from a tree branch away from your campsite.

The Importance of Socks

If you want to avoid painful blisters, a few good pairs of socks should be high up on your list of hiking or camping gear.  Do yourself a favor and leave the crew socks at home in favor of some tall hiking socks.  This provides a number of benefits; first of all, hiking socks’ thick material will prevent blisters and wick sweat away from your feet, keeping them dry and comfortable.

Second, wearing tall socks will allow you to tuck your long pants into them, which is an excellent way to keep ticks from bothering you, reducing your risk of contracting Lyme disease.

No matter which parks you decide to enjoy this month, please stay safe out there.  These recommendations are a good start but you may want to do some research or talk to an expert for other safety tips.  From all of us at Resurgens Orthopaedics, have a great time patronizing our national parks, not just in July, but all year around!