Outdoors expert warns of ‘7 sins of summer safety'

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A lot of people will head out of town during this holiday weekend to spend time in the outdoors, and not everyone will be as prepared as they should be for the unexpected.

There are many, many items designed to help you if you do get into trouble, but you don't need a lot of fancy, expensive gadgets. There are some very simple things you can do, and should do, every time you head outdoors.

**7 Sins of Summer Safety**
1. **Ignoring the power of lightning strikes.** Lightning strikes from all angles and directions. "If you can hear it, it can hurt you." 2. **Neglecting protection against mosquitoes, ticks and other insects.** West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease are just some of the deadly insect-delivered illnesses you need to guard against. 3. **Failure to protect yourself from the sun.** Wear the proper clothing and use sunscreen. 4. **Caught without emergency backup power & lightning.** Electrical power is a vital component in any emergency situation. 5. **Inadequate emergency first aid plan, first aid kit.** Be prepared to handle a medical situation on your own. 6. **Allowing your body to go hyperthermic** Hyperthermic conditions can lead to heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke. 98.6 degrees isn't a suggestion, it's mandatory. 7. **No alternate communication plan.** Communication is the number one key to any survival situation. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. Getting trapped without an alternative communication plan to call for help can quickly turn into a life or death situation. -*Brian Brawdy, Survival Expert*
"I would say the mindset that I find most prevalent in folks is that: ‘It will never happen to me,'" said outdoor adventure expert. But it does every year! Hikers get lost, stranded, hurt, dehydrated, and many times have to be rescued.

Brawdy, in town for the Outdoor Retailers Summer Market, appears regularly on TV and writes extensively about outdoor safety. He's come up with what he calls the "7 Sins of Summer Safety".

Brawdy says the No. 1 mistake people make before heading someplace is not having a communication plan.

"If we don't let folks know when we're leaving, when we plan on arriving, and when we're going to be back, we could be lost and no one would know to look for us," he said.

Some areas of concern: People often neglect to bring a first aid kit when they're hiking; sunscreen and protective clothing will protect you from harmful rays from the sun; a hands-free light, all-purpose tool and a solar-power radio are a must; and don't forget the bug spray -- insects can take the fun out of any outdoor trip.

Of course, you can never have enough water. Even in remote areas, you can purify water in an instant with portable purification systems.

"It has a three-stage system. The carbon knocks out the bad taste, the filter, but the viurstat cartridge, it's a water purifier. It's the only thing that comes in its own setup. And you have fresh water to drink," Brawdy said.

The bottom line, really, is to use common sense.

E-mail: kmccord@ksl.com

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Keith McCord


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