Women conquering the wild: Staying safe in the great outdoors

Tips from the experts on frostbite, hypothermia, and wilderness first aid
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 10:09 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2023 at 11:17 AM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - When venturing out for a camping trip or a winter adventure, packing the essentials should be top of mind. At the becoming an outdoors woman weekend TV6′s Pavlina Osta learned about the best ways to stay safe.

Proper clothing and gear are the first steps when it comes to winter safety. Amy Maus is the lead cross-country ski instructor at the Michigan DNR’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman; she said there are certain items to pack when you go hit the trail.

“Know how to dress, it’s always good to be in fabrics that can dry quickly should you be in a situation where you’re out longer than you need to be it’s always good to have water with you, food with you, also a compass, GPSs, a phone.”

Whether you’re going backpacking or backcountry camping – you’re exposed to the elements. Conservation Officer Jenni Hanson taught Wilderness First Aid and said you need to be resourceful in case of an emergency.

“Gauze, things to stop bleeding, to hold pressure, duct tape, you can use it for basically anything, band-aids, scissors or a knife, if you need to cut towel or a sleeping bag into a sling”

Ice fishing can be fun but last the thing anyone wants is to fall through the ice. Mark Mylchreest, with the Michigan DNR, said to choose your fishing spot wisely.

“Don’t go where someplace no one has gone if you’re unsure of the ice conditions, ask your sports shops, and don’t journey out too early in the season if you’re worried. I prefer not to fish on less than 4 in of ice on foot.”

The frigid cold out on lake independence can be dangerous. Hanson said shivering is the first sign of hypothermia. That’s where your body moves involuntarily to try to create heat.

“If you start moving your body, building up that warmth building up that sweat it keeps your blood circulating,” Hanson said.

The best way to prevent hypothermia – eat up!

“If you have a full belly and full belly, you’re likely to stay warmer faster because your body has those nutrients to burn off. Hanson said.

To learn more about Becoming an Outdoors Woman click here.