A few things you really shouldn’t do when exploring the outdoors.
Nature adventures are fun, easy and cheap, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ruin them for yourself and your friends by doing something silly. Instead of being the one that turns a fun day into a disaster, please make a promise to never ever do the following five things.
1. Not bring enough water.
Dehydration sucks. It’s a sure-fire way to make yourself cranky, uncomfortable and headachy, not to mention it’s bad for your health. When it comes to outdoor physical activity, it’s always better to have too much water than not enough so always bring more than you’d expect – three litres is good starting pointing point for a half day walk.
2. Not be sun-smart.
If you live in Australia, you should know that you can’t go outdoors without any sun protection. Not unless you want end up looking like a lobster-face. When you’re out enjoying nature; always wear a hat, a well-covering shirt and sunscreen, even in winter. In fact, follow my lead and take it as an opportunity to wear your ever-growing collection of novelty and souvenir caps.
3. Poke sticks into holes in the ground.
Or kick anthills. Or lift up rocks. Or throw things at nests. Or do anything a 9-year-old boy would do. If you purposely disturb an animal or insect’s home, you shouldn’t be surprised when they try to bite, sting or kill you and your friends.
4. Not check the weather.
www.bom.gov.au is one of my favourite websites and it should be yours too. Checking the weather before you embark on an adventure can save you from getting stuck in a rainstorm, dying of heatstroke or worse, having to ride you bike against the wind. Oh and if you’re in doubt, always bring that jumper, umbrella, sunscreen or spare change of clothes – it’s always better to have than have not.
5. Expect constant phone reception.
The natural environment has been around a lot longer than smart phones, so it’s fair to assume it won’t always offer five bars of phone reception. Instead of complaining that you can’t send your nature snapchat, try to enjoy the screen free time. Soak up the fresh air. Feel the sun on your skin. Or just take lots of photos and post them when you and your phone are back in range – hey, you’ll have more time to think of a witty caption and clever hashtag.
While these are my top five nature no-go’s, I’m always keen to add to my list. If you’ve got any of your own, please share. In the meantime, stay safe, stay smart and stay nice.