Dangers in the Woods
Dr. John Woods 02.26.16
The woods and fields are full of dangers. It matters not if you are a prepper, full bore survivalist, or a hunter, there are many dangerous obstacles in the wilds to be watchful for. Once you step off the highways, side roads, parking areas, or trails, outdoors people need to maintain a constant vigil for a myriad of hazards.
If you want to get stuck, grabbed, bit, scratched, bruised, twisted, broken, or worse, then the great outdoors is the place for you. Of course, these perils keep none of us from going into the woods. However, it is just prudent to be aware of such things, work to avoid them, and then know how to treat the worst case scenarios.
The most common dangers in the woods are creepy crawly creatures like snakes, spiders, bugs, mosquitos, and such, but it certainly does not end there. Among the other hazards to watch out for include both natural occurring obstacles and those we outdoors people contribute to creating.
Slips, slides, and falls in general rank highly. This can include traversing rocky terrain or muddy environments. Be careful hiking amidst loose terra firma and around water courses such as creeks, river banks, and wet travel funnels. Beware after heavy rains that even grass covered ground can get very slippery. Good outdoors hiking or hunting boots are needed to get a grip on such surfaces. Just watch your step.
Of course, every hunting season the No.1 hospital emergency room accident involves falls from tree stands. If you plan to climb into the clouds to deer hunt, then wear a good quality total body safety harness system that will support your weight should you slip or fall. Be careful on ladder stands, tree ladders, and the metal platforms of most all stands. Those can be slippery, too.
As you hike, walk through the woods or when hunting, just be mindful of your surroundings. I have walked right into huge spider webs but so far have been lucky not to get bitten. I have encountered wasps several times around camping structures and often came out on the losing end.
When riding ATVs on woodland trails, watch for briar bush limbs sticking out. Those are murder on exposed skin. Watch, too for uneven trails, potholes, and depressions. Use care when crossing water courses not to dare venture into drainages too deep for the machine you ride. Know how to climb up and down inclines in nature. I once tried to turn my ATV too quickly on a river sand dune and rolled the machine over. I jumped clear.
We love the outdoors. Preppers may end up living there. It’s a mistake not to consider it a hostile environment. It can be tamed with the right knowledge, skills, and awareness.