Safety essentials so you can enjoy the great outdoors

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Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 1:00 am | Updated: 4:32 pm, Thu Oct 2, 2014.

(BPT) - The great outdoors begs to be explored this summer. From week-long camping trips to spending an afternoon at the park with the kids, there’s so much to see and do during the warm weather months that it may be hard to choose where to start.

If you’re packing up for a long hiking trip through the mountains or taking the boat out for some afternoon fishing, be sure to include some essentials to ensure everyone is safe and has fun.

* First-aid kit – Keep one of these in your vehicle or with your camping supplies. You can purchase pre-assembled kits from stores, or you can make your own. Include essentials like bandages, antiseptic towelettes, antibiotic cream, insect relief creams, gauze and an instant cold pack. Pack your first-aid kit to reflect how many people will be in your party and the duration of your time spent outdoors so you have enough.

* Sun and bug sprays – Everyone will be exposed to sun and bugs while outside, so be sure to pack bug spray and sunblock with an SPF 15 or higher. If your outdoor adventures take you deep into the woods, consider getting insect repellent with DEET. If you’re spending time in the backyard or on a picnic, non-DEET products work well for families and kids. Sunblock creams and insect repellents will work to keep your skin protected – just be sure to apply more as needed.

* Pocket knife – You never know when a small knife, screwdriver or saw might come in handy when enjoying the outdoors. That’s why it’s always a smart idea to carry a pocketknife. The iconic Swiss Army Knife from Victorinox is a great option because it contains a wide variety of useful tools, including a corkscrew, tweezers, screwdriver, can opener, wood saw and blades. The company’s Delemont Collection includes several new tools, including a heavy-duty nail clipper and a retractable needle nose pliers. Take a reliable pocket knife with you while camping, hiking, boating or on a picnic so you can open that can of baked beans or cut kindling for the campfire. To find the perfect knife, check out SwissArmy.com.

* Water purification – In most areas of the country, safe drinking water is available from water fountains or by purchasing bottled water in a store. However, if you’re in an area where you are unable to transport enough water, having water purification tablets available is a good idea. Just gather some water from a stream or lake in a container, immerse the purification tablets and let it sit for the recommended time. Make certain you pack plenty of tablets to purify enough water for the entire group over the duration of your trip.

With these tips, you’ll be able to ensure that everyone on your outing will be happy and comfortable while enjoying the great outdoors.

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