COLUMBUS, OH - As Ohioans prepare to enjoy the upcoming three-day
Labor Day weekend, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) wants
to remind hikers, boaters, paddlers and all outdoor enthusiasts to be
safe while enjoying Ohio’s outdoor spaces.
On the Water:
Wear a life jacket. ODNR advises Ohioans and
visitors to properly wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while
boating and when wading and fishing in rivers, lakes or streams.
Boat sober. In Ohio, boaters whose blood alcohol content
level exceeds the state limit of .08 can expect to be arrested for
Boating Under the Influence (BUI) and may face other serious penalties,
including fines, jail and loss of privileges to register and operate
File a float plan. Boaters should let people know where
they are going and when they expect to return. A sample float plan
boaters can use is available at watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/floatplan.
Don’t swim alone. When swimming in one of Lake Erie’s designated swim areas or in one of Ohio’s inland lakes, swim with a buddy.
Don’t swim out to help someone in the water
without having a flotation device. If someone needs help, throw anything
that floats to them such as a life jacket/ring, cooler or inflated
beach toy. Seek help from others and call 911.
On the Path:
Stay on the trail when hiking. It is crucial
to not go off the trail while hiking to ensure that people and native
species stay safe. Learn which state parks offer hiking trails at parks.ohiodnr.gov/hiking.
Bring water and a high-energy snack. Temperatures are
expected to climb during Labor Day weekend so make sure to have plenty
of water to stay hydrated while hiking. A good snack will help keep
hikers energized, especially during longer hikes.
Dress in layers. Wearing different layers will allow hikers to be comfortable as the temperature fluctuates throughout the day.
Wear sturdy shoes. Hikers should wear shoes which are appropriate and comfortable for long hikes, as well as protect their feet.
When hiking alone, check in with others about leaving and
returning. Cellphones may not have good reception on the trails so
hikers should tell others where they will be hiking and when they expect
Plan ahead. Shorter hikes may be ideal opportunities to
see different birds or animals so bring a camera, a pair of binoculars
and field guides.
Be aware. No matter the outdoor activity you may choose, it’s
important for people to be aware of their surroundings and any potential
safety issues they may create.
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