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Bicycle Safety
Bicycling Cartoon
Bicycling Safety Tips
Bicycle accidents are one of the leading causes of injuries in Oregon State Parks. Campgrounds are full of vehicles pulling trailers, backing up, and looking for campsites. Many families use parks as a place to teach kids to ride bikes. Parents should be aware of their child’s riding ability and supervise them appropriately. It is important that drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians be on the look out for each other.
 
Remember, traffic and helmet laws apply in campgrounds, too.
 
Bicycle safety Tips
  1. Always wear a helmet.
  2. Obey all traffic controls, ride in the same direction as traffic.
  3. Obey speed limits.
  4. Ride your bicycle near the right edge of the road.
  5. Obey “No Bikes on Trail” signs.
  6. Never “walk” your dog while riding a bicycle.
  7. Never carry another person on your bicycle.
  8. Always use hand signals when turning or stopping.
  9. Look out for cars at cross streets, campsites and parking places.
  10. Be careful when checking traffic and don't swerve when looking over your shoulder.
  11. Give pedestrians the right-of-way.
  12. Keep your bicycle in good condition.
  13. Always ride carefully.
In addition, when riding on trails remember:
  1. Purchase and use all required and available safety gear.
  2. Let others know where you are going riding and when you plan on being back.
  3. Always plan ahead. Bring maps, water and overnight emergency supplies for longer rides.
  4. Never ride alone.
  5. Stay on marked and designated roads and trails.
  6. Maintain your bicycle in safe operating condition.
  7. Act responsibly and have respect for other recreation users and natural resources.
  8. Ride cautiously. Trail conditions are constantly changing, be ready for anything.
  9. Take all precautions to have a safe and enjoyable trail ride. A good day riding is one with no damages or injuries at the end.

Boating and Water Safety
Kayakers ready for a day on the water
Boating and Water Safety Tips
As the sun starts to shine and the weather warms, Oregonians will head for the plentiful rivers and lakes throughout the state. Whether you are fishing at Detroit Lake, waterskiing at Lake Billy Chinook, taking a quick dip in the Clackamas River, or challenging the rapids of The Deschutes, there are some important safety rules to keep in mind.
 
Boating Safety Tips
  1. Always wear your life jacket when underway.
  2. Make sure you file a float plan with a responsible friend or family member so they know where you are going and when you should return.
  3. Study and know the boating rules.
  4. Keep a good look out for other boats. Even if you know the rules others may not, so you have to operate defensively.
  5. Always operate at a safe speed, at a safe distance from the shore and other boats, and in a responsible manner.
Rafting Safety Tips
  1. Always wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  2. Do not overload the raft.
  3. Do not go rafting after a heavy rain.
  4. When rafting with a tour company, make sure the guides are qualified. Check with the local chamber of commerce for listings of accredited tour guides and companies.
  5. Learn to swim. This includes anyone participating in any water sport.
  6. Know local weather conditions. Make sure the water and weather conditions are safe.
  7. Know your limitations and those of your group. Stay within those limitations.
Swimming Safety Tips
  1. Learn to swim. The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim—this includes adults and children.
  2. Select a supervised area. A trained lifeguard who can help in an emergency is the best safety factor. Never swim alone.
  3. Select an area that has good water quality and safe natural conditions. Murky water, hidden underwater objects, unexpected drop-offs, and aquatic plant life are hazards. Currents can turn an event that began as fun into a tragedy.
  4. Make sure the water is deep enough before entering headfirst. A feet first entry is much safer than diving.
  5. Never swim under a raft or dock. Always look before jumping off a dock or raft to be sure no one is in the way.

Hiking Safety
Hiking at Banks Vernonia
Hiking Safety Tips
Hiking is a great opportunity to see all that Oregon has to offer from the ground level. But, even the easiest day hike can turn into an unplanned night in the woods. Experienced hikers know that it is important to carry some very basic gear that will make an unplanned camping trip more of an inconvenience than a tragedy.
 
Hiking Safety Tips
  1. Always tell someone reliable where you are going and when you will be back.
  2. Know the weather forecast and be prepared for changes in weather. This is after all Oregon; think rain, snow, or heat.
  3. It is better to carry more water than you think you’ll need than not enough. Hiking during extremes in the weather, whether hot or cold can quickly lead to dehydration. Carry plenty of water.
  4. Hike within your ability. Know your limitations and those of your group and stay within them.
  5. Be prepared, always carry these items:
  1. Map and compass
  2. Extra clothing
  3. Extra food and water
  4. First-aid kit
  5. Headlamp or flashlight (with extra batteries)
  6. Fire starter and matches (storm proof, or in a watertight container)
  7. Knife (or multi-use camp tool)
  8. Sunglasses and sunscreen
  9. Water filter (or other method of water treatment)
  10. Whistle
  11. Space blanket, tarp, or trash bag (for a makeshift shelter)
What to do if lost:
 
If you are ever lost, DO NOT PANIC! Remember to S.T.O.P.    Stop–Think–Observe–Plan

 
STOP - Take a deep breath, sit down if possible, calm yourself and recognize that whatever has happened to get you here is past and cannot be undone. You are now in a survival situation.
 
THINK - Your most important asset is your brain. Use it! Don't Panic! Think first, so you have no regrets. Move with deliberate care. Take no action, even a footstep, until you have thought it through.
 
OBSERVE - Look around you. Assess your situation and options. Take stock of your supplies, equipment, surroundings and the capabilities of the group.
 
PLAN - Prioritize your immediate needs and develop a plan to systematically deal with the emergency. Make a plan. Follow your plan. Adjust your plan only as necessary to deal with changing circumstances.
 
Priorities–         First Aid
                        Shelter and Fire
                        Signaling and Communication
                        Water and Food