Outdoor recreation basics: How to prepare for a day spent outside

Kyle McCabe
Explore Grand
Follow these tips to help you prepare for altitude conditions this summer.
Nicholas Coe/Courtesy Photo

To have as safe and enjoyable a time as possible, hikers and other recreators need to plan ahead for their days and nights spent outside. Here are some tips to make sure you are ready to get out there.

  • Plan your adventure — Before you step out the door, look at maps on websites like so you know where to go. Apps like COTREX and the National Park Service app let you download maps for offline use as well so you do not get lost on the trail. If camping, make sure to check if reservations are required at a campsite.
  • Pack appropriately — Any outdoor excursion requires recreators to bring water, snacks and sunscreen. Proper footwear is important for a hike as well, so bring your hiking boots. Rocky Mountain National Park staff also recommend bringing a paper map as a backup to your phone or GPS.
  • Be ready for changing weather — Weather can shift especially fast at high elevations in the spring and summer. Make sure to check the weather before you leave and bring appropriate layers of clothing. When you climb thousands of feet of elevation, the weather can turn from sun to rain or even snow, according to Rocky staff.
  • Stay smart on the trail — The East Troublesome Fire burned parts of Grand County and Rocky Mountain National Park in 2020, so be sure to look out for hazards like loose rocks and logs, flash flooding and limited shade, among others, if you recreate in a burn area. Also keep a good distance from wildlife for the safety of you and the animal.
Recreationists should prepare for altitude conditions before hitting the trails.
Chris Newell/Courtesy photo

This story first appeared in Explore Grand.

More Like This, Tap A Topic

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.

Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.

If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.