Staying Safe When Visiting National Parks: A Helpful Guide

We’re always looking for new and exciting adventures to create long-lasting memories, and this is why you need to put a national park on your bucket list. Visiting a national park can be a great outing to have with your friends and family. You’ll be surrounded by nature, wildlife, and scenic beauties; what more can you ask for? But when visiting national parks, it’s essential to stay safe and follow all the safety regulations set out by the park guides. Here are a few ways to stay safe while visiting national parks.


  1. Stay Safe From Wild Animals

If you’re visiting a national park, you’ll come across wild animals. Most national parks have rules against feeding animals or getting too close to them or their cages. This is for the safety of the animals, as well as the tourists. National park tour guides often tell their tourists to make noises to alert the wild animals that they are nearby. It is also recommended to watch out for animal tracks and to take a different path if you do find animal tracks on the ground.

If you come across wild animals, there are several ways to tackle them. One of the common ways is to stay calm to avoid provoking them. For example, if you come across a grizzly bear, you should back away from them slowly while raising your arms or covering your head with your arms. Doing this makes you appear larger and makes the grizzly bear apprehensive of approaching you. This same trick works on cougars as well; standing tall and not running will make you appear aggressive and strong, which can scare the cougars enough for them to leave you alone.


  1. Have Emergency Supplies on Hand

While it is advisable to stay away from dangerous animals and keep close to your tour guide, you should also have a few emergency supplies for situations where you may get lost or stranded from your group. The information found at recommends carrying items such as a compass, a park map with entrances and exits marked, a first-aid kit for medical emergencies, and a tent. Following these guidelines strictly will minimize the chance of any possible unforeseen situation getting the best of you, and can make your trip more enjoyable.



  1. Hike Safely

Most national parks will have mountainous and hilly areas, which are perfect for hiking. When you go hiking in national parks, always stick to the trails set out and try not to go off track. If you go off track, you’ll get lost, and finding your way back can be difficult. Try to go hiking with a friend if you can; this way, if one of you gets hurt, the other can go looking for help. Take adequate amounts of food and water with you, dress appropriately, and have essential items ready at hand in case of emergencies. Most hikers recommend carrying torches, a first aid kit, and a tent when hiking.



  1. Stay Safe in the Water

Unlike beaches, national parks do not have lifeguards. So if you’re looking to take a dip, do it at your own risk. Most national park tour guides advise against swimming in bodies of water in a park. However, if you do feel like taking a swim, you must wear a fitted lifejacket that can help prevent you from drowning in any unforeseen circumstances. Boating or operating vessels on bodies of water in national parks is illegal in some states, so it’s best not to indulge in such activities. 


  1. Avoid Taking Risks

When you’re in a national park surrounded by wildlife and nature, you might be in the mood to act bravely and take some risks, such as going near animals to pet them or feed them. While being near animals can be a good Instagram photo, it’s not worth it to threaten your life for a few social media likes. Most national parks have signs alerting about hazards and wildlife enclosures for tourists to stay cautious. You should also have your eyes on the trail while walking; it’s easy to get lost in a park and even harder to find your way back.



  1. Inform Someone Before Going

Before you hop in for a visit to the national park, make sure to inform someone where you’re going. This way, in case you do end up getting hurt, injured, or lost, you’ll have someone looking out for you. If you don’t return within a specific period, your friend or family member can alert the authorities to start a search party for you.


It’s always fun and exciting to visit a national park, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Follow these tips outlined above for a unique yet secure visit to the national park and you’ll have the ultimate experience without having to worry about a thing!