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VACATION SAFETY

Enjoying Your Vacation At Your Watauga Lake Cabin Safely

The Cherokee National Forest and Watauga Lake has got to be some of the most beautiful wilderness it is possible to find.  Vacationing here is very popular from April through to Fall and there is always plenty to see and do, whether you want to chill and get away from it all for a lazy re-charge of yourWatauga Lake batteries somewhere with spectacular scenery, or whether you want to make the most of all the outdoor activities available right on your Watauga Lake cabin doorstep.

Whether you are familiar with the big outdoors and a seasoned visitor, or whether this is your first visit to wilderness, you will want to know that you are going to be safe throughout your stay, particularly when you are out of view of civilization.  To make sure you are prepared for being off the beaten track, there are some very simple, commonsense guidelines to follow.



Safety Insurance – Travel Wisely

It may seem like child’s play and amazingly obvious, but when you go outdoors, be it canoeing or kayaking, hiking or wildlife watching, make sure you let someone know or leave a note of where you are heading at the place you are based.  This means that you will need to plan your day’s activities ahead of time and use a map if you are going away from your cabin for any distance.  Take that map with you and add a compass to it, so that you can identify your location and get back home at the end of the day.

Other things you should take with you are: a flashlight (you never know when you might need one).  Make sure that the batteries are charged because a dead flashlight is dead weight in your pack; sunglasses, especially if you are out in snow or bright sunshine for any length of time; extra food and water.  Take what you would normally expect to get through for the time you are going to be away from your base, but add a little to this in case you are delayed in getting back for any reason.  Dried fruit, nuts, granola and pemmican are good foods to include.  Because of the weight, you might not want to carry too much water with you, but you can easily carry some water purification tablets in case you need to get water from another source; extra clothing, sleeping sack and a lightweight tarp.  What you take will obviously depend on the time of year you are outdoors and what you are doing, but if you are caught out and have to spend any time away from base, you need to make sure that you can stay warm and dry.  So a lightweight poncho or wind jammer for summer and an extra sweater and/or jacket for colder weather.  Taking a space blanket at any time of year is a great idea; a fire starter – flint, matches or lighter – in case you have to make camp somewhere and will need a fire.  You must follow USDA Forest Service regulations when using fire anywhere in the Cherokee National Forest; a pocket knife – one of the most useful tools you can carry with you and a Swiss army knife would be the best; a basic first aid kit, including aspirin, band aids, slings, gauze pads, iodine, insect repellent lip balm and a good antihistamine.  What you feel is suitable is a matter of personal choice – you could end up with a first aid kit the size of a large backpack – but you ought to be prepared for a variety of minor medical emergencies; and last, but very definitely not least, toilet paper in case you get caught out while you are being caught out.

No doubt a seasoned outdoors lover will be able to add plenty to this list and may have their own preferences as to what they take out with them.  However, for those heading for the great outdoors for the first time the list will be useful and may help to minimize the harm to you and your family or friends in any situation you might face unexpectedly.  A little travel insurance goes a long way when you are vacationing off the beaten track and you can’t go too far in protecting yourself and your family in case of mishap – whether that is a sprained ankle, a lost canoe or losing your way off-trail in the forest.  You will need to make sure that your travel insurance covers all the members of your group; your insurance company may have restrictions covering age, health issues or activities you are going to be doing, so checking around for the right policy is a must.  This policy is the invisible weight in your backpack when you leave your cabin in the morning and head out to enjoy your vacation.

 

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