Outdoor Recreation Tips for a Safe Labor Day Weekend

Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

August 28, 2013

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California State Parks invites outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy this Labor Day weekend safely. Labor Day weekend draws a high number of visitors to California state parks. Also, California’s boating accident statistics show that most fatalities on California’s waterways occur during busy summer holiday periods, such as Labor Day weekend.

So whether you are walking/hiking a trail, operating an off-highway vehicle, viewing historical sites, relaxing on a beach or exploring California’s waterways in a boat, please do so safely. Below are some simple tips to keep you, and your family and friends safe during the upcoming holiday.

  1. Weather
    • Check the weather before you leave.
    • Make sure your equipment is appropriate for the weather expected. Always pack cold weather gear in the event the weather changes, even in summer.
    • Take precautions against the heat by staying hydrated and avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun.
  2. Fires
    • Please contain your fires to a manageable size within the appropriate metal rings and fire pits provided by Parks.
    • The use of fireworks is not allowed.
    • Ensure all campfires are completely extinguished before leaving.
  3. Boating and Water Safety
    • Beach users should stay in designated swim areas and be alert for rip currents and sneaker waves.
    • Children should always be actively supervised by an adult when in or near the water. Designate a water watcher. Do not assume that an adult is supervising children.
    • Be sure to use properly fitted life jackets, especially with children and on cold or fast inland waters where lifeguards are not stationed.
    • Never swim alone.
    • Know the rules of the waterways to avoid a boating accident or fatality.
  4. Off-Highway Vehicles
    • Wear safety gear suitable to the vehicle you are driving.
    • In the summer, temperatures can reach upwards of 125 degrees at many Off-Highway Vehicle Areas. Use caution and keep hydrated.
    • Check the road conditions before you go. Never hike or ride alone. Tell someone your plans.
    • Drive with courtesy. Be prepared to yield to right of way anytime there is doubt and you can safely do so.
  5. Trails
    • Bring a basic first aid kit, wear proper shoes fit for hiking, a hat for sun protection, and bring drinking water.
    • Please observe trail signage, if you are an equestrian or mountain biker, only ride on designated trails.
    • Keep bicycles, horses and other animals in control and on the trails.
    • Be courteous of other trail users, practice trail etiquette and stay alert.

Lastly, outdoor enthusiasts are reminded that alcohol is banned in public areas of some parks. So please check local rules. If you do drink alcohol, please remember that there are many dangers associated with the consumption of this beverage. The side effects of alcohol – impaired judgment, reduced balanced, poor coordination, etc. – can be magnified by the outdoor environment. Therefore, your ability to operate recreational vehicles and/or vessels, or the ability to rescue yourself or others in the water can be hindered.

Connect with California State Park’s through its website, Facebook or Twitter to view more information on how to keep your family and friends safe when recreating outdoors. You can also visit the department’s website to book a camping reservation. It is not too late to make reservations for camping to celebrate Labor Day. Reservations are taken up to two days in advance of arrival. For more details or to view available parks, click here.

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