If you plan on heading out into the great outdoors sometime soon, make sure to take the time to see that your trip is as safe as it is fun. These ten safety tips are self-explanatory, but they're also easy to forget or to ignore as unnecessary. None of them require taking a survival course – the keys are planning ahead, taking proper precautions and knowing your limits.
1. Underestimate Yourself
This may sound like a real downer, but being conservative in your estimation of your outdoor skills can be a real life saver. Don't assume that you'll have the strength to swim back to shore if you fall out of the boat, or that you'll be able to find your way back without a map. Make sure you have the time to get back to camp or home before nightfall without cutting it close. What it really boils down to is this: You're not Bear Grylls, and you can get hurt trying to act like him.
2. Pack Smart
Whether you're hiking, kayaking or just doing a barbecue in the park, make sure you've got what you need before you leave the house. That means food, plenty of water, safety gear, and whatever tools and toys that will make your trip enjoyable.