DENVER – Nature belongs to all of us, and recreating responsibly shows you care about keeping our landscapes healthy and wildlife thriving. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is sharing a few safety tips ahead of the holiday weekend to help you balance your outdoor recreation with mindful conservation.
Be Careful with Fire
- Colorado’s low humidity can create dry, dangerous conditions that impact if fires are allowed or restricted.
- Check fire restrictions or bans before you go. Visit www.coemergency.com to find county-specific fire information.
- Avoid parking or driving on dry grass. Check your tire pressure, exhaust pipes and if chains or exposed wheel rims are dragging from your vehicle that may create sparks.
- Use designated campfire areas when allowed and available.
- Keep campfires small and manageable.
- Put fires out with water until you can touch the embers.
- Never leave a campfire unattended and report campfires that have been left burning.
- Fireworks are not permitted on Front Range public lands.
Wear a Life Jacket
Enjoy the water, but always do so with a life jacket on – they save lives. Before going onto the water make sure you are carrying basic safety gear:
- Wear your life jacket
- Check your boat and all required boating safety gear.
- Avoid boating alone and tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
- Boat sober. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths.
- Stand-up paddleboards are considered vessels in Colorado and require a life jacket on board at all times.
- Protect yourself from the dangers of cold water immersion and shock. Regardless of your age or experience level, cold water can quickly create a drowning emergency.
Be Bear Aware
Staying bear aware while on trails and when camping helps keep bears wild and reduces human-bear conflicts. For more resources and information on how to be “bear aware,” visit cpw.state.co.us.
- Safely store food, beverages and toiletries in campsite lockers called bear boxes (if provided), in bear-proof containers away from your tent or locked in the trunk of your vehicle.
- Keep a clean campsite. Scrape grill grates after use and clean used dishes.
- Never bring food or anything that smells like food into your tent.
- Lock cars and RVs whenever you leave your site and at night and close windows.
- Stay alert and respect forage areas like berry patches and oak brush.
- Keep dogs leashed at all times.
- NEVER feed or approach a bear.
Know Before You Go
- Be aware of weather conditions, water temperatures and trail closures where you plan to visit.
- Camping reservations are required at Colorado State Parks.
- Use the CPW Park Finder to learn about outdoor activities available at each state park and visit the park’s web page to learn about park or trail closures.
- Tools such as COTREX provide additional outdoor opportunities in the surrounding areas if your desired trailhead, park or location is crowded or closed.
- On a holiday weekend, expect lines and potential gate closures. Have a backup plan and please be kind to park staff and other park visitors.
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