By Steve Honeysett
Some say that the winds bring change and as we now move into the change of season, that would seem to be the case. The rains are on their way and everything in the great outdoors has begun to change.
It is time to get some of those senses in tune when you are out and about, as all those insects and reptiles that we do not see during winter have re-emerged and we will come across them in our travels.
So far, there is a definite increase in insect movement and where there is insect activity there are spiders and webs stretching out to try to catch some dinner – reason enough to keep alert. When walking, many people walk with their heads down for fairly obvious reasons but this does not give you a clear view up ahead and will result in a spider in your face as you stare at your feet.
Here are some simple do’s and don’ts when on a trail in the summer months:
• Keep looking ahead, scan for movement in the bush and on the ground.
• Stay on the path, do not take short cuts as this causes damage to the environment.
• Let someone know where you are walking.
• Be prepared and plan your walks, no matter how big or small.
• Make sure you carry only what you need.
• If you encounter a wild animal, always give it space and slowly move away.
There are lists and lists of recommended carry items, but it boils down to what you might be doing out on the trail, and to be safe, consider the following which I deem essential items:
• First aid
• Sun protective clothing
• Comfortable shoes
If you are alone, always take security to heart and avoid isolated places where the risk is high.Try not carry valuable items on you. A cell phone is an acceptable risk but exclude expensive jewellery as it will be the first thing that thieves will target. I recommend putting your phone into a waterproof bag in case you get wet. I fell victim to this recently, forgetting that the cell phone was in my backpack and, while crossing one of our local rivers, the phone was destroyed when I lost my footing and fell into the water. When walking on the beaches, remember the sand gets very hot and the rocks can get slippery, so prepare accordingly.
Summer is a great time to experience the great outdoors, but you need to be more aware than in the winter months. There is plenty of daylight now and that means more time to spend doing these activities.Whatever exercise you choose, make sure to prepare and plan and if you need anything, there are plenty of shops in town that can supply just about everything you will want to carry along.
Enjoy the summer and stay safe.
** Seaweed Steve presents the Daily Surf & Weather Report on 88FM Ballito