Boise outdoors adventures safety tips

On May 11th, 2017

Boise Is An Adventure Mecca, But… 

You Should Follow These Eight Safety Tips Before Exploring One Of USA’s Best Cities For Recreation.

“Boise is a recreationalist's paradise. If you value the outdoors and time spent among rivers, mountains, canyons, deserts and lakes – and all the activities encapsulated therein – it's worth a serious look.” If you saw the above paragraph just sitting by itself on a piece of paper or on a website, you might think to yourself ‘that sentence was written by a Boise, Idaho, employee, or someone who was paid to write great things about Boise.’ If you thought that, you were wrong. Boise is, in fact, regarded as one of the best cities in the United States for people who want to explore the outdoors and want to get in and stay in excellent physical condition via walking, hiking, bicycling, jogging, and many other outdoor activities. It was the magazine U.S. News & World Report that labeled Boise a “recreationalist’s paradise” while listing Boise as the 12th best place to live in the nation. Another publication, Outside, lists Boise as one of the 16 best “adventure meccas” in the country. There are numerous reasons why Boise is regarded as one of the best places in the USA to explore the outdoors. Here are a few:

The Boise River Greenbelt

You can walk, jog, bicycle, and even skate on about 25 miles of trails along the Boise River. The Greenbelt extends from the Lucky Peak Dam on the east to the suburban town of Eagle on the west. The Greenbelt runs through downtown Boise and connects many of the city’s parks. About 60 points of interest along the route are listed on this website.

The Ridge to Rivers Trail System

The Ridge to Rivers trails aren’t paved like the Boise River Greenbelt trails are. That makes them more adventurous!! And there are more than 190 miles of trails to travel on. These trails are in the Boise Foothills. Many of them are steep, end at peaks a few thousand feet higher than Boise’s already high elevation (2,730 feet above sea level), and are challenging for hikers, mountain bikers, and hill climbers. There are also equestrian trails.

The Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area

This is a great recreational facility for families, including kids. Located about 16 miles northeast of Boise, the Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area has about 2,600 acres of hills for alpine skiers and snowboarders as well as about 23 miles of trails for cross-country skiers. The highest slopes are more than 7,000 feet above sea level.

Do you want to enjoy Boise’s top-notch outdoors recreational areas? You should, but before you become too adventurous you should follow these eight safety tips so you can be as safe as possible.

1. Study The Options

Beginners shouldn’t seek to conquer difficult ski slopes or difficult trails. How do you know the degree of difficulty of your options? Study beforehand. In fact, there are innumerable sources of information for prospective Boise explorers. This article, for example, lists beginner trails and moderate trails in the Ridge to Rivers system. And this website has specifics about the steepness of the system’s trails.

2. Carry A Map

It’s easy to get lost while you’re hiking -- and easy to wind up on a trail that isn’t safe for your skill level. On its Ridge to Rivers webpage, the city of Boise reports that many stores in the city have a Ridge to Rivers map.

3. Carry A Cellphone

Yes, we understand that you want to get away from it all when you go into Explorer mode. And you can by turning your cellphone off. Nevertheless, you need to be prepared in case there’s an emergency. You need to be able to call 9-1-1 and you also should bring with you a list of people you want or need to phone in an emergency.

4. Take One Step At A Time

No, that’s not advice on how to walk. What we mean is that you shouldn’t go from a life of no exercise to a rigorous workout in one day. Exercising beyond your physical conditioning puts you at risk of injury or a medical emergency. In addition, people who have been experiencing health problems such as chest pains or shortness of breath should consult a doctor before vigorously exercising.

5. Eat Properly

Thinking that dieting and vigorously exercising will help you lose weight is the wrong approach to exercising on Boise’s trails. Exercising properly requires adequate calories, which are a measurement of energy. Those calories come from eating. There are plenty of calorie charts that tell you how many calories you need to exercise lightly, moderately, and vigorously for specific periods of time. A lack of calories could cause exhaustion, which could cause falls and other mistakes. Also: Bring snacks in case you need an energy boost during your exercise.

6. Bring Water

You should drink 16 to 32 ounces of water before your exercise begins, recommends Men’s Fitness magazine. A lack of water can make you dehydrated and, thus, increase your risk of heart problems. The magazine also recommends bringing water with you and drinking water regularly while you exercise, even if you’re not thirsty. A sports drink if you’re exercising for more than an hour could also be beneficial.

7. Dress Properly

The city of Boise points out that checking the weather report is important so you can dress properly. If very hot weather is projected, dressing light is crucial. That also means putting on sunscreen and wearing a hat. In addition, hikers should wear boots “with a strong tread to prevent ankle injuries and falls,” recommends the Cleveland Clinic.

8. Follow Safe Trails

The city of Boise urges people who use the Boise River Greenbelt to “stick to” trails that are well-lit and to avoid shortcuts through alleys, parking lots, and wooded areas. Similarly, the state of Idaho asks people who use the Ridge to Rivers trails system to not use trails that are closed. There are innumerable other steps you can take to improve your chances of having a safe experience while exploring Boise’s fantastic recreational opportunities -- and many sources of information on safety tips. Here are two sources of safety tips -- “16 Outdoor Fitness Safety Tips” by Men’s Fitness magazine and “9 Tips for Safe Outdoor Workouts” by the Cleveland Clinic. Hopefully, following these safety tips will help you explore and enjoy one of the USA’s premier adventure meccas -- Boise. Good luck!!

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