HUTCHINSON COUNTY, Texas (KVII) — Extreme winter weather can present a number of risks to anyone who is choosing to explore the outdoors. Hunting, hiking and general outdoor recreation remain popular as the cold temperatures heighten cabin fever.
ABC 7 News looks at ways to help protect yourself during this arctic blast.
“The colder temperatures and high winds can place an extra level of danger of being in the outdoors,” said Eric Smith, parks superintendent.
People love to explore the outdoors and take in nature but there is a hidden danger. The scale of the threat is elevated when people do not prepare properly.
Smith tells ABC 7 News this especially applies to hunters who cross Lake Meredith.
“The lake can get rough really quick just be aware of that some people may be out there because it’s the only day that there here,” said Smith. “Be prepared to find a bay and wait the weather out if you have to.”
It’s not just on the lake the weather can be a threat to anyone who is exploring along the Canadian River.
“All of those areas including Rosita Flats and Blue Creek where we have off-road areas sometimes there isn’t cell coverage in those areas so the cold weather temps aren’t just a threat to us as human beings it’s also a threat to your vehicle,” said Smith.
Despite the temps in the single digits, outdoor enthusiasts love a good hike. The days are shorter during the winter as the sun goes down sooner it elevates the risk of getting lost or becoming disoriented.
“Accidents happen all the time whether it’s a trip and a fall or the weather changes suddenly,” said Joseph Allen, superintendent of Palo Duro Canyon State Park. “Bring a flashlight if you plan on hiking even close to dark because if you get turned around or spending more time than you anticipated having a flashlight in addition to your cell phone is really good.”
Remember if you’re going to be by yourself or even if you're just in a small group it’s always a good idea to let somebody know where you’re going to be and how long you plan to be there.