Editorial – Being prepared for the great outdoors

Published: May 17, 2017


With the elusive blue sky finally breaking through this has been a great week to have a little downtime in order to stare out the window and observe the world as it goes by. Activity on Howey Street has increased as neighbours take more than a few seconds to greet each other in an effort to get as much vitamin D as possible and the smell of greasy goodness brings even the most diet conscious out for a chip box poutine.

However, I can guarantee that by early Friday evening that activity will cease as the bulk of our population prepares to turn area waterways into busy hubs in honour of Opening Weekend.

While anglers with a hankering for pike and trout have been out and about quite regularly walleye hunters have been spooling their rods for weeks. In my family the drive to be in a boat waiting for a nibble is strong however age has seen the traditional early morning walleye breakfast being pushed till closer to noon.

We, the avid outdoors people, loaded our camper up with sunscreen and mittens earlier this month (sans fishing rods sadly) because we couldn’t take it any more. It was time to get out and commune with nature. While cleaning out the camper earlier this month I noticed the absence of a few important items, a first aid kit and smoke alarms.

Most years I will admit I gloss over these details in favor of making sure there is enough marshmallows and Easter bunnies to make it through the late night s’more attacks. However, last week was Emergency Preparedness Week and a few details sunk in.

This year’s theme was Plan, Prepare, Be Aware. According to getprepared.gc.ca the theme was aimed at highlighting “the importance of having these measures in place” but specifically emphasizing the need to keep up to date on current conditions, like the weather, that might impact have an impact on your day. Last year at this time as RED 003 destroyed everything in its wake two canoeist found themselves relying on all their survival materials and skills while outrunning the inferno.

I truly love being outdoors in the summer, away from town, away from people but that also means being away from an accessible cell signal and readily available medical attention. It means we have to be aware and available to deal with any type of emergency be it a child choking or loosing engine power during a fishing expedition on a choppy lake.

I found the first aid kit and this year actually opened it to take stock of its contents. OK I needed a band-aid but after tending to my first wound of the season I made a list of what more we need to be prepared. The smoke detector batteries are beside the life jackets and paddles to be packed for this weekend.

See you on the lake!




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