A few things to consider before heading out:

Where are you are headed?

The Bull Run Conservancy is located a few miles from my house. The trails are well-marked, the park is not overly large in which to get lost and it is close to emergency services such as Rangers, the police and the city hospital. Novice hikers are known to take a tumble and roll their ankles on the trails because of the shifting scree and steepness of the climb. People do get lost. Research the terrain, weather and closeness to outside help before you take a trip.

Packing some first-aid such as a cold pack, bandages and compression wrap for scrapes, sprains, cuts and even lacerations is wise even for a short excursion. Timber Rattlesnakes (TRs) make up one of the eastern-most population of snakes in Virginia. There doesn’t seem to be a need for native Virginians to pack a cooking stove or hunting knife but a snake bite first aid kit might not be a bad idea if you intend to leave the comfort of marked trails. My wife nearly stepped on one on our last long hike; a very close call. We were walking across overgrown paths. Snake bite kits include: bandages, cleaning wipes, venom extractor, tourniquet, ammonia inhalant and scalpel.


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