Nature belongs to all of us, and responsible restoration shows that you care about keeping our landscapes healthy and wildlife. Ahead of the holiday weekend, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is sharing some safety tips to help you balance your outdoor recreation with mindful conservation.
Know before you go
• Be aware of weather conditions, water temperatures and trail closures where you intend to visit. Camping reservations are required in Colorado State Parks.
• Use the CPW Park Finder to discover outdoor activities available at each state park and to learn about park or trail closures.
• Expect queues and potential gate closures on a holiday weekend. Have a backup plan and please be kind to park staff and other park visitors.
Be bear conscious
As bears prepare for hibernation and search for food, Coloradans may see more bear activity. Below are tips and precautions to help you avoid human-animal conflict, which can also save a bear’s life. For more information on bears in Colorado, visit cpw.state.co.us/bears.
• Properly stow rubbish and lock bear-accessible windows and doors: do not put rubbish out until the morning of collection.
• Clean garbage cans regularly to keep them free of food odors.
• Use a bear-resistant trash can or dumpster.
• Do not leave pet food or pet food outside.
• Do not put up birdhouses from April 15th to November 15th.
• Secure compost heaps. Bears are attracted to the smell of rotting food.
• Clean the grill after each use.
• Thoroughly clean up the yard or deck after picnics.
• If you have fruit trees, don’t let the fruit rot on the ground.
Cars, trips and campsites:
• Do not store food in your vehicle; Wind up windows and lock doors.
• Secure all groceries and coolers in a locked vehicle when auto camping.
• Provide a clean camp at a campground or in the backcountry.
• In the backcountry, hang up food at least 30 meters from the campsite; Do not bring items with strong odors into your tent.
• Prepare food outside of your tent; Wash dishes thoroughly.
Be careful with fire
Colorado’s low humidity can create dry, hazardous conditions that affect whether fires are allowed or prohibited. Check fire restrictions or bans before you go. Visit www.coemergency.com for country-specific fire information.
• Avoid parking or driving on dry grass. Check your tire pressures, exhaust pipes, and if chains or exposed rims are dragging off your vehicle, which can create sparks.
• Use designated campfire sites when permitted and available.
• Keep campfires small and manageable.
• Put out fires with water until you can touch the embers.
• Never leave a campfire unattended and report campfires that are left burning.
Wear a life jacket
Enjoy the water, but always wear a life jacket – they save lives. Before you hit the water, make sure you have the necessary safety gear with you:
• Wear your life jacket
• Inspect your boat and all required boat safety equipment.
• Avoid driving alone and tell someone where you are going.
• Boat sober. Alcohol consumption is the leading factor in fatalities in recreational boating.
• Stand-up paddleboards are considered watercraft in Colorado and require a life jacket on board at all times.
• Protect yourself from the dangers of cold water immersion and physical shock. Regardless of your age or experience level, cold water can quickly create a drowning emergency.
For more information on outdoor recreation in Colorado, visit cpw.state.co.us.