– Don’t corner an animal or block its path.
– With animals, be aware of signs of agitation or aggression: scrapping ground with hoof, thrashing grass or bushes with antlers, strong stare, ears back, showing whites of the eyes, bluff charge, growl, bearing teeth, etc. If approached by a predator, don’t run and appear as prey. Make your self appear large and slowly retreat.
– Just because an animal is in a national park or refuge, don’t assume it is not dangerous.
– Animals with young are the most dangerous.
– Be careful not to slip and fall on wet grass, leaves, seaweed, moss or muddy surfaces.
– Be careful crossing muddy surfaces. You can slip, fall, or worse yet, get stuck in the soft mud. Some muds are like quick sand.
– Take care near cliff ledges. The support beneath them can be undermined and the ledge may break away.
– Be aware of the incoming tide and rising surf. You may become stranded.
– When hiking, be careful of tripping hazards: rocks, branches, roots, etc. Wear boots with good ankle support and gripping soles.
– When walking avoid stepping into hidden holes – groundhog, badger, penguin, fox, moss-covered spaces between rocks, etc.
– When navigating through marsh, be aware that high grasses, soft mud, and changing water level may make navigation confusing and make it difficult to return to your origin.
– Let someone reliable know where you are going and when you plan to return.
– Don’t feed wild animals. It can result in their expecting food or bitting or kicking you. People food will make animals ill.
– Be careful where you put your hands when moving logs or reaching under something where poisonous spiders, snakes, etc. might be hiding. Consider wearing heavy gloves.
– Look before lying on the ground – fire ants, etc.
– Don’t leave equipment unattended even in parks. Be alert around strangers.
– When traveling overseas, visit your local travel clinic for the most recent info on health concerns, vaccinations, etc.
– Avoid insect bites. Tics and mosquitos can carry serious diseases. Spray clothes with permethrin and consider using insect repellent such as those containing 30 % Deet. Net jackets and hats can be helpful in areas where mosquitos are present in high numbers.
– Bats carry rabies so if scratched or bitten seek medical help immediately. Without the proper shots, it can kill.
– Use sunscreen and SPF 50 rated clothing for protection from the sun and to reduce the chances of skin cancer.
– Wear a hat to shade your face from the sun.
– For emergencies, carry a whistle, cell phone, or personal locator such as a handheld satellite communicator. Depending on the model, some locators can send and receive text, track your location, and send out SOS in case of emergency. They vary in power, coverage, and application with some primarily for emergencies. Check out www.delorme.com or www.outdoorgearlab.com. The later web site helps you decide what type of device is the best for your application.
– Be considerate of other photographers.
– Avoid damaging habitat.
– Don’t stress an animal or put it in danger.
– Only enter private property with permission.