When visiting any of the national parks in Texas you should always be thinking of safety. Safety for the other people using the park and also safety for the animals. And of course, the safety of your own party. We focus primarily on the Big Bend National Park in Texas but these tips are useful for any of America’s great national parks that you visit. Big Bend is situated in southwest Texas and takes in parts of the Chihuahuan desert and the Chisos mountains.
Driving Safely Through the Park
Every national park has a speed limit, and you should do your best to adhere to it. Not only for the benefit of your own safety but also the safety of the wildlife and other users of the park. Keep your eye out for rabbits, deer, and javelina who all have a habit of roaming across the highway. Primary the roads in the park were built for scenic exploration and not as a way from getting from A to B as fast as possible. If you intend to drive to Chisos Basin then it is not recommended to take RV’s, or long trailers.
The lighting of any ground fires is not permitted anywhere in the park. And this ban includes wood or other ground fires. However, campers are allowed to use gas stoves and even charcoal grills. The reason for this is fairly self-explanatory as in the summer months the vegetation can get extremely dry and ignites easily.
Heat Protection When Hiking
Your best friend in any wilderness is water and a gallon per day per person is recommended. Even though the park maps indicate where natural springs may be found these are sometimes not accurate.
Avoid hiking during the middle of the day in the summer months and always ensure that you have high factor sun screen in your bag. It is also best to wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and of course a hat.
The natural beauty of the wilderness sometimes gets the better of hikers and they do not take the proper precautions when out exploring the mountain country or desert. Trails do vary immensely and some of them require a guide to help you navigate through them.
Before setting off always tell somebody where you intend to go and when you expect to return. Take all the necessary equipment both for emergencies and how to find your way. Some of the items you should always carry are;
- First aid kit
- Signaling devices, mirror, whistle
- Plenty of water
All manner of wildlife roam freely around the Big Bend National Park. Some not as friendly as others. Be prepared to meet javelinas, black bears, skunks, coyotes, and snakes.
Never feed the wild animals even though they may stray into your camping ground. And take precautions that you store all food in containers, lock away any cooking utensils. Of course dispose of your garbage with care.
If you follow these basic safety tips then you can really enjoy the wilderness of the Big Bend National Park. And take home fond memories of your experiences in the great wilds of Texas.