Know Before You Go!

Even if you are only planning a day trip, be prepared to spend the night (or two). Equipment problems, bad weather, and unexpected mishaps can leave you stranded. Understand the area you plan to visit and the conditions you will face. Know what it takes to sit it out, self-rescue, or summon assistance.
Area Conditions
The St. George area is known for its extremes. It is extremely hot in the summer (triple digits) and cold in the winter, with snow at higher elevations. The terrain can be sandy or forested, contain copious amounts of slick rock or clay, and can be relatively flat as well as vertical. Water is most often elusive, but during rain storms can produce spectacular waterfalls and dangerous flash floods. And although lands in the St. George Field Office area are considered to be in the “urban interface,” they can be remote and lonely.
Getting Around
Use of maps for orientation purposes is recommended, as is knowing the ownership of the land you will be visiting. Maps of property ownership, roads, and other features can be obtained by contacting the St. George Field Office.  Also understand the type of terrain you may encounter; this area can be sandy or forested, relatively flat or vertical, and contain copious amounts of slick rock or clay.
Inform Others of Your Plans
Tell someone your travel plans. Leave an itinerary of where you expect to be and when, as well as the make, model, and license of any vehicle you will be using. Make sure they know who to contact in case you do not return as planned.
Dress Appropriately
Be aware that weather conditions can change rapidly and unpredictably. A warm sunny day can quickly turn to rain or snow. Bring waterproof rain/wind gear and extra insulating layers. Use footwear appropriate to the activity and environmental conditions. Synthetic clothing and wool provide the most warmth when wet.
Protect Against the Elements
The sun can be relentless year-round. Carry plenty of water. Use sunscreen. Consider wearing a hat, long sleeve shirt, and pants— even in the summer. Know what the signs and symptoms are of dehydration, heat exhaustion, sunstroke, hyponatremia, and hypothermia.
Carry an Emergency Kit
Pack along an emergency kit appropriate to the season and terrain in which you will be traveling. Consider taking multiple fire starting tools and materials, a portable shelter or tent, sleeping bag, water treatment pills or filter, cookware, stove, extra energy food, ax, first aid items, signaling device, and extra clothes. When traveling by vehicle consider taking a saw, shovel, extra tires and gas, and other items for self-rescue.
Do Not Rely On Electronics
Cell phones, satellite phones, and GPS units may not work due to remoteness and topography. It is a good idea to carry topographic maps and a compass and know how to use them. Also carry signal mirror , a whistle, or other alternative communication device.
Permits and Fees
All commercial outfitters, guides, competitive events, organized groups, vending, and entities conducting business on BLM managed lands need to possess a curent Special Recreation Permit (SRP). To obtain more information on SRPs contact a St. George Field Office Outdoor Recreation Planner.
Some campgrounds may require a fee to cover operating and maintenance costs. Visit our camping website to find out about fees, stay limits, and other camping information.

Collage showing elements of safety: map reading, ten essentials, proper clothing and gear, and map with compass.