Safety Tips in Colorado

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Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Colorado

  • Astrobuck's Profile Photo

    Altitude Sickness

    by Astrobuck Updated Jan 25, 2005

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    Many people who come to Colorado Springs (or Colorado in general), experience altitude sickness. Colorado Springs is in a climate area known as "high plains desert." This is a combination of very low humidity and high altitude. In order to combat the ill-effects, you must drink A LOT of water. Before you come to experience high altitudes, be sure you drink between one quart to one gallon of water before your arrival. While you are here drink at least a quart a day. This is very serious, and many people have been rushed to the hospital because of this. Symptoms of altitude sickness are headaches, nausea, and fatigue.

    One additional tidbit of trivia: Did you know at 14,000 feet, you leave exactly 1/2 of the Earth's atmosphere behind? Drink your water!

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  • bluepigsinthesky's Profile Photo

    packing for the weather

    by bluepigsinthesky Written Jan 16, 2005

    if you're going in winter, be sure to pack enuf warm clothing... this is esp. true if you're going to do some skiing/snowboarding... i was fortunate enough to pack plenty of long-underwear, and winter gear, but my toes and fingers were always freezing cold, along with my face... temp. in colorado during winter can dip to below freezing conditions, so beware... windbreakers are prob. one of the better choices, as the wind is the one that chills the bone.. otherwise, njoy the hols!

    Related to:
    • Skiing and Boarding
    • School Holidays
    • Backpacking

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  • Astrobuck's Profile Photo

    Bears

    by Astrobuck Written Dec 12, 2004

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    Bears are very territorial animals and have a very keen sense of smell. What many people don't realize is the fact that whenever a bear tastes something, it always goes looking for more, and will stop at nothing to get it. If you should happen to walk upon a bear (heaven forbid), do the following:

    1. Remain calm. You will be able to think more clearly.
    2. DO NOT under any circumstances, run. If you run, a bear will view you as prey, and will chase you down.
    3. When you hike, make pleny of noise. This will scare it. If you challenge the bear, it will see you as a threat.
    4. If you are ever attacked by a bear, play dead. If you fight, the bear will become more aggressive. You will never win, so don't try it.
    5. If you happen to stumble upon a bear cub, please leave. Momma Bear isn't far away, and will do anything to protect her young.

    These tips are basic, but will help you.

    Black Bear
    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Camping

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  • DrexelDragon's Profile Photo

    Winter Driving

    by DrexelDragon Written Nov 19, 2004

    You absolutely must have either FWD, AWD, or 4WD to get around this place during the winter. You definitely need to make sure you have good tires and chains in your trunk in case it gets really bad.

    Also, on the way back from the mountains after a day's skiing, be sure not to drive like an A-hole as you come down the east side of the Loveland Pass. Just because you have 4WD doesn't mean you can drive like there's no one else on the road. 4WD helps you to go, but it's no help for when you need to stop!

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Adventure Travel
    • National/State Park

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  • Astrobuck's Profile Photo

    Emergency Supplies

    by Astrobuck Updated Nov 15, 2004

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    The winter weather in Colorado can be treacherous. If you plan to drive through the montains when it snows, try not to. If you have to, keep a few things in your vehicle:

    1. A Gallon of Water
    2. Warm Clothes
    3. Blankets
    4. Non-perishable food items
    5. Flashlight
    6. First Aid Kit

    You never know what might happen, so do yourself a favor and keep these things with you at all times.

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  • merimichelle's Profile Photo

    Never attempt high-elevation...

    by merimichelle Updated Nov 6, 2004

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    Never attempt high-elevation trips without adequate knowledge, experience, and equipment. You want to always try to avoid afternoon lightning storms. Get your hiking done in high elvations early! As the pic shows this is what lightning can do! BE CAREFUL IN THE MOUNTAINS NATURE TENDS TO BE UNFORGIVING!!!!!

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing
    • National/State Park

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  • For Berthett Pass Motorists.

    by Amy1978 Written May 24, 2004

    Berthett (maybe Burkett?) Pass is on the road coming from Wyoming into central Colorado. It looks on a map to be the shortest way to Denver and Boulder, but please use caution when planning to use this mountain road. It is incredibly steep and filled with switchback turns. It can ice up easily.
    If you do plan on using this pass, ensure that 1) you follow the speed limit, and all other road signs, carefully, and 2) your vehicle is not overloaded or otherwise unprepared for this taxing journey.
    We went over it in the dead of a January night, in a fully loaded Uhaul truck, and nearly lost our brakes on the way down. Definitely one of the most scary experiences of my life. Please be careful!

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Altitude sickness

    by goingsolo Updated May 24, 2004

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    Altitude sickness is a potentially dangerous conditions that can effect anyone at a higher elevation. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, headaches, loss of appetite and disorientation. If you begin experiencing these symptoms while hiking, climbing or driving at altitude, descend to a lower elevation.
    I got hit with altitude sickness when driving to the top of Mt. Evans. It was not a pleasant experience.
    It helps to drink lots of water, rest and avoid alcohol when you first arrive in the area.

    Along Mt. Evans Byway
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Backpacking
    • Adventure Travel

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  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Winter driving

    by goingsolo Written Apr 27, 2004

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    Colorado does a good job of plowing the major roads. But snow can occur unexpectedly on the mountain passes. In some locations, snow chains are required. Be sure to check the forecast before you go. Also, the Department of Transportation website and telephone hotline provide a list of road closures.

    snowstorm in Vail

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  • coloradochris's Profile Photo

    Snow and Ice

    by coloradochris Written Dec 4, 2003

    Colorado can be dangerous at time expecally durning the winter months, i recomend that you know were you are going or at least have a good map so show you were you are at. Remember that just because you have a 4 wheel drive vechile doesn't mean that you have 4 wheel braking. Injoy it is so much fun.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Adventure Travel

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  • Be careful on the outback hills

    by DrewE Written Sep 9, 2003

    Be very careful if u like skiing off the paths when you go to resorts. Some hills if we had have skied off the path we would have went over a huge clif onto rocks. Also be careful of avalanches if there is a heavy snow the night before.

    Related to:
    • Skiing and Boarding

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  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Storms in the mountains

    by goingsolo Updated Mar 19, 2003

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    Summer thunderstorms can come from out of nowhere. If hiking in the mountains, get an early start so you're not in the tundra (above treeline) in the afternoon. If you are and a storm hits, get as low as possible and take cover.
    A good rule of thumb: every five seconds you can count between hearing thunder and seeing lightning means that lightning is one mile away. If thunder and lightning flash simultaneously, you're in danger of being struck.

    You don't want to be on the summit in a storm!
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • skullcrusher's Profile Photo

    Safety in the mountains

    by skullcrusher Updated Jan 21, 2003

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    BEWARE OF!

    #In winter:

    1. Blizzards - keep on top of the weather reports and even then be prepared for the absolute worst. In the high mountains it's impossible to predict how the weather will be from hour to hour or even minute to minute.

    2. Avalanches - know the area you're going to and know what the avalanche dangers are supposed to be at the time.

    3. Car stalls/stranded - use a good, road-worthy vehicle (preferably a 4X4).

    4. Getting lost - getting lost is always bad, yet it can be especially deadly in the cold of winter. Carry maps, use GPS systems, and try to make your hiking route as simple and user friendly as possible. That way you can try and return the way you came.

    #In summer:

    1. Afternoon thunderstorms/lightning - in the spring and summer it's common that the mountains have afternoon thunderstorms. Try not to be above treeline at this time of the day.

    2. Loose scree (dirt) causing you to slip and fall - watch your step, esp. while going downhill.

    3. The sun (in winter too) - the sun is very intense at high altitudes. Be sure to wear goggles and use sunscreen for your skin.

    4. Wildlife (eg, wildcats & bears) - this isn't a petting zoo ...... wildlife you may encounter will be both beautiful and potentially dangerous at the same time. Take appropriate precautions. If you see a bear, make sure to keep a good distance between you and it. If it's a mother bear with cubs ...... pray.

    ** Little things like a map, compass, emergency blanket, torch (flashlight), first aid kit, and bear spray may save your life during a trip to the mountains. Stay alert - be prepared - stay alive.

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  • Gangerolv's Profile Photo

    Living, working and playing in...

    by Gangerolv Updated Dec 23, 2002

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    Living, working and playing in Colorado can often mean spending time in the state's world-renowned playground - the Rocky Mountains. But participating in activities at high altitudes can bring some dangers of which everybody should be aware.

    The problem is that many people who use the mountains for recreation aren't aware of those dangers. Life-threatening high-altitude illnesses include pulmonary edema and cerebral edema, or build-up of fluid in the lungs or skull. Solar radiation, associated with skin cancers and eye problems, is intensified at high altitude. Other risks come from unpredictable weather, including lightning strikes, and injuries such as sprained joints or broken bones.

    Guidelines published by the National Park Service and the Wilderness Medical Society recommend that hikers and backpackers acclimate themselves above 8,000 feet for two nights before hiking at that altitude.

    Recommended water consumption is one-half to one liter per hour of exercise or seven to eight liters per day. The organizations also recommend starting a hike early enough to ensure hikers can begin descending before afternoon, when lightning is most likely to strike.

    High altitude check list

    Hike when you are fully acclimated to high altitude (ie above 10000 feet).
    Carry the recommended equipment for your hike and area including comfortable hiking boots and pack.
    Know the risks and symptoms of illness that may affect you in high altitudes.
    Carry sunscreen and sufficient drinking water.

    If you look closely, you'll see a ptarmigan or two

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  • traveldave's Profile Photo

    Altitude Sickness

    by traveldave Updated Sep 14, 2002

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    In much of Colorado, but especially in the Rocky Mountains, the high altitude can be a problem. It is not uncommon for those unaccustomed to the altitude to feel a shortness of breath with the slightest exertion, even in Denver. In severe cases, altitude sickness can cause death. It is a good idea to take it easy for the first few days until the body becomes acclimatized to the altitude.

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Colorado Warnings and Dangers

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