As you all know, there are some people who are just NOT outdoors people, meanwhile, there are those that love everything about the outdoors. They love the fresh air, the kiss of the sun touching their skin, and the overall beauty of the plants and trees.

enjoy the great outdoors

With enjoying the beauties of nature, it’s important to not get too wrapped up in the scenery… you also need to be aware of your surroundings. When I was a child, and even now, whenever I’m out and about, my mom’s words still ring in my head… “be aware of your surroundings!” I’m not trying to steal your love of the outdoors, I just want you to safely enjoy it, especially when enjoying it with your children. Their safety is your top priority.

Whether you’re going for a quick run in your neighborhood or taking your kids to the park, you never know what could happen. Being aware of your surroundings is a good habit to have in general, regardless of where you are. The mall, grocery store, or gas station… always skim the area you’re in. Check out these things to be aware of when enjoying the outdoors.


Dogs have been given the title of “man’s best friend,” and for some dogs, that’s very true. There are breeds of dogs that are the kindest and most gentle of dogs, but then there are dogs where viciousness is in their genetic makeup. Those are the types of dogs you have to watch out for.

Let’s say you’re out for a walk around your neighborhood, as you normally do, but there’s this house you always pass on your route that has a dog in the front yard with a dog that barks at everyone that passes their house. That dog is why you need to constantly be aware of your surroundings.

You don’t even want to think about what that dog could do if it broke away from its chain, but that’s why you need to be prepared. Being attacked by a dog can be a traumatic experience with substantial injuries, depending on the nature of the wounds. Regardless of how big or how small the damages are, the owners of that dog will be held responsible. Just make sure you have a stick, dog mace, or something else to protect you while on your outdoor strolls.

That’s one of my pet peeves. If you’re going to be a dog owner, be a responsible one. Just because your dog is friendly towards your family, that doesn’t mean he’ll be friendly to passers-by… and to add insult to injury, you put the dog in the front yard. Dog owners just need to be more conscious of others… the same thing applies to dog poop… pick it up, please! Because I’m the one who always steps in it!

Insects and Critters

Being aware of your surroundings also includes being aware of bugs and other creepy crawlies! For those who are allergic to bee stings or pollen, you need to learn to love the indoors! No, I only kid, but you do need to take extra precautions before you step outside.

If you’re one who’s allergic to pollen, make sure you have some kind of allergy medicine in your repertoire that you take at least an hour before you plan on being outside. You want to take it before you are outside so that you can actually enjoy the outdoors without sneezing up a storm, and causing your eyes to itch and water.

Another weapon to combat elements of the outdoors is bug repellent. For those that are deathly allergic to insect bites or stings, bug repellent is a must. The thing to remember with bug repellent is that it doesn’t kill the bugs. It has ingredients in it that is supposed to keep the bugs away from you, but you do have to make sure you use the repellent correctly. Read the directions on the repellent label.

Just a side note: When walking in the park, go easy on your lip gloss… tiny bugs like gnats tend to fly and get stuck on your lips!


Wildlife is what makes the outdoors, but coming face to face with wildlife isn’t exactly what you had in mind when wanting to experience the great outdoors. It’s cool to see a bear or opossum on television, but to actually run into one on a nature hike or trail, is totally different.

If you’re out hiking, you want to pay attention to signs… a lot of times you signs for deer or bears. When it comes to the outdoors, you have to use your eyes and ears. Pay attention to what’s on the ground; if you see animal waste on the ground that’s definitely a tell-tale sign of wildlife. If you hear rumbling in the bushes, that’s also a sign of something in your presence! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being outdoors, and wildlife, but you just have to be smart about it by being safe, so do as my mother says and “be aware of your surroundings!”

This is a contributed post



Claire Kirby

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