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Draw animal printsNext time you go out, try bringing along a notebook and a pencil and sketching the prints you find. Over time, your kids will be able to add to their collection!
Widen the searchAs you become more skilled, you can start looking for other signs of animals. Do you see leaves or bushes that have been trampled? Rabbits and deer often feed on the same plants. Twigs eaten by rabbits are often cut off at a 45 degree angle, while twigs eaten by deer are usually ripped off of bushes or trees and have rough, irregular edges.
What to Bring
Plenty of water, even for short hikes — a gallon per person per day is a good guide
Snacks such as fruit or trail mix and empty bags to collect any garbage
Sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen
Warm layers and a lightweight rain jacket
Travel size first aid kit
Map of the area you’ll be exploring and your emergency contact numbers
A small flashlight and batteries
Before you get on the trail make sure you have the local Forest Service Ranger District’s or Supervisor’s Office phone number with you. If someone gets hurt this should be the first number you call.
Always let someone know where you're going and what time you expect to be back.
Avoid going if a thunderstorm is in the forecast. Seek shelter in a car or house if you’re caught in a thunderstorm. If you're caught outside, the safest place to be is crouching in a cluster of trees — not in a clearing, out on water, or next to a lone tree.
Be mindful of the sun. Use sunscreen, seek shade, and drink plenty of water — even in the winter.
Animals have their own natural food supply so please don’t feed them.
Fruits and mushrooms can look tasty, but some are poisonous. To be safe, do not eat anything you find growing in the forest.