As Spring approaches, and pandemic issues ease, more and more Borderland residents are venturing out.

The El Paso area is loaded with fun things to do outdoors and for those who still aren’t comfortable with large indoor gatherings, the outdoors are a great way to have fun while still avoiding close contact with others.

We have mountain biking trails, areas to go off-roading, lots of jogging, hiking and walking trails and don’t even get me started on all the great motorcycle rides you can take around here.

The hiking, walking and mountain biking trails around here are beautiful but they can also be deadly. The threats they pose are real but also easily avoidable with a little care and attention.

One of the more obvious threats would be the chance of accidents or falls. A simple twisted ankle could leave you unable to get back to help and in many areas … particularly in the mountain ranges … phone service ranges from spotty to completely unavailable.

The best approach with regard to avoiding trouble in this area would be:

  1. Don’t walk, hike or mountain bike alone. If you must, or even if you do have companions, make sure someone who isn’t accompanying you knows where you are going, who is with you and when you expect to return. If they don’t hear from you by that time, they should call 911 who will in turn get the appropriate agencies moving.

  2. Stay on marked, wide, well cleared trails. Don’t go “exploring” without proper gear, training and/or professional guidance.

  3. As Clint Eastwood once said, “a man’s got to know his limitations’. Know yours and do not overreach. When it comes to overall health, endurance, agility, your senses, etc; understand that nature can be deceptive and the dangers very subtle. A slight rise can quickly become too steep, slippery or rocky for your skill level.

Some of the deadliest hazards in the wild stem from animal encounters. Wild animals, while cute, can mess you up so leave ‘em alone. Watch where you put your hands and where you step. Brown recluse and black widow spiders are venomous and I don’t have to remind you what rattlesnakes can do. Be sure you have a quality snake bite and first aid kit with you, plenty of water and keep your eyes and ears open.

Spiders and snakes are small and very well camouflage so, heads up. As far as other animals go, while shy, they can hurt you if surprised or provoked. The coyotes are not as dumb as the one in the roadrunner cartoons and that mule deer ain’t Bambi. Be careful.

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