California State Parks Safety Tips

Boating

Boating

Camping

Camping

Swimming

Swimming

Biking

Biking

Hiking

Hiking

Backpacking

Backpacking

Equestrian

Equestrian

OHV

OHV

Before leaving, check park information and weather
  • Prior to arrival, call the destination and visit the park’s web page on the California State Parks website for current updates, including any closures of roads, trails, campgrounds.
  • Check your destination’s and route’s weather conditions and prepare accordingly. Road conditions and winter driving tips can be found on the Caltrans website.
Sun safety
  • Stay in the shade, especially during the sun’s peak hours (10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
  • Always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Sun damage occurs even on cloudy days.
  • Cover up with clothing, especially a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. Use long-sleeve rash guards with a high SPF rating if you are on the beach or in the water.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens can be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Teach children good sun-protective practices to reduce the risk of future health problems.
  • Avoid tanning and especially, do not burn! One blistering sunburn can double your risk of melanoma.

For more information about summer heat preparedness, visit the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services’ website.

 

Wear a life jacket
  • Wear a life jacket for any aquatic activity, such as boating or swimming.
  • Conditions change quickly in open water and even the best swimmers can misjudge the water and their skills when boating or swimming. Wearing a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard–approved life jacket can increase survival time.
  • Anyone within 20 feet of water should be wearing a life jacket in case of an unexpected fall. This is especially true with children.
  • A life jacket can also provide some thermal protection against the onset of cold water shock and keep you afloat until someone else can rescue you.
  • Need a life jacket? Check online to find a life jacket loaner station for a day or weekend use.

For more information, read the Division of Boating and Waterways’ “Life Jackets and the Law” publication.