We always encourage the public to be prepared for their visits to the Angeles National Forest, San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, and other outdoor adventures. Here, find tips on outdoor preparedness and stewardship. By taking a few steps to plan ahead, visitors can ensure themselves happy memories and help these places stay open, clean, and safe for future visitors, especially during the pandemic.
- Know before you go. Check the status of the place you want to visit for closures, fire restrictions, and weather.
- Plan and prepare. Reservations and permits may be required. Make sure you have the gear you need and a back-up plan.
- Build an inclusive outdoors. Be an active part of making the outdoors safe and welcoming for all identities and abilities.
- Respect others. There is space for everyone and countless outdoor activities. Be kind to all who use the outdoors and nature differently.
- Leave no trace. Respect the land, water, wildlife, and Native communities. Follow the seven Leave No Trace principles.
- Make it better. We all have a responsibility to sustain the places we love. Volunteer, donate, and advocate for the outdoors.
Here are a few more things to keep in mind when preparing to visit public lands and parks.
- Don’t assume you will have access to public service amenities such as:
- Informational/visitor services
- Available restrooms
- Public trash/recycling cans
- Have at least one back-up destination in case your first option is too crowded.
- Bring and wear a mask, especially at the trailhead or when passing other people on a trail or in a picnic area.
- Bring a trash bag to take any trash home with you to dispose of.
- Bring along any maps, directions or other information you may need during your visit.
- Take responsibility for your own safety:
- Check for fire danger or closures before you leave
- Bring basic first aid supplies
- Check weather and dress appropriately
- If there is an emergency or you see a fire, call 911.
Outdoors Essentials Packing List for Safety
Forest Service list of the “10 essentials” to be prepared for minor injuries, sudden weather changes or delays in the great outdoors.
- Appropriate footwear: Make sure you are wearing sturdy footwear that can withstand the terrain and the length of your trip.
- Map: Bring a printed map. Don’t rely on your phone for navigation in emergencies. You can’t count on cell phone coverage in remote areas.
- Extra Food: Carry more than the minimum requirement of food. Such as: Power bars, jerky or chocolate.
- Extra Water: Bring extra water! It’s often helpful to carry water purification tablets or a water filter.
- Extra Clothing: Bring layers of clothing that are not cotton. This way you can regulate your temperature if the weather shifts.
- Emergency Items: Bring a flashlight & extra batteries, whistle, matches.
- First Aid Kit: including foot care and insect repellent (as needed)
- Multi-tool or Knife: plus a gear repair kit
- Backpack: Bring a backpack that can fit your essentials and any extra gear you need.
- Sun protection: Hat, sunglasses & sunscreen.
Additional Items to Consider
- Additional wayfinding tools: Compass & or GPS
- Signaling device: Foil, pocket mirror
- Prescriptions: glasses, medications (bring extra)
- Radio with extra batteries
- Shelter: Space blanket or a piece of plastic (to use for warmth or shelter)
- Trash bag: (makes an adequate poncho)
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released safety guidelines for visiting parks and recreational facilities.
- Leave No Trace has created special instructions for getting outside during COVID-19; they also have including Spanish language fliers (below).