How to be safe, prepared while enjoying the outdoors

With warmer weather comes more people exercising outdoors, and a higher risk of danger.

Whether you're planning on hiking the Greenbelt or Lady Bird Lake in Austin, you might want to check out what outdoor enthusiasts are doing to prepare. "Biking, the chain came off, cut through my Achilles tendon, and you'd think it was painful but I went into shock right away,” said Chris Ford.

Ford is taking matters into his own hands by signing up for a wilderness first aid course Saturday to ensure he's ready to face any dangerous situation that may come his way. 

He said most serious injuries can happen by accident, while others can be completely avoidable.  "It's very empowering to know you can keep yourself and others safe. It really helps people feel comfortable in any environment."

The Expedition School Founder and Executive Director Kimery Duda said many people don't know how to help in life-threatening situations, which is why she started the wilderness first aid courses in 2006 after she found herself in a tricky situation. 

"I was climbing and had altitude sickness and no one knew how to help,” said Ford. 

She now teaches people in classrooms and in the field on how to properly pack a first aid kit, how to perform CPR and other safety steps. A simple tip she has for both beginning and advanced hikers in Austin, is to always have water with you. 

"It's Austin it's hot always have water in your car or on you,” said Duda. 

Duda's next big tip? Get trained.

She said the people who take her courses have helped save many lives. 

"We had a person whose coworker collapses and they performed CPR and that person is now back at work with a healthy heart,” said Duda. 

She also recommends to invest in a first aid kit. Other attendees like Stan Peyton said the skills learned are important for everyone to know.  Especially when every second matters. 

"It's given me knowledge of the protocol of what the steps I should take are. Otherwise I'd be doing things randomly. I might have done this but not in the right order. You're more likely to do things right if you do them in the right order,” said Peyton. 

"Make sure that you get trained. Your training in your own education biggest key to helping and not only prevent these emergencies from happening but also helps you respond in the best way that keeps you the rescuer safe,” said Ford.