DNR said almost half of families surveyed prefer to bring home their own food, while about 10 percent choose catered meals.
DNR does not recommend any particular food-delivery services, according to the report, which was conducted online with members of the National Outdoor Foundation. In keeping with its #OneDecker hashtag for videos and articles, the conservation organization and its researchers urge families to share tips for safe outdoors parties at shared vehicles, including:
— Ensure that everyone knows which area is adults-only, and which is for children;
— If there is a wooded area that must be cleared before the party, designate a designated adult driver, and park your vehicle at a safe spot away from backyards and open space (i.e., drop the car behind a neighbor’s fence);
— If your vehicle is occupied by fewer than eight people, use an armchair, a cooler or a table and cut a hole in the ceiling (what do you call a hole in the ceiling? Eh, sir. A barrel);
— Provide kids with their own drinks and food;
— Plan ahead for light weather. Lay chairs, bring a blanket, have some blankets set out and set up chairs along the gravel or paved area and cover them with some plastic, so your guests don’t easily leap from one car to another. And be prepared to move them if it rains.
DNR also recommends family members wear plenty of waterproof footwear, carry a trash bag and lots of water, and plan for how their vehicle will be looked at the next morning after an overnight stay.
More than 800 of the 5,477 family members who were surveyed by DNR in May, June and July selected the outdoors as their preferred place to celebrate a family reunion this fall, according to DNR.
Despite warnings that hot, dry weather can lead to serious illness among campers, outdoor enthusiasts aren’t necessarily discouraged by the Weather Underground, a group whose mission is to provide accurate forecasts for people who use the Internet. According to the group’s report this month, the average temperature during the week leading up to the Halloween holiday, Nov. 1-7, this year in the Washington region was 62 degrees.
The Weather Underground also said the eastern part of the nation is expected to get several inches of snow starting on Saturday. In addition, the U.S. Forest Service report for Oct. 21 through Nov. 1 said wetter-than-normal conditions could result in rock slides, and in the northwest, heavy snow conditions might cause isolated power outages.
The DNR suggests children should wear rubber boots and full-face respirators if outdoors for more than 1.5 hours.
Outdoor enthusiasts should think about using generators or portable barbecues indoors or away from windows, while staying away from windows in the middle of the night when it’s dark and blustery.
The other main factor to consider, according to DNR, is that families should watch for poisonous plants. If people see such plants before going out, they should avoid the area, not touch the plant or locate it somewhere else.
As for pets, should they accompany the group into the woods or outdoors, DNR said they should have ample food and water. If they do end up getting any sort of medical emergency, they should be cared for at home or take a short walk out of the woods or yard.
The Forest Service also says pets are sometimes left out alone during outdoor meals. DNR recommends that pet owners keep food, water and washing up at home, keep their pets on a leash when they’re on the go and bring them inside when they can’t get to it.
Health officials recommended that everyone should wear clothing that will protect them from the sun and wear sunscreen if they plan to be outside.
Families also are advised to follow a preparedness plan for wildfires and to call 911 immediately if a fire breaks out. People should also prepare safety kits and make sure to have water, food and medicine at home in case of an emergency.
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