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Tips & Tricks

MORE Poisonous Plants to Watch Out for in New Brusnwick

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Do you know how to recognize common hazardous plants in New Brusnwick? Our beautiful province is blooming—make sure you know which plants are safe, and which to stay away from. For more information, see: http://www.invadingspecies.com/giant-hogweed/ http://www.invadingspecies.com/wild-parsnip/

Savez-vous comment reconnaître les plantes dangereuses courantes au Nouveau-Brunswick? Notre belle province fleurit—assurez-vous de savoir quelles plantes sont saines et quelles plantes éviter. Pour plus d’informations, voir: http://www.invadingspecies.com/giant-hogweed/ http://www.invadingspecies.com/wild-parsnip/

Hiking Packs

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Last week we shared some recommendations for food to carry with you when you adventure into the woods. This week we’d like to share a little bit more about what our searchers carry in their packs.

We follow the guidelines of the Ten Essentials: map, compass, sunglasses and sunscreen, extra clothing, headlamp or flashlight, first-aid supplies, firestarter, matches, knife, and extra food. The idea behind the Ten Essentials is to ensure hikers can be prepared for the unexpected; to be equipped to spend a night or more outside, and to respond effectively to an emergency.

When searchers go into the woods they are carry these and more in order to take care of themselves and our subject. Each searcher maintains their own pack to suit their needs and skills. Members with advance medical training might have a more elaborate first aid kit, other members have been known to pack in enough food for a week. Regardless, our team always does our best to be prepared to take care of ourselves and our subject when we head out on a search. For more information, stay tuned for later in the week when Dave Northrup shows off the pack he carries with him on searches!

La semaine dernière, nous avons partagé quelques recommandations de nourriture à emporter avec vous lorsque vous vous aventurez dans les bois. Cette semaine, nous aimerions partager un peu plus sur ce que nos chercheurs portent dans leurs sacs à dos.

Nous suivons les directives des Dix Essentiels: carte, boussole, lunettes de soleil et crème solaire, vêtements supplémentaires, lampe frontale ou lampe de poche, fournitures de premiers soins, allume-feu, allumettes, couteau et nourriture supplémentaire. L’idée derrière les Dix Essentiels est de s’assurer que les randonneurs peuvent être préparés à l’inattendu; être équipé pour passer une nuit ou plus à l’extérieur, et pour répondre efficacement à une urgence.

Lorsque les chercheurs vont dans les bois, ils les portent et plus encore pour prendre soin d’eux-mêmes et de notre sujet. Chaque chercheur maintient son propre pack en fonction de ses besoins et de ses compétences. Les membres ayant une formation médicale avancée pourraient avoir une trousse de premiers soins plus élaborée, d’autres membres sont connus pour emballer suffisamment de nourriture pendant une semaine. Quoi qu’il en soit, notre équipe fait toujours de notre mieux pour être prête à prendre soin de nous et de notre sujet lorsque nous partons à la recherche. Pour plus d’informations, restez à l’écoute plus tard dans la semaine lorsque Dave Northrup montrera le sac qu’il porte avec lui lors des recherches!

Hiking Snacks

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When our team is out in the woods we are always sure to take nutrious snacks so that we keep our bodies fueled and our energy up. If you’re planning to head out hiking or camping, you may be wondering what kinds of food to bring with you, and we have some recommendations.

How long you’re planning on being out will determine how much perishable food you bring with you; fresh foods like fruit and vegetables, along with cheese and dried meats, are great snacks, but have a limited period in which they can be safely consumed. Snacks that do not need to be refridgerated and have a longer shelf life, like nuts and nut butters, crackers and granola bars, and dried fruits and trail mixes, are great for longer hikes. If you’ll be camping or spending more than a few hours out in the woods and need to carry your food on you, there are lots of great packaged and DIY options available—”instant” items such as minute rice, freeze-dried beans, and boxed mashed potatoes make great bases for hot meals.

Overall, it’s best to focus on calorie dense and nutritious options so that you can carry enough food to sustain you without adding unnecessary weight to your pack. For more information, check out https://www.adventurealan.com/best-backpacking-food/

Lorsque notre équipe est dans les bois, nous sommes toujours sûrs de prendre des collations nutritives afin de garder notre corps alimenté et notre énergie. Si vous prévoyez de partir en randonnée ou en camping, vous vous demandez peut-être quels types de nourriture apporter, et nous avons quelques recommandations.

Combien de temps vous prévoyez de sortir déterminera la quantité de denrées périssables que vous apportez avec vous; les aliments frais comme les fruits et légumes, ainsi que le fromage et les viandes séchées, sont d’excellentes collations, mais ont une période limitée pendant laquelle ils peuvent être consommés en toute sécurité. Les collations qui n’ont pas besoin d’être réfrigérées et qui ont une durée de conservation plus longue, comme les noix et les beurres de noix, les craquelins et les barres granola, ainsi que les fruits secs et les mélanges montagnards, sont idéales pour les randonnées plus longues. Si vous campez ou passez plus de quelques heures dans les bois et que vous avez besoin de transporter votre nourriture sur vous, il existe de nombreuses options emballées et de bricolage disponibles—des articles “instantanés” tels que du riz minute, du gel- les haricots secs et la purée de pommes de terre en boîte constituent d’excellentes bases pour les repas chauds.

Dans l’ensemble, il est préférable de se concentrer sur des options riches en calories et nutritives afin que vous puissiez transporter suffisamment de nourriture pour vous soutenir sans ajouter de poids inutile à votre sac. Pour plus d’informations, consultez https://www.adventurealan.com/best-backpacking-food/

tick life stages

Blacklegged (Deer) Ticks: What You Need to Know

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With the warm weather, all kinds of critters are coming out to explore the world, and while we’re happy to see the bees and hear the birds singing, there’s one little creature we’re less happy to see: ticks.

There are a few different kinds of ticks in New Brunswick, but the one to watch out for is the blacklegged tick, also known as the deer tick. Blacklegged ticks are common in NB, and can carry Borrelia—the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease—meaning, if you are bit by an infected tick, there’s a chance you could be exposed. Tick season in NB runs from April to November, and are typically found in areas that have long grass, brush, or are wooded. Be sure to wear full-coverage clothing and bug repellent if you’re planning to be out in fields, in the woods, or on trails to prevent exposure. When you come home, check your clothes, yourself, and your pets for any hitchhikers, especially in creases like behind the ears, in armpits, between the legs, and behind the knees, as well as in and around hair.

If you do find a tick, don’t panic! Remove the tick safely and completely, with pointed tweezers, a tick removal kit, or the “straw and string” method (for more information. After that, reach out to your local health authority or https://www.etick.ca/ for testing. With Etick.ca, you can take a photo and upload it to be connected with an expert who will work with you to identify the tick, any possible health risks, and provide guidance on next steps. This is a great resource that provides the public with accessible tick information and assistance, and uses the data submitted to better predict tick numbers and movement.

CanLyme tick kit

Lyme Disease Awareness Month

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May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, a time to spread information on how to prevent Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. In our next post, we’re going to talk a little bit about blacklegged (deer) ticks, which carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, but today we’re going to share some information about Lyme itself.

Cases of Lyme disease in Canada have been rising over the last 10 years, and has been especially bad in Nova Scotia. Lyme disease is particularly hard to track because there are a wide range of varying symptoms so Lyme is often misdiagnosed as something else. You’re likely familiar with the classic “bullseye” rash, but there are actually over 100 identified symptoms! There are three stages of Lyme: early, spreading, and chronic infection. Lyme disease is most treatable during Stage 1; after that, symptoms worsen and diagnosis and treatment become more difficult.

The best thing you can do is decrease your risk of infection by educating yourself about Lyme disease and taking preventative action. Check out our next post for more information!

recommendations to avoid heat illnesses

Beat the Heat!

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I think we can all agree, New Brunswick’s weather can be all over the place. A few weeks ago, we had snow, and this past week we had extreme heat warnings! It’s important to be prepared for NB’s climate whenever you’re outside, and in the summer, that means being aware of the health risks that come along with heat and humidity.

Heat-related illnesses are caused by being over-exposed to extreme heat and/or over-working yourself in that heat. They can come on quickly and can lead to more serious issues such as long-term health problems or even death. Heat illnesses include heat-induced edema (swelling of hands, feet, and ankles), rash, muscle cramps, fainting, exhaustion, and stroke. Avoid these illnesses by keeping an eye on the forecast, staying cool with air conditioning, fans, and appropriate clothing, and keeping hydrated. Plan outdoor activities, such as exercise, hiking, picnics, or yard work for cooler days or cooler times of day, such as in the morning or evening, to avoid exposure to extreme heat. Pay attention to your body and to those around you, and if you see or experience any symptoms of heat illnesses—such as dizziness/fainting, nausea/vomiting, headache, rapid breathing/heartbeat, or changes in behaviour such as irritibility or sleepiness (especially in children)—get to a cooler place and drink some cold water.

When you get as much snow as we do, you want to make the most of the hot weather; just be sure you’re doing it safely!

poison ivy leaves

Poisonous Plants to Watch Out For in New Brunswick

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Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac grow in wooded or marshy areas throughout North America. They actually aren’t really poisonous—they produce a sticky oil called urushiol that causes an itchy, blistering rash after it touches your skin.

You may have heard the saying “leaves of three, let it be”—poison ivy has three shiny leaves, one in the middle and two on either side. Poison oak looks similar, but the leaves are grouped in threes, fives, or sevens, and are larger, more rounded, and have a hairy surface. Poison sumac grows as a shrub or tree, and its leaves grow in clusters of seven to thirteen leaves, with one by itself at the end.

You can avoid coming into accidental contact with posion ivy, oak, or sumac by wearing long-sleeved shirt, long pants, gloves, and closed shoes. If you’ve gotten any of the plants’ oil on your skin, wash it right away with warm soapy water or use alcohol wipes to remove it.

You may see a red rash appear in 24-72 hours and last up to three weeks. Over-the-counter medicine can provide relief from itchiness, as can cool compresses and oatmeal baths. Luckily, the rash isn’t contageous! Seek medical attention if the rash is close to your eyes or is widespread over your body, and go to the emergency room if you experience nausea, fever, shortness of breath, extreme soreness at the rash site, or swollen lymph nodes.