The solar eclipse on August 21st is expected to attract up to one million visitors in Oregon and many will likely be visiting public lands. Here are five tips to keep in mind before you head out into the woods.
1. Have a plan. Make sure you have a solid plan of where you're going and what you need to bring. Hotels and campsites are booked, roads will be clogged, and normally remote areas will be crowded. Fill up your gas tank and stock up on supplies well in advance. Cell service may not be available so plan your route in advance and bring a hard copy map. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early, stay put, and leave late to help avoid the crowds.
2. Be prepared. Make sure you have all the proper supplies and gear including solar glasses, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses, plenty of food and water, warm clothes, map, flashlights, pocket knife, and a first-aid kit.
3. Be safe with fire. August is peak wildfire season in Oregon and a small spark can rapidly become a large fire. Because of hot and dry conditions many areas have campfire bans in place so check with local authorities on fire restrictions. If you're camping use a propane or backpack stove for cooking outdoors not a barbecue grill or campfire. As Smokey Bear reminds us: Only you can prevent wildfires.
4. Leave No Trace. Help to protect your Malheur National Forest for everyone to enjoy. Wherever you're visiting please leave the area better than you found it. Remove all trash and remember that if you pack it in, pack it out!
5. Have fun. Be safe and be prepared so that you can have fun and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime event. Wear your approved solar eclipse glasses.