Logo bar of the Alaska Public Lands Information Centers which are located in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Tok and Ketchikan
Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir at Yosemite. Library of Congress.
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Safety Topics

 Alaska is full of beauty and natural wonder. There are many opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, climbing, boating, sightseeing, and many more. Natural hazards are part of the natural environment, which can include land and rock slides, calving glaciers, floods, and volcano eruptions. It is important to be aware of possible hazards so you can enjoy and get the most out of your time in Alaska. Protecting the visitors and the resources of the National and State Parks, Forests, Refuges, and Sanctuaries is an integral part in the mission of the participating agencies involved with Alaska's Public Lands.

It doesn't take much to get out into the heart of Alaska's wilderness. On occasion the wilderness even comes to us! The element of wilderness in Alaskan culture creates a new set of risks to consider. Below are links where you can find more information on some of the most dangerous Alaskan risks. If you know how to handle yourself in the face of Alaskan risks, you will be able to turn your worst nightmare into a true experience of adventure. But in order for that to happen, you need to be an alert and aware traveler! 

bears roam the streets of Katmai National Park

Bear Safety: Although there is no way to guarantee your safety when it comes to live bear encounters, knowledge of bear behavior and appropriate reactions will increase your chances of safety. Many people think that bear behavior is unpredictable, but the Alaska Department of Fish and Game have studied human and bear encounters to determine tactics of avoiding conflict. Click this link to avoid life-threatening encounters.

alaskan bee

Alaskan Pests: Mosquitos are often referred to as the "unofficial state bird", and for a good reason! Mosquitos, flies, and bees are legendary across the state for coming out in mass during the summer months. These insect predators arise due to swampy springs and late-season snow. Click this link to learn simple safety techniques to combat pesky insects.

blueberries in the interior

Poisonous Plants: While Alaska does not have any poison ivy or oak to be wary of, it does have poisonous berries and other plants that can potentially cause severe allergic reactions. Some possible symptoms can include: blistered burns, sensitivity to sunlight, and itchiness. Click this link for a list of our most common plant predators.

alaskan northern fulmars

Diseases: While Alaska remains a mostly healthy and safe location, there are a few diseases in nature susceptible to humans. Giardia, Tularemia, Trichinosis, and Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning are all Alaskan risks. Click this link to read what these diseases are, how to treat them, and how to avoid them. 

wildfire safety

Fire Safety: Being smart outdoors is incredibly important to not start fires. Learn how to build a safe campfire and extinguish it properly to prevent wildfires while camping. Burning debris can sometimes spark a wildfire, so be sure you check the weather forecast and prepare the burning site properly. In addition, make sure your vehicle of transportation has a spark arrestor to minimize the risk of sparks in the engine. Click this link to learn essential wildfire prevention information. 

stop hypothermia by building a fire

Cold Safety: Any person venturing out into an extremely cold environment is in danger of cold stress. Cold stress can be caused by wetness, inadequate clothing, exhaustion, or poor physical condition. If cold stress is not treated immediately, it can lead to hypothermia, frostbite, or trench foot. These occur when body heat is lost faster than it is restored. Click this link to learn about the signs and prevention of getting too cold.

A large avalanche.

Avalanche Safety: Each winter, Alaska's public lands are blanketed in snow, transforming them into cold-weather playgrounds for the adventurous. Winter mountain-sports have inherent risks that differ from summer activities, with avalanches leading the charge of preventable injuries and fatalities. Click here to learn about the risk posed by avalanches and how to prevent accidents from happening.

alaskan moose eats in the brush

Moose Safety: Moose provide great opportunities of wildlife viewing because they are the most common animal in Alaska. Although they do not usually show aggression toward humans, moose can charge if they feel threatened. In these situations they are usually bluffing. Run back and get behind a solid object such as a tree or building. While driving, be alert of moose and leave them plenty of space. Moose-vehicle collisions are very common and can easily be prevented. Click this link to get tips to remember when traveling in moose country. 

 Watch the safety message below sponsored by the Alaska Department of Transportation for safe driving tips in the winter!

Winter is Coming|Safety

DOT PSA Snowplowing Awareness from AlaskaDOTPF on Vimeo.

Artistic sepia toned photograph shows a closeup of an oil barrel with the words public use cabin stencilied on in white paint in the foreground. A rustic log building is in the background. This is Slaven's Roadhouse. Did You Know?
Located at regular intervals, Public Use Cabins are available for visitors along the Yukon River in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. They have wood-burning stoves and are stocked with firewood throughout the year.