Tod McKay of the Bitterroot National Forest has some tips for those of you venturing out into the wilds of the valley this weeknd.

I've added a couple of my own tips, too, just to help you enjoy what looks like a great weather weekend.

Bitterroot Outdoor Tips:

  • Before you go, check with the Bitterroot National Forest to find out if there's room at some of the more popular campgrounds. A few of them are reserved through a national check-in site.
  • Pack along some drinking water. Most of the Bitterroot campsites have bathroom facilities, but not many have drinking water. Some are under repair and others just don't have systems. You can never have too much water-especially when you'rre putting out your campfire!
  • Put out your campfire! Don't leave a fire unattended and when you leave, make sure the coals are cool to the touch.
  • Stay away from soft and muddy roads in the forest. For instance, Lost Horse Road, beyond the Lick Creek turn, is always in bad shape this time of year. Don't make it worse.
  • This is high water season, so many of those little streams aren't so little now. Be careful in crossing, and keep an eye on your kids!
  • We are in the midst of tick season. The Bitterroot Valley is historic home to Wood Ticks, a larger version of the eastern U.S. deer tick. If you wear white, they are attracted you. What the little buggers really want is your blood. After being in the woods this time of year, pair up and do "tick checks." If you find one imbedded, get tweezers and grab as close to the head as possible and pull it out.
  • Be careful around dead trees and burned areas (Like the Roaring Lion trail). Some of those dead or burned trees have no roots left and any kind of wind can bring them down - on top of you. Be aware.
  • Let someone know where you're going and when you're going to be back. That's always a good rule.
  • Let's see ... there was something else .... oh, yeah ... Have FUN!