Here’s Summer Hiking and Camping Season: Ohio Officials Share Safety Tips

Summer is a popular time of year to stroll and enjoy the state’s natural wonders, highlighted by the millions of visitors welcomed into Ohio’s state parks.

To help keep everyone on track to have a good time, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Mary Mertz and Ohio Department of Insurance Director Judith L. French share important things to know about safety and insurance.

“There is adventure in every direction in Buckeye State—whether people are looking for hiking, biking, fishing, boating or camping—one of the state’s 75 parks has something for everyone,” Mertz said. “It is important that people take appropriate precautions for whatever activity they choose and be prepared in case the trip does not go as planned.”

External experiences can be quickly derailed if other elements are uncooperative. A storm or rogue campfire can wreak havoc on your RV/wagon, tent, and camp items. Expensive gear, equipment, bikes and kayaks may be stolen. Injuries occur.

“Review your vehicle and property insurance policies and talk with your agent about the property you use outdoors and whether it is insured,” French said. “Understand and be comfortable with coverage amounts, coverage limitations, and discount levels. The discount is the amount a policyholder pays before the insurance company pays its share of the insured loss.”

Directors Mertz and French provided the following information:

stay safe

  • Bring sunscreen, a first aid kit, water and food.
  • Hiking and biking off designated trails, participating in water activities without a life jacket, and leaving campfires unattended can all cause problems. Call 911 for emergency assistance.
  • Secure your valuables.
  • Keep campfires as far away as possible from the tent, equipment, and natural surroundings.
  • Do not use fuel-burning supplies in enclosed areas.
  • Go to for posted instructions and check ODNR’s social media pages for any alerts or guidance.

Review your insurance

  • Different safeguards may apply across different types of insurance policies. This includes auto, homeowners, condo, renters and specialized insurance coverage for RVs, ATVs, and watercraft when it comes to outdoor gear and equipment, watercraft, and motor vehicles.
  • Review your policies and discuss coverage approaches with your insurance agent. Shop and compare coverage options.
  • Review your liability insurance, which can provide protection if you cause damage or injury, and evaluate comprehensive coverage for greater financial protection.
  • Keep your insurance information with you. Immediately contact your insurance company or agent if an insurance situation arises.
  • If you have an injury and are concerned about being outside the network of medical providers in your health plan, new laws protect patients from receiving and paying sudden medical bills that are higher than the in-network patient rate for emergency care or, in certain circumstances, unfair care. expected outside the network.

more information

Ohio State Parks information is available on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website,, and the agency’s social media pages. If you have insurance-related questions and complaints, contact the Ohio Department of Insurance at 800-686-1526, [email protected],

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