8 Common Outdoor Threats Everyone Should Be Aware Of And Prepared For

Stepping outside can be a dangerous move. The threats we find in the outdoors are terrifying, but for the outdoor enthusiast, that won't prevent us from getting out there and being a part of the natural environment. Anything could happen at any moment, even when you are stuck inside. But being prepared for the outdoors, especially when heading out for a long hike or adventure, is important to your safety and enjoyment. [slideshow:1055]

Related: Hiking First Aid: 10 Things You Need to Protect Yourself in the Great Outdoors

We've recently discussed outdoor threats such as West Nile Virus, Summer Hypothermia, and Poison Ivy. This list of 8 outdoor threats explores other common threats that you might not know about, but really should.

We've all heard of Lyme Disease, and it's implications, but did you know that there are other tick borne illnesses that are out there, and are very commonly transmitted? In creating this list of outdoor threats, I chatted with Dr. Tom Trojian of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. As an avid outdoorsman, Dr. Trojian has a wealth of knowledge on the subject of Lyme Disease and other common outdoor threats associated with hikers and adventurists.

He discussed the research of Dr. Karl Ford, who found the Appalachian Trail to be highly concentrated of ticks, and estimated 5-9% of hikers contract Lyme Disease on the trail.

Preventing these ticks can be a life-saving decision. Here are our tips on how to protect yourself from ticks.

There are other dangers to be aware on any hike, such as staying safe around bears or preventing snake bites. Here we focus on the common diseases, infections, and what to do if you show the symptoms.

Knowing what ticks, parasites, or health dangers lurk outside before your next hike, could just save your life. 

Click here for 14 of the most dangerous hikes in the U.S.