8 Eclipse Safety Tips from Wind River Visitors Council

Wyoming’s Wind River Country has all the best ingredients of an unforgettable solar-eclipse experience.

However, there are some risk-management factors we would like you to keep in mind so that our shared eclipse adventure is as enjoyable as possible for all!

1. Eye safety: Do not look directly at the sun except during the brief period of totality. Use eclipse-viewing sunglasses or shadow devices. Take the time to review NASA’s eye-safety tips at https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEhelp/safety.html.

2. Trespassing: We have millions of acres of wide-open spaces for eclipse viewing, but not all of them are public land and an open gate does not necessarily mean access is allowed. It is your responsibility to know land ownership, to heed trespass laws, and to care for the public lands you use in the manner expected.

You can find maps of land ownership with an app like OnXMaps, on a GPS, and through local agencies like the Wyoming State Lands, Wyoming BLM, and Wyoming Forest Service.

When using public lands, remember to leave no trace of your presence.

3. Navigation: Don’t rely on your phone or car GPS for navigation. It is not uncommon for visitors to find themselves lost because they only used their phones to navigate. Pick up a county or state map at a chamber of commerce or ask for directions to double-check your route.

Not all roads are paved or even in good condition out here. Travel with water, food, extra layers, and a spare tire, especially if you plan on getting off the more popular routes.

4. Location: Be sure you always know your location—travel within your capabilities and those of your vehicle (be sure you have enough gas, as stations can be many miles apart). Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
o If you do have to call 9-1-1, state your location first. Our dispatchers are dispersed across the county, and if they are overloaded your call may go elsewhere in the state initially. The first bit of information to relay to the dispatcher is your location.

5. Fire safety: August is peak fire season in Wind River Country, and your car, your cigarette, and your campfire could all easily start a wildfire.

o Don’t park your car (or leave it running) on grass. Instead, park in designated camping, parking, or viewing areas.
o Don’t toss cigarettes.
o Thoroughly douse any campfire, and make sure your campfire is legal—they are banned in many locations.

6. Altitude: Wind River Country’s elevation ranges from 5,000 feet to nearly 14,000 feet. If you are not acclimated, be sure to drink lots of water and do not over-exert yourself. Know the warning signs of altitude sickness.

o The altitude also means the sun’s rays are harsher; wear sunscreen, long-sleeved shirts, hats, and pants.

7. Bears: Take appropriate bear-safety steps, including food storage regulations and carrying (and knowing how to use) bear spray.

8. Snakes and bugs: In the heat and dryness of August, snakes and bugs thrive. Take precautions to protect yourself from mosquitoes and rattlesnakes.