3 Outdoor Pranks You Should Never Try

People Hiking Upside DownIt’s April Fool’s Day, which means that it’s time to let your inner prankster out. It’s the one day of the year when you have a get out of jail free card for making mischief (although that card is not accepted everywhere). A whoopee cushion around the campfire or a fake rubber snake are harmless enough, but there are some things that you just shouldn’t joke about.

Never fake an injury. There’s plenty of opportunity for injury in outdoor recreation. Climbing sheer rock faces and paddling through rapids aren’t exactly safe activities. When you’re doing things that are inherently dangerous, and you’re hours away from the nearest hospital, feigning an injury is something that you just shouldn’t do. Not only is it a cruel joke, but your playing possum could lead to the injury of a good samaritan who decides to lend a helping hand. Ever heard of the boy who cried wolf?

Never tamper with trail markers. Turning an arrow on the trail 180 degrees might seem like a clever little prank, but it could cause some serious problems for unsuspecting hikers. Anyone who relies on signage while hiking could end up getting lost, which could add hours or days that they weren’t anticipating to their trip. Messing with trail markers does more than create a little confusion and can leave people lost or hungry.

Never spook strangers. If you can’t resist the urge to prank someone, just make sure that you prank someone that you know. Startling another hiker or making noise around someone’s campsite might seem like innocent fun, but there’s not guaranteeing that the person being pranked will feel the same way. Some hikers carry bear spray to ward off unwanted wildlife and some campers hurl rocks at rustling bushes, and a face full of mace or a rock to the head is no joke. Not to mention that it can be hard to talk your way out of a prank gone wrong.

Use your best judgement when it comes to pranking people in the great outdoors. Never play a prank that can lead to an injury, or put people at risk. That’s good advice whether you’re indoors or out.

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