Backcountry Preparation and Safety
NPS Photo/Cookie Ballou
For Your Safety
There are no reliable water sources in the backcountry. To insure you have enough water for drinking and cooking, please carry one gallon per person per day (water weighs approximately 8 lbs. per gallon). Water faucets are located at every visitor center. Carry additional water for your vehicle.
Be Alert for Poisonous Snakes and Insects
Watch where you place your hands and feet, carry a flashlight at night, and shake out your shoes and clothes before putting them on. Remember, snakes and insects are protected in the park. Please do not harm or harass them.
Mountain lions and black bears are a natural part of the environment; be prepared for the possibility of an encounter. Keep small children close at all times. Don't let them run ahead on trails. If you feel threatened by a lion or bear, do not run. Instead, look large and yell, scream, wave your arms, and throw rocks or sticks if necessary. Pick up small children. Report lion and bear sightings in detail to a ranger.
Report Any Illegal Activity to a Ranger
When visiting Big Bend, the possibility of encountering narcotics smugglers and human traffickers does exist. If you see such activity, please report the details to a park ranger as soon as possible.
Lock Your Vehicle and Safeguard Your Valuables
Theft of property from unoccupied vehicles and campsites can be a problem in remote areas of the park.
Avoid Swimming or Wading in the Rio Grande
Sudden dropoffs and unpredictable currents make the river potentially hazardous.