Camping in the great outdoors is such a great, wholesome way to get back to nature, have some fun and build some wonderful, long lasting family memories. But, while you are having fun, you need to make sure that you are thinking about your safety and the safety of your family. No camping trip will be fun if someone gets hurt! Here are five tips to help you stay safe while camping outdoors:
- Above all, stay aware of your surroundings. Choose your camping location carefully, and be sure to always set up camp during daylight hours. You don’t want to wake up surprised that you’ve set your tent next to a scary cave or treacherous cliff. Knowing where the paths are, where water is located, and where any hazards are will help to keep you safe. Check to make sure you aren’t setting up your tent on top of an anthill or snake nest!
- Know the weather forecast ahead of time. Of course it could change at any time, but you should know what is expected. This should be common sense for most people, but forgetting to check the weather can leave you very vulnerable. Weather conditions like thunderstorms can be very dangerous when you are not tucked away tight inside your house! Being prepared for the weather and having the right gear can help make your camping trip a success—even during inclement weather.
- Be aware of fire safety. Everyone loves a campfire. There is something so relaxing about sitting around the fire with friends and loved ones. However, open fires are also extremely dangerous if you are not careful. Know which way the wind is blowing, and keep your chairs, clotheslines and tents well removed from the fire and from the direction that smoke and embers are going to travel. One lonely ember can cause a deadly tent fire if you are not careful.
- Be sure to pack the right gear. In addition to your tent, make sure you have warm clothing, proper sleeping bags, lanterns and fuel, matches, a hatchet and anything else that you may need to keep yourself warm and safe.
- Be aware of the local wildlife where you are camping. Don’t find out as you pull into the campground that they are having a “bear problem” this season. Find out in advance, by calling ahead. There are products on the market that can protect you, such as pepper spray specifically designed for use against bears. Arm yourself with this personal protection product just in case. Most of the time bears are just looking to get into your food, but you don’t want to be face to face with a hungry bear unarmed. Using the pepper spray will probably make the bear go away pretty quickly, and allow you to get to safety.
These are just a few helpful safety tips that you should remember when you are camping, whether you are enjoying a standard campsite at a state campground or if you choose to really rough it and do some real back-country wilderness camping.