TIPS FOR A SAFE FAMILY CAMPING TRIP
While long camping trips are awesome, there are a few tips to keep you and your family safe. The following guide will help you make the most of your next journey by keeping your loved ones safe and comfortable.
1. SHELTER AND SITE
What is the right type of shelter and campground site for you? You have to consider your age, physical limitations, and medical needs — as well as those of everyone else in your family. Different resources will be available to you depending on whether you’re staying in a tent, a cabin, or an RV, so plan accordingly as to what gear you’ll need based on your site choice.
As an example, a cabin will provide you with full beds or bunk beds. A tent will require an air mattress, sleeping bag, or other accommodations. Although RVs and cabins offer more amenities and safety compared to tents, about 60% of campers still opt for the latter. It all depends on you, and your specific needs. Your comfort zone will determine the safest plan for you.
2. THE WEATHER
Keep an eye on the weather forecast before you hit the road. Weather can change within the hour, which means it’s crucial to prepare for harsh climates such as rain, snow, high heat, or high humidity. Around 33% of campers plan one month in advance to be proactive.
3. FOOD STORAGE
Leaving food out unattended increases your chances of attracting wildlife. To prevent unwanted confrontations, pack your food in tight, waterproof containers and store them in an insulated cooler. To avoid any illnesses, wash your hands and separate raw food from cooked meals. Proper food safety practices will keep you away from disagreeable situations.
4. CAMPFIRE SAFETY
Fires within your camp should stay at least 5 meters from tent walls, shrubs, or trees. It’s important to keep your fire manageable in a specific area like a fire pit. You should also never leave a fire unattended. Always keep a water bucket nearby and put the fire out before leaving or going to sleep. Make sure to drown all the embers, not just the red ones.
5. INSECT PROTECTION
To protect yourself from mosquitos, ticks, and other insects, use insect repellent that doesn’t dissolve easily in water. Check for ticks daily, especially in unsuspecting areas of your body. It’s also recommended to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when hiking to avoid direct contact with insects. After any outdoor activity, dry your clothes for at least 10 min on high heat to kill any ticks that may be present.
Packing an EpiPen or other medications for your known allergies will greatly diminish any unexpected medical situation. You should also keep a first aid kit handy and watch for dizziness, labored breathing, and swelling around bites or places where plants or insects may have been in contact with your skin.
7. THE SUN
We often think UV rays are absent on cloudy days, but they can burn your skin just as easily as on sunny days. The sun’s rays are at their strongest in midday hours — seeking shade, wearing a hat, or putting on sunglasses can help protect you from the UV rays. We recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen and lip screen with at least SPF 15.
8. STAY HYDRATED
Staying hydrated means drinking water regularly throughout the day, even if you don’t think you’re thirsty. An emergency kit should include at least a 3- to 5-day supply of water. If you feel thirsty, chances are you’re already dehydrated.
Storing your food in a bear-safe container or food storage locker can prevent attracting unwanted wildlife encounters. Avoid touching and feeding animals — but if you do come in contact with any animals, wash your hands with soap and water or by using a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
10. HAVE FUN AND REMAIN ALERT
Camping in a fun experience, but it’s also important to pay attention to your body, what it needs, and how it reacts to the environment. Be smart, get plenty of sleep, and limit your alcohol intake. Enjoy your time outdoors and have fun with your fellow campers.
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