Camping is a great activity you can do yourself, with friends, or with family. It is fun for all ages, but there are certain things that you have to be aware of when camping. For example, your protection should come before everyone else if you want a good trip.
From having good gear to bringing enough food and water, driving safely, and knowing how to protect yourself from wildlife – these are only some things you need to remember during your trips. To ensure your safety, I have created this guide to show you everything you need to look out for.
So, if you want to learn how to protect your fellow campers and yourself while camping, you have come to the right place. Let’s get right into the guide and find out more!
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TOP 10 Camping Safety Tips
Before you head out on your next camping trip, there are a few safety tips I want you to know. Having taken countless camping trips over the years, I have had my fair share of positive and negative experiences that have taught me the tips I will present to you. I recommend that you take the advice I share to heart and use it to make your next trip a great one:
Research the campsite
Whether you are planning on going to a campsite or camping in some remote areas in national parks, it is always a good idea to do research beforehand. Check to see the potential dangers of the place – wildlife, hunters, fires, or even lack of water. You can find out all the details online or by calling the campsite or national park.
Then, prepare accordingly. If there are no streams around, pack more water and water filters. If there are bears, get a bear or pepper spray. If there is no shelter, make sure you take a tent. Armed with the research information, you can ensure you have everything you need.
Check the weather before the trip
It would help if you did not go camping in poor weather. First, it is dangerous to be in the woods in rainy weather because there is the risk of lightning striking close to you. Second, it is impossible to explore your surroundings in bad weather.
Instead of staying at your campsite only, consider rescheduling your trip and taking it on a sunny, warm day. That way, you can make the most of your trip without dealing with soaked clothes or shoes.
While most campsites are located in amazing places, the great outdoors is not always the most pleasant place to drive at. If you plan to take a car or an RV to get to the camping location, you will need to check the roads beforehand. I recommend you visit a specific camping area only if you have a secure way to get there.
If the roads are not in good condition, consider walking to the campsite if you are sure you want to camp there. Otherwise, you can look for another campsite in the area or even some other place that is more easily accessible.
Get proper gear
Having good hiking gear is very important. This includes a good backpack that can fit all your things, good waterproof and breathable clothing, and accessories. Under accessories, I mean a flashlight, hat, sunscreen, glasses, and other things.
But the most critical gear is the shoes – good hiking shoes or boots are a must. They will protect your feet and help you stay safe during the trip. If you want to enjoy nature without worrying about slipping or twisting your ankle, getting proper shoes should be on top of your list!
Set a clear goal
Whenever planning a camping trip, it is a good idea to set a goal for that trip. Do you want to take short walks and enjoy the fresh air? Or do you want to push yourself and go on demanding hiking trips to nearby summits?
These are all things to consider beforehand because they can affect what you need to carry on the trip. Also, if you are taking a child on the trip, you must keep them safe and entertained. Shorter trips will be best in that case because children, especially younger ones, are not likely to want to walk long distances. So, keep that in mind when planning the trip.
Do not push yourself
Whatever you do, do not push yourself while camping or hiking. You can risk injuring yourself or causing muscle pain if you push yourself beyond your limits. It is always good to know what you are capable of and what is too much for you.
If you want to skip car camping and hike to your campsite, make sure the hike is not too demanding. If it is, practice before your trip – go to the gym or run often. That will help you improve your fitness level, and it will help you get through the trip without any problems.
Have options in case you get lost
It is never someone’s intention to get lost on a remote camping ground. But it can sometimes happen. If it does happen to you, you will need to know how to get back to where you came from or at least get someone to find you.
As part of your camping equipment, make sure that you pack a map or a compass. It can also prove helpful to get whistles or flashlights that you can use to attract people’s attention. No matter what it is, always have an option to help you get someone closer to you.
Give someone your contact information
In connection to the previous point, it is wise to let someone know where you will be camping. That way, even if you get lost in a remote area with no cell service, you can count on someone to come looking for you if you do not contact them.
Before heading on the trip, give your contact information to someone, preferably a friend. If you make a family member your emergency contact, they might panic more if they do not hear from you. So, find a calm and collected friend, and let them know everything about your plans and the trip.
Oh, and remember always to keep the friend updated on your whereabouts and any plan changes. You want to get them worried over nothing because you forgot to call them, am I right?
Know how to act with wildlife
Remember that camping can sometimes lead to a close encounter with wildlife. Depending on where you are camping, you should be aware if there are bears, snakes, or even a mountain lion close by.
This is why it is important to do your research on a specific place before heading out on a trip there. It will help you prepare yourself with repellents, get better food containers to keep the smell from attracting animals, and so on.
Also, you will not get off guard if you come across wildlife. Instead, you will know how to deal with the animal to keep it from attacking you.
Have enough food and water
Having enough food and water for your trip is essential. You cannot enjoy camping if you do not have food to give you energy or water to keep you hydrated. Imagine spending days in the hot summer sun without water – it would be a disaster!
So, always plan the amount of food you need. As for water, check if there are springs or streams you can use. If there are, that would be great – you will only need to get a water filter in case the water is not that clean. If not, make sure to bring water from home.
What Are Five Important Things to Take with You to Protect Yourself When Camping?
It is not enough to consider only the things noted above when going on a camping trip. You need to carry a few important things with you if you want to stay protected. These things do not weigh much and are not that expensive, so you should be able to get them and take them on all your trips. Here are my five most important things:
First aid kit
The first aid kit is the first thing you should pack for any trip. It should contain plasters, gauzes, bandages, tweezers, safety pins, gloves, and hand sanitizer. These things are all important for dealing with any type of wound.
You will inevitably cut or scratch yourself while exploring the campgrounds. Experienced campers will also tell you that a camping stove or campfire can burn your hand. If any of those mentioned above happens to you, you will need a first aid kit to clean and secure the wounds.
Map and compass
Maps and compasses can help you get to the campsite, move around it without getting lost, and help you explore nearby areas that seem interesting. You cannot walk past a safe distance without a map – or you will risk getting lost.
Most smartphones have maps and compasses preinstalled on them. While you can use those, I also recommend getting a separate map or compass. If you lose your phone, forget to bring it, or if its battery runs out, you can always turn to the traditional map or compass.
The flashlight is also important for overnight trips because it can help you check things should you hear any suspicious sounds. You will not have to feel threatened or feel like you are in a vulnerable situation if you have a flashlight. When you hear something and start to feel uncomfortable, you can grab the flashlight and inspect things.
You can also use the flashlight to move around in the dark. But remember that most flashlights carry batteries that can run out after some time. So, before your next adventure, grab some new batteries and fill in the old ones. This will make your flashlight work for weeks!
Matches can come in handy if you want to light a campfire. You are bound to need one for cooking, heating, or light. With the matches and a fire pit, you will be able to get the fire started in no time.
With that being said, I want to say that you should never leave an unattended fire while outdoors. A small fire can become a huge and dangerous one within minutes. So, always keep an eye on it and make sure you put it out before leaving the campgrounds.
National parks and remote areas can often be homes to wildlife and insects. Before visiting such places, you must get repellent sprays that will keep you safe. A self-defense weapon is not always the best to use because you will not want to get close to the predator.
With bear and insect repellent sprays, you can spray the predator without getting close or allowing it to approach you. The repelling sprays are not that expensive or large, so you can take them with you wherever you go!
Hiking Protection From Animals - What Do You Need To Know?
Whenever going on a trip to a remote area, it is always a good idea to get a repellent spray for bears and insects. But aside from that, you should remember a few other things.
The first thing is that you should never feed wildlife. If they get some human food, they might get aggressive in wanting more. So, it is best not to give them any food at all.
The second thing is not to approach them, no matter how timid they may seem. Removing yourself from the area without making contact with them is better.
As for snakes, remember to stay away from grassy areas. The same goes for insects that might be lurking in the grass – if you feel a bite from any insect, do your best to disinfect the skin and get treatment as soon as possible. Some insects can cause allergic reactions, so keep that in mind as well.