Camping is a wonderful way to escape the noisy, hectic city life and reconnect with nature but as enjoyable as it may be, it’s essential you stay safe during your fun-filled adventure in the wilderness. There are many safety aspects to bear in mind and the key lies in good preparation so here are 5 tips to help you get organised.
1. Choose the right spot
The first step in your planning should be picking the most suitable place for camping where you need to consider not just the right campsite and shelter, but also the age, fitness, physical limitations and medical needs of everyone involved. Conditions and amenities differ a great deal whether you’re staying in a tent, cabin or an RV, so you need to plan accordingly as to what equipment you’re going to pack.
When camping in a cabin, you’ll have full beds provided whereas in a tent, you’ll need to bring an air mattress and sleeping bags. Also, RVs and cabins offer more amenities and are generally safer, but still around 60% of campers prefer tent camping. Some campsites provide on-site shower rooms, common areas for meals and relaxing, picnic tables and fire rings. However, if you’re going to a remote place, you need to make sure you bring everything you need.
Another consideration when camping alone in wilderness is the possibility of getting lost. That can be highly unnerving and in a state of panic, things usually get worse. The best thing your can do is prepare well – have your phone with GPS and cached maps but also make sure you bring a paper map and a compass as backup. Also, notify friends and family about your plans.
2. Prepare well
Besides choosing the most important camping gear, as a part of your preparation, check out the weather forecast for your destination. Weather is often unpredictable and can change drastically within one hour so you need to factor in things like rain, snow, high humidity and heat. It’s advisable you monitor the weather patterns about one month in advance.
It’s important to bring enough food for everyone so make a checklist of all things you’ll need and pack them in tight, waterproof, insulated containers. Always wash your hands when preparing meals to avoid food-borne illnesses from contaminated food and follow proper food safety practices.
3. Camping with a firearm
A lot of campers decide to take their firearms along as a form of protection or for hunting purposes. If this is your plan, it’s imperative you ensure gun safety 24/7. During the day, you might decide to carry it with you so a high quality holster is a good solution but at night, it’s important your gun is safely stored away, especially if there are children around.
You need to limit access to your firearm and ensure a safe environment for everyone. One way of doing that is using a small, light, portable gun safe. With a great variety of gun safes available, consult professional gun safe reviews to find the one that best suits your needs and allows you to bring your gun along and still be able to protect yourself and your loved ones.
4. Protect yourself
Keeping yourself and your crew safe while camping in wilderness is a top priority. To protect everyone from form ticks, mosquitos and other insects, use insect repellent that isn’t water-soluble. Check for ticks daily and it’s best you wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers to protect your skin from direct contact with insects.
When it comes to larger critters like bears and mountain lions, they are mostly feared by campers but it’s highly unlikely you’ll get attacked by them. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be cautious and try to lower the risk of attracting these animals.
The number one preventive measure against bears is storing your food away and making noise so the campsite doesn’t appear abandoned. If a black bear does show up, make loud noise banging your pots and try to appear bigger than you are. They are usually scared by this and run away. The same goes for mountain lions who do not typically prey on humans.
5. Take care of your health
With all the planning and excitement about your camping adventure, you mustn’t forget about your own health. Nature can be quite harsh and unpredictable so you need to make sure you stay well. For instance, most people think there is no UV radiation on a cloudy day, but the fact is they can still burn your skin through those clouds. The sun rays are the strongest at midday so it’s important you stay in shade, wear your sunhat and sunglasses and never forget to put on the sunscreen of at least SPF 15.
Another important consideration is making sure you stay hydrated during your camping trip. This means not drinking only when you’re thirsty but drinking fluids regularly throughout the day. If you feel thirsty, chances are you’re already dehydrated. Your emergency kit should contain at least 3 to 5 day supply of clean bottled water.
One of the best ways to spend quality time outdoors and with your family is going on camping trips but it’s also crucial everyone stays safe while having tons of fun. Hopefully, with these tips, things will run smoothly and you’ll be making fantastic memories!
Lilly Miller is a Sydney-based graphic designer and a passionate writer. Loves everything about home decor, art history and baking. Shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney.