In 2020, over 48.2 million families in the United States camped at least once. Interestingly, over 10 million of these families went camping for the first time, meaning they had a lot to learn before their trip.
While summer camping is a great opportunity to spend quality time with your loved ones and embrace the wonders of the great outdoors, it also poses some risks that you may not face on other types of vacations.
Despite potential risks, you can enjoy camping by learning some basic summer camping safety tips!
1. Bring the Right Gear
While it may be fun to go on a spontaneous trip, planning is essential if you wish to go camping safely. You’ll need to gather your equipment and ensure that everything is in working order. Be sure to pack items such as:
- Tent and bedding
- Flashlights and batteries
- Cooking equipment
- Compass and map
- First aid kit
- Food and water
Depending on where you will be camping, forgetting one of these items can endanger you or, at the very least, put a damper on your trip.
2. Learn Campfire Safety
Sitting around the fire roasting marshmallows and telling stories is a classic camping activity. Yet, rangers or other officials prohibit campers from making fires in some campsites because the land is too dry. So, be sure to ask the authorities about restrictions beforehand.
If you get the green light to build a campfire, review these camping safety tips!
- Keep a shovel, a bucket of water, or a pile of dirt handy to extinguish the fire
- Avoid building a fire on a windy day
- Clear away nearby leaves, sticks, or low-hanging branches
- Never use flammable liquids
- Keep your campfire small and at least 25 feet from anything that can burn
Following these simple tips will keep you, your family, and the local wildlife safe!
3. Let Others Know Where You’ll Be Camping
Once you choose the perfect campsite, let at least two people know where you will be staying. Even if you are an experienced camper, unexpected events or disasters can occur. If something were to happen, your loved ones would know how to find you.
4. Ensure Your Food and Water is Safe
Whether you plan to cook elaborate meals over the campfire or eat army rations, it is crucial to keep your food and water sources sanitary. Here are some tips:
- Store food in waterproof and airtight containers inside an insulated cooler
- Always sanitize your hands before and after touching raw foods
- Carry water purifiers with you if there isn’t a potable water source on site
These tips will keep you from contracting a stomach bug or other serious illnesses while camping!
5. Protect Yourself and the Wildlife
Wild animals may come looking for food if you don’t store your food properly. If you’d like to avoid an up-close encounter with a bear or other wild animal, keep your food in sealed containers inside your cooler.
6. Avoid Poison Ivy and Pests
Poison ivy, mosquitoes, and ticks are all present in camping areas. Wearing light-colored long sleeves and pants will prevent you from coming in contact with pests or poisonous plants.
Remember to apply bug repellent and check for ticks every day. And, if you come in contact with an unknown plant, wash your skin immediately and apply calamine lotion to avoid itching.
Enjoy Your Summer Camping Trip
As you can see, there is a lot to think about when planning a summer camping trip—yet, staying safe while camping is possible with the help of these tips. By following them, you will have an amazing time and create lovely memories with your family!
Did this post help you learn how to go camping safely? If so, browse our online magazine for some more healthy lifestyle tips!