The Modern Guide to Safe Camping

May 14, 2012 2 minute read

You don’t need to be Survivorman to safely tackle the wilderness. Sometimes all you need are a few pointers like the ones found in this guide.

For some, camping is about venturing into the wilderness as far as your supply of dehydrated food will take you. But for others, camping is about leaving behind modern life just enough to relax by a campfire. You see, camping isn’t just about discovering nature; it also allows you to rediscover the modern niceties we take for granted. So get out there, but make sure to consider these six helpful safety tips so you can enjoy the great outdoors and return to your comfortable home in one piece.

Bring a first-aid kit: Nature is full of hidden dangers.  Whether it’s tripping on a hiking trail, getting poked by a stick or cutting yourself while filleting a fish, your odds of needing a Band-Aid and other essential wraps and medicated ointments are extremely high when enjoying the wilderness. And if you have kids, those odds are even higher.

DO NOT pet or feed the wildlife: We’ve all seen YouTube videos of animals looking cute and harmless. What those videos don’t show is that animals are unpredictable and can be very territorial and protective. Keep safe by always being alert and aware of your surroundings. Never leave food out or unattended.  Be sure you properly store your food in tight containers at a safe distance away from your tent.

Practice fire safety: If Smokey the Bear has taught us anything, it’s that a fire can quickly destroy a camping trip, and entire forests, if it’s not properly managed. So when you’re building a campfire, be sure to build it away from overhanging tree branches and encircle it with a metal ring or rocks. Never leave a campfire burning unattended.  Most importantly, always be aware of fire level warnings in your area and keep a bucket of water and shovel nearby to extinguish fires if they get out of control or when you’re leaving camp.

Start layering: Nature is meant to be enjoyed comfortably, but when the temperature swings from brisk mornings to scorching afternoons, that may be hard to do. To help keep you warm, and prevent hypothermia during cool nights, bring adequate bedding and wear layers. When the day heats up you can simply unzip a coat or unbutton a shirt to stay cool and avoid overheating.

Repel pesky insects: You can’t avoid insects while camping and be sure to apply insect repellent to clothes and exposed skin on a regular basis to prevent insect related diseases. Be sure to check for ticks DAILY.

If you’re going camping, be sure to tell people: If you have seen the movie 127 Hours and you know what could happen if we don’t tell people where we’re going.  Always ensure you let others know where you will be camping or provide details of your plans (location, leave & return date, routes you will be taking to reach the campsite).

Now, we’re not saying you should give up your comfortable home and live a nomadic life, but if you do, these tips and the links below will help you along to enjoy a safe camping experience this summer.

More helpful tips:

  1. http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/outdoor/woods.html
  2. http://www.cdc.gov/family/camping/
  3. https://wildfire.alberta.ca/prevention/campfire-safety.aspx

Any personal stories to share on making your camping experience safe and fun?  Tell us in the comments section.