It is something almost everyone has to do at least once during their childhood. Most people take it as an opportunity to bond with their kids, parents or peers, and some even deem it as a sort of right of passage into adulthood.
Regardless of the motive, safety is an important factor to consider for anyone who is planning to go camping. Indeed, there are numerous safety hazards that can compromise your trip and put you and your travel mates at risk, including poisonous plants, dangerous animals, and severe weather elements. Check out these 5 must follow rules for staying safe and secure while camping.
#1. Prepare for Predators and Pests
The outdoors is stacked with dangerous pests and predators, including snakes, bears, bees, mosquitoes, and wasps. It is important to prepare for these animals. Bug sprays and natural deterrents such as citronella candles will usually be enough to keep mosquitoes and other bugs away. A bear spray, on the other hand, can help disarm a bear in case your camping destination is frequented by bears.
To protect yourself against venomous snakes, set up your camp in an exposed area as these predators like to hide in tall grasses. You may also want to invest in chemical snake repellents and research common venomous snakes in the region you are travelling to.
A high quality hunting knife is a must when you are going camping. You will need it for hunting small game as well as skinning and cutting up the meat. Alternatively, you can use it to clear the campsite, chop firewood, or even defend yourself against certain predators. While there are numerous types of hunting knifes available, it is always advisable to carry several different pieces for different uses.
#2. Bring Enough Food and Water
Circumstances can change anytime while camping, so it is always advisable to carry plenty of food and water. In the event of a storm or other unexpected situation, you want to ensure that everyone has something to eat and drink.
Keep yourself hydrated by sipping on water all day long, even if you are not thirsty. If you experience fatigue, cramps, nausea, headache, or dizziness, chances are you are severely dehydrated and need to drink immediately. For emergency purposes, be sure to pack food that does not require cooking or refrigeration. Excellent examples include fruit leather, mixed nuts, and granola bars.
#3. Protect Yourself Against the Elements
As a general rule of thumb, always research the weather conditions of your camping location before you set off. This will help you decide on which clothing and gear to pack, whether you are dealing with extreme rain or severe sunshine.
Sunscreen, in particular, is very useful against sunburns and sun poisoning, which can zap your energy and affect your body's ability to regulate temperature. A rain jacket is also recommendable, as it is always possible to encounter a storm when camping.
#4. Do Not Interfere With the Wildlife
As interesting as they are to observe, wild animals can be dangerous and should be treated with caution while camping out. Even if they allow you to approach, you should not forget the dangers that they pose.
Even the tamest of animals can carry diseases such as rabies, giardia, and hantavirus, while the aggressive ones can easily attack if they feel threatened.
#5. Stay Clean
Just because you are in the outdoors does not negate the need for cleanliness and personal hygiene. Drinking or eating contaminated food can affect your health, which is not ideal especially if you are camping in a secluded location. Be sure to pack hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and a shovel to dispose of waste while you are in the wild.
Additionally, avoid rinsing your hands and feet in a lake or creek, as it could be riddled with harmful parasites and bacteria. If you have to drink water from sources other than your own, use water treatment tablets or an advanced water filter, and always boil the water to kill off any stubborn contaminants.