According to CNBC, 77 million Americans went camping at least once in 2018. The statistic is enough proof to see that camping is a favorite American pastime to let go of the strains of daily city and urban life. It’s an outdoor recreational activity that involves sleeping outdoors in close proximity to nature.
Of course, since there are so many types of camping like backpacking, glamping, fastpacking, RV camping and many others, camping experiences usually vary greatly.
A cousin of mine went camping with a few of his friends who were hardcore campers. They went on a backpacking/hiking camping trip with a backpack full of the barest essentials and a thin sleeping bag.
After that camping trip, he swore he would never go camping again.
Then his fiancée’s family invited him to go camping with them and since he couldn’t say no (because he wanted to ask her to marry him then), he had to go. And that was when he was introduced to glamorous camping also known as glamping, where he got to enjoy sleeping in a bed and sitting around campfires and talking till daybreak with his girlfriend.
That camping experience changed his former outlook towards camping.
While camping can be a wonderful adventure, recreational activity or just a better way to connect with your friends and family, it’s also important to be a hundred percent safe while camping.
Here are some tips to ensure you have a safe and pleasurable camping.
Choose Your Shelter and Campsite Carefully
There are a number of people referred to as primitive or extreme campers. These types of campers go on camping trips to get far away from civilization and don’t believe in taking along any of the comforts of civilization with them.
These are the type of campers my cousin went camping with. And usually, they have developed a system to manage their primitive camping and enjoy it. But not everyone can cope with that type of camping.
Therefore, when you’re going camping, you have to consider the number of people and the type of people who are going camping with you when choosing your shelter and camp site. If you’re going with elderly ones and children, primitive camping is a big NO.
In fact, you should steer towards glamping or RV camping in such instances so that you can have everything that everyone could possibly need and avoid your kids or elderly ones getting sick.
When camping with your family and kids, you should choose your campground very carefully; the best camp site you can choose would be a certified campground for camping, close to your home or a well-maintained state park. For shelter, you can choose to use a tent, cabin, RV or just use a warm sleeping bag.
Plan For All Possible and Impossible Weather Changes
One of the most important parts of planning for a camping trip is knowing the weather forecast for the chosen date and time of your camping trip. This is so that you can prepare for any changes in the weather when packing your camping equipment.
Many people prefer to go camping during the summer or spring because of the assured availability of warmth and some choose to go camping even during autumn and winter seasons.
However, regardless of when you choose to go camping, you should be prepared for all possible weather changes that may occur so you can protect yourself.
Pack Your Food Carefully
You should be very careful when packing your food for camping, because you have to be careful not to attract wildlife and you have to ensure that your food is not contaminated in any way. Most people opt to take soup tins and ready-to-eat meal packs while camping to prevent attracting wildlife and eating contaminated food.
Pro tip: Regardless of what type of food you choose to take, you should probably keep it in a tightly covered and insulated cooler as well as a bear-safe bag.
Take Drinkable Water
Many people have a silly movie-conceived notion that when camping, all you have to do to stay hydrated is to find a river or stream that you can depend on for all your water related needs.
This is a very unsafe camping myth. When going camping, it’s important that you pack your own water, take along a water purifier or choose to go to a paid camping site where potable water has been provided to avoid contracting a water-borne disease or getting sick.
Another important camping safety tip is the need to stay hydrated. I know how exciting it can get to go camping especially the first time, but you should be very careful to drink enough water to stay hydrated especially when camping during summer.
Protect Your Skin From The Sun
Your skin is prone to sunburn when you’re camping. You should try to protect your skin from sunburn or other skin irritations by finding shade during midday, wearing a hat and using both sunscreen and Lip screen.
Pro tip: You can buy a broad-spectrum sunscreen and lip screen like SPF 15 to protect your skin from the sun.
Protect Yourself From Insects
Going camping involves exposing yourself to different insects like mosquitoes or ticks which can be lethal to you. This is why you should take along insect repellent to protect yourself when camping.
Pro tip: If you’re backpacking or hiking, you can spray bug spray all over your body or get insect repellent creams to rub onto exposed skin.
Camping is a fun experience and many of the people who go camping once, usually end up going again. However, you should be very careful while camping to follow all safety precautions, so you don’t end up harming yourself or your loved ones because of a few minutes of carelessness.
Do you take your family or friends on camping trips? What other tips do you have to stay safe? Let us know in a comment below.