For many, the word ‘camping’ is practically synonymous with adventure, wilderness and hiking. The desire to stretch their muscles, breathe fresh air, leave civilization behind and live off of the land is what drives people to go camping. A getaway, a retreat. That means that hiking and camping are supposed to be fun, right? To ensure that you spend your trip actually having fun instead of worrying about what might go wrong, take a look at these camping safety tips.
Pack What You’ll Need
What will you need? If you don’t know, you need to seriously think before you go one step further. Camping and hiking place you in the wilderness with nobody but your group of campers for sometimes hundreds of miles–you need to anticipate everything you might need during your trip and bring it along if you’re likely to use it. A first-aid kit, sealing plastic bags to scent-proof waste, sunscreen, changes of clothes, sleeping bags, tents, food, water, a map and compass and a pocket knife are some essentials to get you started.
What you don’t want to do is to overpack and take along every little thing in case you might need it. If you can live without it for a few days and it doesn’t help in an emergency, you should probably leave it behind.
Know Your Destination
Read up on your camping area before you arrive. Get a feel for what kind of climate, wildlife, terrain and temperatures you’ll be dealing with. Ensure that you aren’t camping during storm season in this place. Check your campsite for signs of bears, fallen rocks or flooding, and if any of them are present, camp somewhere else.
Don’t Take Risks
Play it safe–don’t sneak up on wildlife to get photos, climb trees for fun, wander off by yourself, or drink water directly from the river. Store food and other smelly things in a bear box or hoisted in a tree. Prevention is the best way to avoid trouble of all kinds in the wilderness, and if you think ahead now, you won’t have to think fast in an emergency later.