Camping Safety Tips

Whether you're at an established campground or deep into the woods, it is always important to heed the following information:
 
  • Bring a first aid kit & emergency supplies.  We cannot stress how necessary  a first aid kit is.  Your first aid kit should include supplies to treat cuts and scrapes, insect repellent, a snake bite kit, medications, and sun protection.  Additionally, you should always carry a map, compass, flashlight, knife, waterproof fire starter, whistle, and water.
  • Learn basic first aid. Recognizing serious injuries and a basic knowledge of how to deal with them will enable you to attend to a victim until medical help arrives.
  • Check the forecast before leaving home.  Checking the weather report will clue you in to adverse conditions you might face while you're at camp. 
  • Get into camp as early as possible.  The more daylight you have, the more time you'll have to check over the site and setup camp.  Always check for human created and natural hazards.  Human created hazards might include glass and other sharp objects.  Natural hazards might include branches, insect colonies, poison ivy, cliffs, drainages, etc.
  • Properly inspect your campsite.  Make sure that your site is level (or, at a minimum, make sure you put up your tent so that your head is uphill).  Try to find protection from the wind.
  • Build fires in a safe location.  Never put your fire close to your tent.  Nylon and other synthetic materials catch fire and burn at an incredibly fast rate.
  • Never leave your fire unattended.  This holds especially true when conditions are dry and humidity is low.  Always make sure that you completely put out your fire before heading into the warmth of your tent and sleeping bag.  Winds can kick up, ignite remaining embers, and lead to catastrophic forest fires.
  • Keep your tent clean.  Your tent is your home away from home.  Your camping experience will be much more enjoyable if you manage to keep dirt and insects out.  Moreover, your tent will have a longer life the cleaner you keep it.
  • Properly dispose of your trash.  Recycle what you can, and properly toss the rest in trash cans.  If you are in the middle of the woods, be sure to pack out all of your trash.  We usually make a habit of trying to pack out others' trash, as well.
  • Remember the other wilderness inhabitants.  Always keep your campsite as clean as possible.  Do not leave food out at night or while your away from camp - especially in bear country.  If you are in bear country, be sure to hang your food high up in a tree or place it inside your car.  We really cannot stress this next point enough: never feed wildlife.  Every time that you feed a wild animal you are actually placing its life in jeopardy.  Animals can develop a dependency upon human food.  This will inherently lead to greater interactions with humans.  Many bears have to be euthanized every year because people are irresponsible with their food while camping.
  • Utilize good hygiene.  Sanitize your hands before cooking.  You don't want to get sick, nor do you want to get anyone else in your group ill.


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