Having a Safe and Fun Time at a Campground
August 27, 2019 | Napoli Shkolnik News
Many families enjoy camping out during the warm weather months, and if you are planning on a trip to the campground, there are many tips that you can follow to ensure your safety during a fun-filled adventure in the great outdoors!
From food to fire to activities to travel it is important to do everything you can to keep you and your family safe while camping.
Check out this helpful camping guide to learn more about how to make the most of your next campaign trip and ensure everyone has a fun and safe time:
Right Campground and Right Site
To reserve the right type of shelter and campground site, there are a few things you will need to think about before you make that reservation.
Consider the age, physical limitations and medical needs of everyone in your group.
Different amenities are available if you’re staying in a tent compared to a cabin or RV.
Form site size, to where they are located in the campground, and features like paved wares for wheelchairs or closer location to restrooms and showers.
So, plan accordingly so you start your camping trip off on the right foot with the right site.
Keep Tabs on the Weather Report
Make sure to keep an eye on the weather forecast before your trip.
Be mindful of normal weather patterns for the area you are camping in for the time of year you are going- rain, snow, colder or hotter temperatures, etc.
And while you are camping, especially for the long week or more trips, keep up with daily weather checks to make sure no severe weather is sneaking up on you.
You don’t want to be caught off guard in a freak hurricane or blizzard!
Be Smart With Your Food Supplies
Leaving food out on picnic tables or in any insecure location will definitely increase your chances of attracting wild animals.
To prevent unwanted confrontations with an animal, make sure that all of the food you bring into the campground is packed in tight, waterproof containers.
If you are in a cabin or RV make sure the food is packed away inside and that you close and lock doors to make the food harder to smell.
To avoid food-borne illnesses, wash your hands and separate raw food from cooked meals.
Also make sure food gets cooked to a proper temperature and leftovers or cold foods are kept cool enough so they do not go bad.
If you are unsure about any food, do not eat it but also do not just toss it in the woods- or the wildlife will come and cause problems.
Be Smart With the Campfire
Remember that not all campground allow open fires so be sure to check when making your reservations.
Many camp sites have a fire circle or designated are where a fire can be started.
Fires within your campground site should be at least 15 feet from tent walls, shrubs and trees.
Always keep it small and contained and no matter where you are building your fire, never ever leave a fire unattended.
Always keep a water bucket nearby and put the fire out completely before leaving the campsite or going to sleep. And use a lot of water; you will want to drown all the embers, not just the red ones, because even grey embers can be hot enough to spark to lift if some leaves or a dry twig falls into the fire pit.
Spray For Bugs and Avoid Infested Areas
To protect yourself from mosquitoes, ticks and other insects, use insect repellent that doesn’t dissolve easily in water.
Reducing the number of bites, you get is important because there are some serious illnesses that can be transmitted from the bites of common insects.
Make sure you check for ticks daily and even in hotter climate you are better protected to wear long sleeve shirts and pants when out in the woods.
Thankfully there are hiking clothes that are long yet cool so you will not over heat and will be protected against insect bites.
If you are staying at a campground that has laundry facilities take your clothes after a hike and toss them in the dryer on high for 10-15 minutes to kill ticks or chiggers that might be hitching a ride!
Watch for Allergy Triggers and Be Prepared
Packing an EpiPen or other medications for anyone in your group who is known to have severe allergies is absolutely essential.
Even if you do not plan on encountering your allergy triggers you will want to take the time to prepare for any unexpected encounters.
You should also keep a first aid kit handy that has things like Benadryl, bandages, Tylenol, and other OTC or prescription medications.
Closely watch for signs of plant or insect allergies and be ready to spring into action when signs of allergies start to flare!
Protect Against the Sun
We often think UV rays are only a major concern on those bright, hot, sunny days but the truth is that even on cloudy days, they can burn your skin just as badly as on a sunny day.
In fact, cloudy day burns can be even worse because people prepare even less for exposure.
Midday hours are when the sun’s rays are the strongest is the best time to stay in your tent or cabin or stick to shady trails and areas of the campground.
It is generally recommended to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and lip screen with at least SPF 15 and to always wear a hat and sunglasses when in the sun.
Keep Yourself Hydrated at All Times
This is one of the biggest areas where camper fail to plan and prepare properly and this is because they do not truly understand what it means to be hydrated.
Staying hydrated doesn’t mean drinking when you’re thirsty — it means drinking throughout the day and keeping enough fluid going into your body, even if you are not thirsty.
In fact, when you start to feel thirsty, you are already in the beginning stages of dehydration!
An emergency kit should include at least a 3- to 5-day supply of bottled water for every single person in your party- and this is the emergency kit only.
You need to have enough water packed for every person for every day you plan to be out camping.
Avoid Water-Related Illness and Injury
Camping often includes playing in and around the water whether that is a fish trip, a boat ride, white water rafting, or hiking along a river.
To help protect yourself and your fellow campers from illness, don’t swim if you have diarrhea, and don’t swallow the water you swim in.
Take a shower before and after swimming. Make sure you are never out in the water or near a body of water alone.
Do not drink water from streams, ponds, or other sources you find out in the woods because of the risk of water born illnesses and pathogens.
And always wear a life vest when in a boat or on a dock and children should never be unattended in or near water!
Protect Against Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
It is important to keep your family safe from unexpected dangers while you are out camping.
Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless and can cause illness or death in people and pets.
Never use fuel-burning equipment such as gas stoves, heaters, lanterns, and charcoal grills inside a tent, camper, or other enclosed shelter.
Never run these types of heat sources while you are asleep as it can lead to a deadly build up of carbon monoxide very quickly.
If you are in a cabin inquire if they have a carbon monoxide detector inside and if you are staying in your RV get one installed before your trip.
Avoid Wild animals and Protect Pets
Some wild animals carry diseases that are dangerous to people.
Do not touch any wild animal that you encounter, even if they appear friendly, because wild animals can be very, very unpredictable.
Make sure your family pets are vaccinated and always keep a close eye on them.
Do not let them run freely around the campsite, keep them on a leash, and do your best to avoid encounters with wild animals while taking them for a walk.
Be as Prepared as You Can Be
Always prepare for the unexpected.
Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back. Know what to do when toilets are not available or what to do if you become lost while out for a hike.
Be sure to bring along a compass or GPS, map, flashlight, blankets, batteries, radio, emergency contact list, your phone or a satellite phone, and any other supplies you and your family may need. Know who to contact at the camp to report issues that may come up.
And once your adventure is over and you are back home, clean your clothes- including sneakers and boots- check everyone for ticks or bits, and closely minatory any bites and rashes that get worse or do not start to improve in a few days’ time.
Have fun with your family and make memories that everyone can remember fondly for years to come.
Make it all easier with these helpful tips for a safe and fun camping adventure!
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