Camping is a brilliant option for families who wish to go on vacation without busting the bank. Spending time outdoors helps us connect with nature and the magnificent world around us. The time you spend out in the fresh air will surely surpass the hours you would have otherwise spent watching TV at home.
However, before you step into the open wild, it is imperative you learn more about camping safety, especially if your kids are tagging along. Camping safety includes purchasing the right camping equipment, being wary of danger and knowing how to tackle difficult situations. Here are some camping safety tips you should follow:
Taking to your Kids
Do not teach your children about the basics of camping safety while driving to camp. All your efforts will go in vain since they will be too excited on the way. Explain the rules to them, right after you all reach the campsite.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to protect your child from harm’s way and explain the safety rules to them. Do not be afraid to put on a serious face and make a little campsite layout for them to help them understand the rules much better.
Wear Bug Spray
Your camping trip can turn into a disaster if you are attacked by mosquitoes the moment you step in the camp. It is imperative you use a bug spray and put on insect repellent as even on the perfect night, you may have to battle mosquito bites.
Additionally, keep in mind that most mosquito sprays are meant to be applied on clothing and not directly onto the skin, hence you probably should avoid wearing shorts and small t-shirts.
If you are concerned about toxic chemicals reaping into your skin, consider using pure peppermint oil as it acts as a natural mosquito repellent. According to this reputable website, to fight nasty bug bites, apply insect repellents that contain DEET directly onto your skin. Remember to follow the instructions mentioned on the package.
Camping safety is incomplete if you do not pay attention to animal safety. Explain to your children that you will be surrounded by wild animals, hence be sure not to leave any food or empty wrappers lying around since it will only act as bait for raccoons, varmints and other woodland animals.
Additionally, to stay clear of wild animals, go hiking during the day but the most important rule of all is to never approach a wild animal.
Bring a Map
While you are more accustomed to GPS or a smartphone and find it more convenient, there will probably be times when you won’t be able to find signals. It is integral you carry a map of the entire area in case you get lost. Do not be afraid to stop and ask for directions.
Before you head out for your camping trip, make sure you have packed everything you need to make your stay more comfortable and safe. Here are a couple of things you should include in your checklist:
- Backpacking tent
- Sleeping bags
- Bottled water and food
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- Compass or GPS
- Bug spray, insect repellents
- Warm and clean clothing including socks
- Comfortable shoes
- Flash light with extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Survival kit
Follow Water Safety
If your camping get-away involves lakes and swimming, ensure your family members and children abide by water safety guidelines. Be sure to pack floating devices for your children, especially if they have trouble swimming and make sure they stay close to shore. Here are some tips recommended by the Red Cross:
- Do read the signs before getting into the water or allowing your kid to do so. Be wary of deep waters and observe the speed limits in case you are boating.
- Check the weather before you go out for swimming or for other water activities. If the weather seems cloudy, avoid water sports.
- Before you dive in for a swim, adopt the feet-first method in case the water is too shallow.
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages prior to swimming or boating since it can put your life in danger.
Stay Clear of Poisonous Plants
Camping is the ultimate way to experience nature. Be sure to stay clear of poisonous plants, such as poison ivy and poison oak. Explain the danger of poisonous plants to your children. Such poisonous plants contain a rash-causing substance, called urushiol, which is as an allergen.
The allergen may result in the skin becoming itchy, red and swollen, resulting in painful blisters. If needed, wear protective clothing and apply a barrier cream. There are many off the counter products that are supposed to act as a barrier between your skin and the chemical that causes the rash.
Pack items based on how much room you will have on the campsite. If you intend on hiking, be mindful about bulk since nobody wants to carry extra weight up a mountain. Only carry items you will really need. Additionally choose a lightweight yet functional bag that is water-proof and specially designed for hiking.
Always be Prepared
Going out camping is only fun as long as it’s safe so be prepared for the unexpected. Always check the weather report before you leave and tell your family and friends about your plans. Additionally, carry extra food and water, batteries and medication.
It is also integral you know who to contact in case an emergency comes up. You should also have a supply kit that contains a compass, a first aid kit and perhaps, a survival kit for unforeseeable emergencies.
Follow these camping safety tips for a safe and comfortable vacation. Of course, you may require some additional rules and regulations according to the outdoor activities you have planned and the camping location you have chosen.