To us, there’s nothing greater than camping. Getting the opportunity to spend time outdoors with friends and family, eating campfire food, telling ghost stories and watching the sunrise and sunset in the wilderness are memories many of us will never forget. However, being in the outdoors presents unique safety hazards we’ll want to be aware of in order to enjoy our time. Read on to find some of the most important safety tips you’ll want to follow while camping this summer.
Here in the Black Hills, we have the most unpredictable weather in the U.S. Thunderstorms can roll through at a moment’s notice then be gone in the blink of an eye. No matter where your adventuring, be ready for anything. Pack enough warm (and cool) clothing to keep you comfortable regardless of what the forecast says. Be proactive, whether you’re heading to Southern California or the Yukon.
1. Pick the Right Spot and Shelter
This seems like a given but is a mistake many campers make each year. Yeah, Grizzly Adams, you might think a trip into the deep Alaskan wilderness sounds wonderful, but you (and your party) are probably far from prepared for such an adventure. Take the time to investigate where you want to go, how long you’re going to stay, what equipment you’re going to need and especially who you’re travelling with. At Midwest Outdoor Resorts, we offer RV and tent camping as well as cabins. What gear you’ll bring depends on what type of camping you’ll be doing and be sure everyone knows and is prepared for where you’re going.
2. Prepare and Store Your Food Safely
You don’t want to be the camper rustled awake in the middle of the night by a hungry animal looking for food in your campsite. Make sure food is stored in waterproof containers in an insulated cooler and keep it away from your tent.
Another food hazard that isn’t so obvious is food poisoning. Be sure to separate raw meat from cooked meals and cook everything to a recommended temperature (a meat thermometer is a great idea). The last thing you want is your stomach churning in the middle of a gorgeous hike.
3. Be Ready for Crazy Weather
Bugs are the bane of the camper’s existence, but they’re something we all have to live with. Ticks and mosquitos are what most of us are looking to avoid here. Bring a repellant that doesn’t dissolve easily in water and be sure to check for ticks routinely. You can place clothes in the dryer (on high heat) after a long day outside to kill any ticks that have clung to your clothes.5. Protect Yourself from the Sun and Heat
Drink a lot of water and put on a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. You can get dehydrated very quickly in certain environments, so plan accordingly and bring more H2O than you think you need. Chances are, you’ll be happy you did. You can also wear long sleeves and pants while hiking (this will also help with the bug problem above), but if the heat is too unbearable, wear at least an SPF 15 sunscreen and lip balm.
OK, we didn’t mean to make camping sound like some horror movie, but you’ll have a lot more fun (and be in better shape when you get home) if you follow these simple rules. Of course, it’s always a good idea to have a first-aid kit handy and be highly aware of your entire crew’s medical conditions. Don’t be caught in the middle of nowhere needing an EpiPen, for example.
If you have any questions or would like some help planning your next camping adventure, please contact Midwest Outdoor Resorts at (800) 231-0425 and we’ll be happy to help. Happy exploring!