With 38 million Americans going camping in 2012 and travelling up to 200 miles away, on average, to their campsites*, having a plan and being prepared for a camping trip is a must.
So in honor of June being National Camping Month, we want to make sure every camping trip this summer goes as smoothly and safely as possible. Nate Williams, who studied outdoor leadership at Malone University in Canton, OH, has safety and preparedness tips for every stage of your camping trip.
Before you leave:
-check the weather conditions of where you’re going so you can pack the proper clothing
-have the right food and equipment packed
-make sure the medicine in your first aid kit isn’t expired
-be sure to address any concerns or medical conditions with the group you’re camping with, including food or insect allergies and pre-existing medical conditions
-create a risk management plan that includes a list of everybody going on the trip, their emergency contact information, emergency services you’ll need (ranger station, nearest hospital, etc.), the time you’re arriving at the campsite and where you’ll be in case people need to find you
Setting up your campsite:
-make sure there’s nothing hanging over your tent, like dead tree limbs, etc.
-be aware of where the potential water drainage is going so you don’t get washed out of your site
-store food either in a bear canister downwind from the campsite so the smell of it doesn’t go through your site and attract animals or in a bear bag that’s hanging at least 15 feet off the ground
Safety practices during your trip:
-constantly be aware of your surroundings, whether it’s trees, weather or other people
-make sure you have adequate footwear to protect yourself from foot and ankle injuries
-drink lots of water so you don’t become dehydrated
Equipment to always have:
-rain gear and an extra layer of clothing in case the weather shifts
-a first aid kit to address any injuries
-a water filter so you always have water
Mr. Beams camping safety lighting:
-keep an UltraBright Lantern at your campsite and on hiking trips so if you’re out longer than expected or get lost at night, you won’t be wandering around in the dark