Camping in the wilderness is a great way to get out and explore the natural world, but it’s also important to consider your safety. There are many hazards that you must be aware of when you’re on the trails or camping in the park, so it’s helpful to know what to look out for and how to prepare for a safe and enjoyable trip.
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The first thing you should do to be safe while camping is to pack the proper clothing and gear. Make sure you wear long-sleeved tops, pants, and a hat, and use bug spray. This will help keep you safe from insects that can bite and carry diseases.
Be aware of the weather and pack a raincoat for extra protection against downpours, as well as a pair of hiking shoes to protect your feet from rocks and roots that can puncture your shoes. It’s also a good idea to bring a flashlight and a small whistle that can be used to alert people nearby if you need assistance.
Storing Your Food
Before you start your hike, plan out your meals and prepare them ahead of time to avoid spoilage. Always store cold foods in an insulated cooler and raw meats, fish, or vegetables in airtight containers or covered if you’re cooking outdoors.
If you’re planning on cooking over a fire, be sure it’s small and controlled so it doesn’t attract bears or other wildlife. Never leave a fire unattended, and be sure to follow the wildfire act guidelines for smothering embers to ensure a safe fire.
Don’t Get Near Animals
As exciting as it is to see wild animals, it is important not to get too close, especially if you have young children. Often, these animals carry diseases that can be fatal to humans.
For instance, rabies and dengue fever are deadly illnesses that are spread by contact with wild animals. Don’t get too close to wild animals, and if you do come across one, don’t try to feed it or pet it.
Staying Safe at a National Campground
The last thing you want to do is get lost or hurt on your camping trip, so be aware of your surroundings and have a plan for how to get back to civilization. This includes using a map, compass, or GPS to find your way and telling a friend where you’re headed so they can follow your trail.
You can even purchase a backpack-mounted safety whistle that can be used to signal for help or alert other hikers to your location. It’s also a great idea to take a buddy with you on your trips and never let them leave the campsite without letting someone else know where you’re going.
If you’re camping alone, it is important to create a personal space bubble that’s protected from other campers and people you don’t know. This will ensure you don’t become stranded and can call for help in an emergency.