Camping is an outdoor activity that can be a lot of fun, but it can also pose some serious safety concerns. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to avoid any issues that might arise during your trip.
Selecting campsites is one of the most important skills a camper must develop. It’s not just about finding a good location for your tent, it’s about knowing your surroundings and being aware of potential risks. For backpackers, it’s especially important to check your campsite’s proximity to natural dangers like rockfall and flash flood-prone rivers.
If you’re not sure how to choose a campsite, ask for advice from your family or friends, or ask a ranger about the area. For example, you might need to consider whether a site is close enough to water or has a view of a mountain.
Fires are essential for keeping warm and cooking your food, but it’s important to remember that they can be a source of danger as well. Always light fires in metal burn rings or stone-lined pits away from tents and low-hanging branches, and never leave a fire unattended.
Storing your camping gear is another important safety step. You should secure your belongings with a combination of padlocks, chains, and wheel locks to prevent theft. For larger items, such as bikes, kayaks, and even RVs, it’s a good idea to secure them separately with large padlocks and separate chains so they are harder to pick.
Keep your belongings out of sight – thieves will be more likely to target a campsite that has lots of items unsecured. If you’re not going to be home all the time, consider storing some of your camping gear in your car.
Take care of your vehicle and make sure it’s parked safely in a well-lit area. If you’re camping in a remote or sketchy area, set up a security system that alerts you to any approaching people or animals. This can be as simple as a trip wire with marbles that make a noise when tripped, or it could be as complicated as a personal security door stop alarm that will alert you whenever someone opens your vehicle’s door.
Don’t camp alone – There is always a risk of lone wolves, cougars, and other wild animals that can be very unpredictable and potentially dangerous. It’s best to stay with a buddy or a group of people when possible, and don’t disclose your itinerary.
Bring plenty of first aid supplies for your family, and make sure that everyone has access to a flashlight. If you have to hike long distances, be sure to have plenty of extra clothing and food for a day or two, in case the weather turns bad or you become injured.
Protect your family from COVID-19 and other airborne contaminants by bringing plenty of hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and masks for the whole family to use. A few bottles of travel Berkey water filters can also be useful in the event that you’re out of drinking water.