Archive for Safety Tips

Camping Safety Checklist: Stay Safe on Your Next Trip with These Tips

Whether you’re camping with young children or with old friends from college, safety is a top priority. Spending a weekend outdoors can lead to injury if proper safety precautions are not taken, so use our camping safety checklist to keep everyone safe and having fun on your next trip.

Camping Safety Checklist

  • Pack a first-aid kit with essentials such as personal medications, aspirin, sunscreen, bug repellent, tweezers, bandages, tape, sterile gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic cream, cotton balls, poison ivy cream, and aloe vera lotion.
  • Bring flashlights or lanterns. Make sure you have extra batteries.
  • Always hike with a buddy.
  • Keep children within eyesight at all times.
  • Be on the lookout for snakes, tics, poison ivy, bees, and leeches.
  • Never eat berries you find in the wilderness; they might be poisonous.
  • Wear protective clothing, sunscreen, and sunglasses to prevent sun damage.
  • Leave wild animals alone and never feed them.
  • Keep knives and other sharp kitchen supplies stored in your portable kitchen and out of the kids’ reach.
  • Practice good fire safety and never leave your fire unattended.
  • Store food after meals so you don’t attract bears and other wild animals.
  • Check the weather forecast before leaving to prevent being caught in a bad storm.

In general, practice your best judgment on the campsite. If there’s ever a situation that seems questionable and potentially dangerous, it’s best to avoid it.

How to Camp Safely in Bear Country

Keeping food away from bears and acting calmly in an encounter with one are important strategies for staying safe while camping.

Here are five tips for camping safely in bear country:
  1. When you’re not eating, keep food safely stored in bear-resistant containers. This will prevent the smell from attracting animals. You should also pack containers to store your leftovers and garbage.
  2. Never bring food inside your tent. If you can, set up your tent about 100 yards from where you store and prepare food.
  3. Before sleeping, change your clothes to get rid any food odors.
  4. If you come across a bear while hiking, do not run away. Instead, distinguish yourself as human by putting your arms out and slowly moving them up and down while speaking in a calm voice. Slowly back away, but make sure you’re facing the bear.
  5. If the bear attacks you, lie face down and play dead, protecting your head and neck with your hands. You can also use bear spray, but be sure to read the directions before camping.

Visit the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center to learn more ways you can reduce the risk of a bear attack and keep out of harm’s way on your trip.

Practice These Low-Impact Camping Tips on Your Next Trip

Camping is a time to experience and enjoy the wonderful beauty of nature. It’s hard to appreciate its wonder, however, when human activity has altered an environment’s natural state. Do your part to protect the natural environment you camp in by following these low-impact camping tips.

1. Choose a durable campsite

Grounds fewer than 200 feet away from rivers or lakes tend to be soft and can’t withstand camping wear and tear as well as firm and dry dirt can. You should also avoid setting up camp in an area heavily populated with flora. Walking on plant life too much could eventually cause them to die.

2. Protect the water

Soap pollutes waterways and can cause harm to animals who drink from them. Set up your own washing station away from the waterway and use biodegradable soap as well as naturally based cleansing products.

3. Be cautious with fire

Most campers don’t realize how their fires impact the environment. If possible, use a stove for cooking. If fires are allowed where you’re camping, be sure to use the fire rings or pans to keep it contained.

4. Respect wildlife and plants

While you can enjoy the wildlife and plants surrounding you, be respectful and don’t touch. When hiking, leave any rocks or plants exactly as you found them and don’t follow animals or feed them.

5. Leave without a trace

Overall, your goal in camping is to leave the campsite exactly as you found it. Bring all of your trash with you when you leave. Bury human/animal waste and food scraps under the ground.

These low-impact camping trips will allow you to enjoy the great outdoors without completely altering its appearance.

5 Tips for Making Your Kids’ First Camping Experience More Enjoyable

Camping with kids for the first time can make any parent feel worried and a little unsure. Make the experience as enjoyable as possible for both you and your kids by following these five tips:

1. Do a practice run

If your kids have never been camping before, it’s a good idea to spend a night “camping” in your backyard. That way your kids can get a taste of what’s to come, and you’ll have a better idea of how they handle sleeping in a tent or camper.

2. Start small

You might prefer to camp in the wilderness with no running water, but a child may be most at ease camping in a more developed area. Start at a campground close to home with toilets and running water. You want to ease kids into the camping experience—not scare them away from it.

3. Get the kids involved

Letting your kids be involved in the planning process will help build their excitement and make them feel more comfortable with the overall camping experience. Have them help you plan out meals and let them pack their own bags. It will make them more aware of the responsibilities that come with camping so they’re prepared in the future.

4. Establish camp rules

Kids should have fun while camping, but it also important that they stay safe. Set up boundaries so they know where it is okay to roam while unsupervised and which areas are off-limits. You can also create a buddy system. If your kids wants to go off by themselves, they should always tell an adult first.

5. Plan activities

If your kids are used to being entertained by televisions, cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices, they might feel lost without technology. Plan fun activities though like hiking, swimming, and games to help your kids forget about their video games!

Camping with kids takes a little more work and planning, but the cherished memories you’ll create together make the extra effort worth it.

For more information on how to camp, check out our other posts:

How to Camp: Top 5 Tips for Camping

Swimming in the lake, roasting marshmallows, playing games—what’s not to love about camping? Camping can be ridiculously fun and is a great way to spend quality time with friends and family. To enjoy your trip as much as possible, you should carefully prepare beforehand. If you’re new to camping and aren’t sure how to plan for your camping trip, here are five basic how-to-camp tips that will help make your adventure stress-free.

1. Bring a first-aid kit

Whether you’re out in the middle of nowhere or spending time in a nice, familiar campground, you will want to bring a first-aid kit. Some of the items you should include are prescriptions, Band-Aids, aspirin, antiseptic creams, ointments, sterile wipes, rinse solutions, tweezers, and scissors.

2. Plan activities

More than likely, you’ll have plenty of free time on your camping trip. Fill up those hours where you have nothing planned with a fun game or group activity! Cards are perfect because they don’t take up a lot of space and you can use them to play a variety of different games. Other activities you might consider include swimming, hiking, and canoeing.

3. Pack lightly

People tend to overpack, thinking they are playing it safe. They regret that decision once their camper feels way too crowded. Pack only the essentials, but make sure you are prepared for both warm days and cold nights.

4. Plan out each meal

Planning meals ahead of time will prevent you from running out of food or packing too much. Take into account that some people on your trip may want seconds or even thirds.

5. Always pack bug spray and sunscreen

Out of all the miscellaneous items you pack for your camping trip, you’ll be most grateful for your bug spray and sunscreen. Find a bug spray that contains 20 percent or more DEET and be sure your sunscreen has at least 30 SPF.

Being prepared is an essential part of camping. Follow these five camping tips and make your trip an experience you’ll cherish forever!

For more information on how to camp, check out our other posts: