Planning a Camping Trip? Top Safety and Packing Tips Every Adventurer Should Know
Camping is a fun experience for everyone and the United States offers so many choices that choosing one can be hard! Before you set out, however, it’s important to be prepared.
Camping Health and Safety
Double-check any medical insurance. Out-of-state traveling will sometimes require additional coverage. This can be especially important if you leave the country on your trip, such as camping across the border in Canada. Be prepared in case there is an injury or illness.
Plan to dress in layers. Even if you check the weather ahead of time, weather can change with very little notice. It may be colder in the morning and all of a sudden the afternoon heats up and makes things humid. Then it can cool back down at night.
It’s imperative that you locate a safe place to camp and pitch your tent before the sun goes down. If driving an RV, you should locate a safe parking spot.
Be sure and give children a thorough explanation of what camping is all about and entails. Make sure they understand what poison ivy looks like, to stay away from wild animals and to carry a light if they are walking around at night. Always watch your kids closely. People may be driving around the campsites, and it’s also very easy for kids to get up and get lost when they’re not familiar with an area.
You should never leave your car or basecamp without a fully-charged cell phone. Even better, bring extra batteries so you are prepared if there is an emergency. A cell phone will be your best friend in the event of an emergency, so keep it charged and available.
Study the map of the area you plan to enter in advance and learn how to use a compass. Even if you’ve been to your campsite before, getting lost one time can still happen since many areas will looks the same. You can avoid potential tragedy by learning how to use these lifesaving items.
If bears are known to live in the area, be sure to stow your food a good distance away from where you are sleeping. Take any garbage and burn it so that bears aren’t attracted to where your camp is set up.
What to Pack
You need to make sure you have everything you need when you go camping. Even just a handful of things missing can really affect your camping experience. Creating a checklist of all the things you need can help you.
Always prepare an emergency kit when camping, whether you are going by yourself or with others. Depending on the location, the kit may have extra items, but the basic items should be there. Take into consideration all the possibilities that nature has to offer, and take precautions for them.
Flashlights, spare batteries and an oil lantern are always handy items to have with you on your trip. Waterproof matches are an essential part of any camping survival kit. Store waterproof matches in a canister that is airtight. To save money, dip regular matches in shellac, nail polish or wax to make your own waterproof matches. You can store them in a prescription bottle or film canister.
A utility knife is one of the most useful camping tools. These pieces of equipment are quite versatile and can get you out of a lot of bad situations.
Having a roll of grey duct tape is a good idea when camping. Tents are fairly strong these days, but aren’t completely resistant to tears. Having some duct tape to repair your tent can be the difference between sleeping soaking wet or sleeping dry on a rainy night.
Pack ready to eat foods in your camping gear, like trail mix and jerky. When the sun sets and you get too exhausted to cook that night’s meal, you can cheat once or twice and eat some of those tasty, filling snacks you’ve now decided to pack. As an added benefit these snacks have a long shelf life, so if you do not eat them while camping you can enjoy them for months to come.
Bring toilet paper along when you travel. Many camping trips involve trees as toilets. You certainly don’t want to be wiping yourself with leaves.
Buy yourself some camping pillows for your trip. Standard bed pillows can become hot and sticky in humid weather. The tend to absorb ambient moisture and grow mildew as well. Camping pillows use a coating to lock moisture out to improve your comfort level.