Safety First: A Guide for Safe Camping
While camping is one of the healthiest gifts you can give your body and mind, there are cautions to be taken to ensure a safe and enjoyable camping trip. Prepping your trek will give you confidence, peace of mind, and security so you can focus on what really matters: connecting with nature. Here are Campertunity’s top tips for staying safe in the great outdoors:
Put your fears aside and get outside
Let’s start with the number one tip: don’t be afraid of nature. As our population grows, we naturally encroach on animal territory and bring them closer to us. Although animals do, in fact, attack humans, it is a rare occurrence and one that can be avoided. And, animal cuteness is deceiving; don’t get too close for a selfie and certainly don’t try to touch any wild animals.
Keep your food stored and elevated
Animals don’t wake up in the morning thinking they are going to start their day by eating a human. Instead, they are drawn to human food and wander into areas where people are. So, avoid bringing them to your campsite by keeping food secure and elevated. This can be done by storing your food in a shut cooler and placing it in trees. And, remember to keep that bag of chips or hot dog bun off the picnic table when you go to sleep. A nighttime environment that’s clear of any food will keep animals away so you can sleep better.
Always tell someone you trust that you are going camping
A detailed trip itinerary is a life saver, literally, and a copy should be left with your trusted person. Letting your friend know where you are, how long you’ll be away, as well as other pertinent details to your trip, will help raise alarm bells should you not be found at the end of your destination.
Stock up on maps, a compass, spare phone batteries, and even a solar charger (check out our blog on 3 neat camping gadgets for the best solar chargers).
Watch your blood sugar level
If your camping weekend includes a hike, you’ll be putting your body to work. When you exercise a lot, it will cause your blood sugar levels to drop, resulting in fainting or dizziness. This is when you get to enjoy healthy sweets, and we recommend that you pack some dark chocolate on your trip. Other healthy snack choices include raisins, granola bars and fruit juices…all great ways to keep you moving on your voyage and to keep you strong.
Should I worry about strangers while camping?
Growing up, my school taught us “stranger danger”, meaning to not trust anyone you don’t know. We were taught that bad people are everywhere and we should assume that accepting anything from a stranger will lead to being kidnapped. It sounds over-the-top, right? Well, it’s just as exaggerated with strangers in nature. Here are the real facts: most crimes are committed by people we know, and only 10% of the population is criminal (and even fewer are in the wild trying to get you). My best advice: use your common sense when encountering someone in nature and let your gut guide you.
Take your dog with you
Not only will they provide companionship but dogs have courage you may need when out in the wilderness or when you come across strangers. Their heightened senses are especially handy and act as an alarm bell for wild animals, too. After all, only a dog is brave enough to bark at a bear!
Getting outside means relaxing and having fun, so make the effort to be well prepared. Stock-up on maps and batteries, know where you’re going, keep your food stored, maintain a healthy blood sugar level, and use your common sense….that includes not watching “Night of the Living Dead” before you head into nature.