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Fifteen Camping Safety Tips For This Summer

an open flame on a campground
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Finally, it’s summer! It’s time for family or friends to reconnect with each other and nature – without that pesky social media. Camping is a great way to bring family front and center to unwind, explore nature, and create unforgettable memories. Just thinking about it, your eyes glaze with memories of sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows. Memories of well-earned expertise that came from over-roasting quite a few marshmallows – some that you ate burned, some that fell in the fire. Ready to re-capture the magic? Before you leave on the road, read these fifteen camping safety tips to stay safe and prepared for any situation. Prioritizing safety will lead to a smooth, worry-free camping experience.

1. Research Your Campsite

Before you leave, research potential campsites and compare them to find the best fit for you and your traveling companions (i.e., do they allow dogs?) While researching, check the campsites’ safety records, looking for well-maintained facilities with good lighting and proximity to emergency services if needed. If you are venturing further out, make sure you have a plan in case of emergencies.

2. Check the Weather

Weather can make or break a camping weekend, so one of the best camping safety tips is to be prepared! If you go to a rainy area, ensure you have rain gear and a waterproof tent. Or, if the temperature might get colder, pack layers. If you are scaling a peak, a t-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, sweater, fleece, and jacket can all be taken on and off, depending on where you are. The same goes for the weather. Another tip: Ensure you have a good bag that is easy to carry your clothes in if you are hiking.

If the weather is going to be truly miserable or possibly dangerous, consider a different weekend if you have flexible plans.

3. Share Your Itinerary

Let a friend or family member know about your camping plans. Give details that include your locations, dates you will be gone, and when you plan to return. This works two ways – it allows family and friends to get ahold of you in case of an emergency, and it helps them sound the alarm if you lose contact or get lost.

An emergency kit with miscellaneous items scattered across a surface. first aid kit

4. Carry a First Aid Kit

well-stocked first aid kit is the #1 camping essential. As you have people performing activities they don’t usually do in an unfamiliar place, there is a higher chance for error – and risk if you are farther from emergency services. Your kit should include tweezers, pain relievers, antiseptic wipes, bandages, gauze, and any personal medications you need. Familiarize yourself with basic first aid procedures that you may need. You can print out instructions as needed.

If you are traveling with a dog or other animal, pack a kit for them.

5. Pack Emergency Supplies

When you are in the wilderness, preparing for the unknown is always a good idea. Prepare for unexpected situations by packing emergency supplies, some of which you may already keep at home in case of emergencies. For example, bring a flashlight or two, extra batteries, a whistle, a compass, and an emergency blanket. These blankets, or sometimes tents, are designed to reflect your heat at you to keep you warmer.

You will also want a multi-tool or multi-functional tool that does many things in one package to help you solve problems. You won’t just like that in an emergency, though! A tool will be helpful for all sorts of campsite activities.

6. Campfire Safety

If you stay where campfires are allowed, practice campfire camping safety tips. Ensure the area around the fire pit is clear . Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies. Never leave a fire unattended. Extinguish the fire completely before leaving. Following these tips, you can prevent potential fires from spreading or wildfires from starting.

7. Be Mindful and Respectful of Wildlife

This is important for both the wildlife you see and those you don’t. For visible wildlife, make sure to show respect and maintain a safe distance. Do not feed or approach wild animals. This is not safe or healthy for wildlife. At your campsite, ensure that you store food securely to avoid attracting wildlife to your camp.

It’s a good idea to research wildlife local to where you will be camping before you set out. This way, you can be aware of potential encounters and be wary of any predators or animals that could be dangerous to humans. Do not antagonize animals for pictures or any reason.

8. Use Insect Repellent

If you are out in the woods or the tall grass, there is no doubt whose territory you are in – the insects’! Insects can carry disease, so you’ll want to follow camping safety tips. Protect yourself from insects and ticks by using insect repellent. Wear long sleeves, pants, and socks to minimize exposed skin. While camping, check for ticks regularly and remove them properly immediately to prevent Lyme disease.

Research what insects and ticks to expect at your campsite to prepare. Depending on where you are, you may want to pre-treat some of your clothes or use repellent with DEET.

If you are bringing a dog, remember to check your dog for ticks. Ensure they have their latest flea and tick medicine dose before you leave.

9. Stay Away from Poisonous Plants

Most of us have had an unpleasant encounter with poison ivy or poison oak before, and it is not something you want to repeat. Before you go, get familiar with what local poisonous plants are in the area. Do they have poison ivy, poison oak, stinging nettles, etc.?

If they do, learn how to identify them – or even bring pictures of the plants – to avoid contact. If exposed, clean the affected area thoroughly and seek medical attention if necessary.

man and woman standing outside drinking water to stay hydrated during the summer

10. Stay Hydrated

Hydration is critical during outdoor activities. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially in hot weather. Make sure you bring a sufficient water supply or a filtration device to purify water from any source for you.

If you do not drink enough water, you may notice yourself getting light-headed or thirsty. You’ll want to catch the warning signs to avoid dehydration, which can cause fainting or other symptoms. If you feel any of these, sit down and rest. Have someone bring you water if needed.

11. Use Sunscreen

Use a sun protectant to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. You can use sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours – especially if you are swimming or sweating from activity.

12. Food Safety

Follow food safety practices to avoid the risk of foodborne illnesses. This applies whether you are fishing or hunting for dinner or bringing it with you. Perishable food should be stored in a cooler with ice or ice packs. Keep raw meat separate from other food. Cook food, especially meat, thoroughly to the appropriate temperature before digging in. So, go ahead and pack the meat thermometer!

13. Practice Campsite Hygiene

Being out in the open and reconnecting with nature often means getting dirty, which is part of the fun. To ensure that it does not leave any lasting side effects, maintain proper hygiene as you would at home by washing your hands regularly with soap and water or supplementing with hand sanitizer when unavailable.

Dispose of campsite waste properly and follow campsite regulations.

14. Secure Your Belongings

Before you go, think about if insurance is right for you. If you are planning on renting an RV for the occasion, ONIT is here to help. Check out our insurance blog and contact us if you need help finding the right agent and policy in your area.

While you are camping, keep your valuables secure by locking them in your vehicle or using a storage container that locks. Avoid leaving valuable items unattended at your campsite, and be mindful of strangers.

15. Stay Aware of Your Surroundings

Stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Watch for hazards such as unstable ground, fallen branches, or slippery surfaces. Ankle injuries can be easy to get, so do not be afraid to be cautious when hiking or exploring unfamiliar areas. Stay aware of your camping group’s health and general energy levels. If you are on a hike and need to turn around or initiate a backup plan, that’s okay. Safety first.

Stay Safe on the Go

Prioritizing safety will help you have a successful camping trip. By following these fifteen camping safety tips, you’ll be prepared to handle most situations that could arise during your outdoor adventure. Plan ahead, stay alert, be mindful of your surroundings, and make responsible decisions to ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience for yourself and your fellow campers.

Before you head out, make sure your auto insurance is up to date and the best policy you can find! To get started on finding a new auto insurance policy that works for you, give us a call today at 1-833-433-0331. 

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