Camping can involve one night in the outdoors or an extended stay of a couple of weeks or more. Regardless of how long you’re going camping for plenty of planning and safety precautions are necessary to make sure everyone enjoys their camping trip. While it can be great fun being with the family and enjoying Mother Nature, particular aspects of being outside, away from home and often far from normal conveniences require consideration when planning for the best camping experience Some camping safety measures are discussed below, which will help you in your preparing for the trip.
Never, ever approach wild animals when camping~This goes especially for children, who adore pets and animals. Some wild creatures are very cute and your child’s natural instinct will be to want to pet the animal, but even the cutest, most harmless-looking animals can be extremely dangerous to humans if their territory is interfered with. Therefore, it is very important that you talk to your child before leaving on your camping trip and warn them about this. If you are camping in local, state, provincial or National park, you can get information where you register to camp on the type of wildlife in the area. This is a great way for the whole family to learn about the wild animals and be able to identify them should you see some during your camping trip.
Be careful about where you set up camp in the woods~Small animals and insects are more likely to be in areas that are heavily wooded. Creatures such as spiders and snakes might be in the bushes or undergrowth nearby and you do not want your family to get bitten. Make sure you know if there are any poison insects in the area. This is particularly important if you are far from home on vacation as you may not know about common poisonous plants, insects and/or animals in the area. Always choose a flat and open area when possible. Poison Ivy, ticks, spiders, and snakes are some of the hazards to be aware of while camping.
Remember to wear sunscreen and sunglasses during the camping day~Plenty of summer sunshine and camping go hand-in-hand but remember basic sun safety is important as you may be spending a lot more time outdoors than usual, so be sure that you and your children are wearing sunscreen or sun block that you re-apply throughout the day. Follow these guidelines even when you may be going from sun to shade or it is cloudy. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun so have everyone check to make sure they pack their sunglasses for the trip.
Have a functional water purifier on your camping trip~Most camping areas do provide clean potable water for campers; however if you know you are going to a more remote area it may be a good idea to carry three days’ water supply for you and your family while camping. There are also a number of portable water purifier options to make the water safe to drink. Even if you do pack a supply of water have a purification option in case of emergency. Remember to purify the next day’s drinking water ahead of time because the water purifying system you’re using may require time to complete the process and you always want to make sure you have a basic supply of clean drinking water on hand.
Keep a watchful eye on your children while camping~Some games such as hide-and-seek can put your child in danger because they might get lost or injured while looking for a place to hide. Map out a perimeter which your children can safely play in and you are able to watch them. Never send your child out to fetch water or firewood alone because they can get easily distracted and lost in the outdoors.
Be prepared for weather changes while camping~Even after receiving an accurate weather report before leaving home, Mother Nature may change her mind and you could find yourself in a heavy rainfall or colder than expected temperatures when you were prepared for a hot, dry day. For this reason, carry warm clothing for nights and rainy camping days, as well as weather resistant camping equipment that can keep your family safe in the outdoors. Know how you’re going to check the weather regularly when you are away. Many camp grounds and parks have a central station where weather information, especially weather warnings are posted regularly. When you register at the facility, ask the attendant how to stay informed about local weather. See lightning safety too.
Set cooking gas canisters upright and keep them away from your child~You may choose to take your own cooking gas and stove for cooking on the camping trip, but you will need to take extra care about this. Always check that the cylinder supplying the gas/fuel is not leaking and close the gauge when it is not in use. Place the canister and stove far from the campfire to prevent them from overheating as canisters and other cooking fuel can explode. Children on the campsite need to know that touching the cooling equipment or playing close is not allowed.
The campfire~Having a campfire, making smores and sitting around singing songs is one of the highlights of a camping trip. Establish rules with everyone to enjoy the campfire such as no rough-play close to the fire, only an adult can add new firewood or stoke the fire to keep it going and NEVER use flammable liquids to get the fire going. Each season people are injured and seriously burned every year when they use a flammable liquid to ‘just get the fire going’. The flame can actually ignite and ‘shoot’ up toward the container and even worse to the clothing of the person adding the fuel. This is very dangerous and it is important that adults role-model excellent campfire safety and not do this in front of children. When going off to bed, make sure the fire is completely out.