Camping is one of the best opportunities to get outside and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. However, your picture-perfect camping trip can quickly go awry if you’re not careful and prepared! In order to enjoy your camping trip to the fullest, you need to ensure that everyone on the trip is safe.
When it comes to camping, safety should always be your #1 priority! (Although having fun is a close second). A camping mishap can quickly turn a great trip into a camping nightmare.
For this article, we’ve outlined 10 camping safety tips to help you stay safe this camping season. Keep these tips in mind when planning your next camping trip and you’re sure to create memories you’ll want to remember forever, rather than memories you’d prefer to forget!
General Camping Safety Tips
The following sections cover some general camping safety tips based on the greatest risks that you may encounter while camping.
1. Choose the Right Camping Shelter
Depending on the age, physical limitations and medical needs of everyone participating in your camping trip, tenting may not be the best option. Although many enjoy the experience of camping in a tent, tenting is also known for its lack of comfort, exposure to the elements, and lack of bathroom or water supply. For many people, this makes tenting out of the question.
Compared to tenting, RV camping is known to be a much safer alternative. RVs allow protection from bad weather and cold temperatures. They also give you easy access to clean drinking water, plenty of storage for your food and other necessities, and a comfortable bed to sleep in at the end of the night.
Be sure to consider the needs of everyone in your group to decide if you can brave the tenting experience or if you’d all be much happier and safer in an RV.
If you’re looking for a new RV, the RV experts at Bucars RV are always here to help. Contact us today!
2. Practice Campfire Safety
When it comes to camping, many people consider campfires to be a staple of the camping experience. How else would you roast the most perfectly browned marshmallow for your tasty late-night smores? However, campfires are also one of the most dangerous aspects of camping and pose the greatest safety risks to your group and others if you don’t practice campfire safety!
Here is a checklist to help you ensure that your campfire is safe for you and those around you:
- There are no overhanging tree branches above your campfire pit
- The campfire is encircled by a metal ring or rocks
- The campfire is at least 15 feet away from any shrubs, trees, or tent walls
- There is a bucket of water nearby to put the fire out
- There is always someone nearby attending to the campfire
- When you are finished, all embers are put out (not just the red embers)
3. Beware of Wildlife
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Okay – maybe not lions and tigers, but bears can be a real threat when you’re camping in the mountains. Wildlife such as bears, cougars, and coyotes often call our favourite camping destinations their homes.
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from encountering dangerous wildlife on your next camping trip:
- Store your food AND toiletries in your RV, your car, a bear-safe container, or a food storage locker to avoid attracting wildlife to your campsite.
- Don’t leave any dirty dishes, garbage, or dishwater unattended at your campsite.
- Don’t leave your dogs unattended or off-leash outside.
- Maintain as much distance as possible from any wild animals you may encounter.
- Make some noise or clap while you’re walking to announce your presence to any wildlife in the area.
In addition to keeping yourself safe, maintaining your distance from wildlife is also important for keeping the wildlife safe! Even if wildlife does not seem threatening it is important to keep away so that they can also maintain safety in their own home.
If you do happen to come in contact with wildlife, it’s important for you to give your hands a good scrub with soap and water to avoid contracting any diseases.
4. Double Check the Weather and Pack Accordingly
The last thing you want is to head out on your camping trip unprepared for the weather only to be faced with unexpected rain, snow, or even extreme heat and humidity. In Canada, weather conditions can be very unpredictable and can change on a dime. Be sure to check the weather forecast for the entire length of your trip before you hit the road.
Not only is extreme weather unpleasant, but it can also be dangerous if you’re unprepared and caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In addition to checking the weather, it’s always a smart idea to pack some extra supplies just in case the weatherman is wrong. For example, if you’re headed out camping in the Spring, it’s still wise to plan for winter camping conditions. Our recent blog post on winter camping tips will likely still come in handy for your spring camping trip.
Camping Safety Accessories
These tips include the necessary items that you need to pack to stay safe on your next camping trip.
5. Bring a Camping First Aid Kit
When it comes to getting prepared for your camping trip, packing a camping first aid kit should be at the top of your list!
Many campgrounds are in remote locations making it difficult to get to a doctor quickly should an accident occur. A fully stocked first aid kit should help you deal with minor medical incidents on your own or at least hold you off until you can see a doctor.
Here are some important items you should include in your camping first aid kit:
- Assorted adhesive bandages
- Various sizes of gauze pads
- Antiseptic wipes
- Anti-bacterial ointment
- Adhesive wound disclosure strips
- Non-stick sterile pads
- Cotton swabs
- Medical adhesive tape
- Aspirin or ibuprofen
- Insect sting/ anti-itch treatment
- Snakebite kit
- Fine point tweezers
- Eye drops
- Small scissors
- Blister treatment
- Safety pins
6. Don’t Forget Your Sunscreen and Bug Spray
Sunny weather and pesky bugs are typically aplenty in the warm weather camping seasons. If you’re heading out on a camping adventure, make sure you’re prepared with multiple bottles of both sunscreen and bug spray!
Protect Yourself from Bug Bites with Bug Spray
When most people think of camping they think of the incessant battle between themselves and relentlessly hungry mosquitos. However, there are a number of insects that you need to watch out for on your camping trips that can be far more dangerous than the annoying, itchy bites left by mosquitos.
For example, ticks are an important concern because they can lead to Lyme Disease. Check for ticks every day, even in areas where you wouldn’t think to look! Quickly removing ticks from your body will reduce your risk of serious health problems.
In addition to applying bug spray often, you should also wear long clothing and keep your skin covered to try and keep bug bites at bay.
Protect Yourself From Sunburns with Sunscreen
While it might feel nice to lounge in the sun on a warm day, sunburns and sun damage can not only ruin your trip but also lead to additional health problems down the line.
To avoid suffering from a bright red burn, it’s important to keep your skin protected. Even if the sun isn’t out, you can still experience sun damage whenever you spend time outside. The sun’s UV rays are more than capable of penetrating through the clouds and giving you a surprise burn on a gloomy day.
Here are a few ways you can stay protected from the sun’s wrath on your next camping trip:
- Put on sunscreen 30 minutes before you go outside and be sure to reapply often throughout the day.
- Wear a hat and long clothing to keep your skin covered.
- Stick to lounging in the shade rather than in direct sunlight.
7. Check the Shelf Life of Your Fire Extinguisher
Did you know fire extinguishers don’t last forever? Although your RV may have come with a fire extinguisher it’s important to check whether your fire extinguisher is still effective once you’ve owned it for a few years.
After a few years, the chemicals in fire extinguishers lose their charge and the pressure will fall over time. That means that there’s a chance your old fire extinguisher could be ineffective when you need it most.
The exact shelf life of fire extinguishers varies depending on the manufacturer. It’s important to check that your fire extinguisher is not expired before you head out on your next trip. While you’re at it, be sure to also check for any damage that could also make your fire extinguisher ineffective.
Camping Safety During COVID-19
The nice thing about camping (and RVing, especially) is that it is one of the safest activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, one of our high-risk staff members at Bucars RV decided to take an RV trip right in the midst of the pandemic. Check out our recent blog post to find out why RVing during the pandemic is the perfect trip for a high-risk person.
However, there are still a few things you can do to mitigate your COVID-19 risks on your next camping trip. We’ll discuss these in the next sections.
8. Ensure You’re Well-Stocked on Cleaning Products & Disinfectants
Just like when you’re at home, cleaning and disinfecting are still a COVID-19 must even when you’re out camping. Be sure to pack lots of hand sanitizers, cleaning products, and disinfectants to keep your family safe on your next camping trip. Additionally, you should pack multiple masks for each person in case you want to venture into any nearby towns or if masks are required at any point in your trip.
9. Practice Physical Distancing
Although many campsites are reserved, there are some campgrounds where you can drop-in and select your own sites. In these circumstances, it’s important to be mindful of other campers and choose a campsite with plenty of distance between your group and others. It’s also important to respect any COVID regulations and only camp with members of your own household when these rules are in effect.
10. Be Respectful of Campground Rules
In addition to government COVID regulations, campgrounds may have their own rules to keep campers safe. It’s important to follow these rules both for the safety of yourself and others in the campground throughout the pandemic. These rules might include wearing a mask in public areas, so don’t forget to bring your masks just in case!
Get Ready for Your Next SAFE Camping Adventure with a New RV
As we discussed in this article, RVing is one of the safest ways to camp AND the safest form of travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. Are you looking for a safe, new RV for your next camping adventure? The experts at Bucars RV are always happy to help! Visit our showroom or contact us today.