Article Courtesy of: Jamie Strand
Camping Safety: Tips on Packing, Activities, and Fire Safety
While you may think camping is as easy as jumping in the car and heading to the campsite to sleep under the stars, a camping trip requires a lot of planning. You want to ensure you create a thorough checklist of what to bring, and you should be knowledgeable about camping and fire safety to ensure the protection of you and the environment around you. Taking the time to organize and plan will help ensure your camping trip is enjoyable.
Safety Items to Include When Packing
A lighter, waterproof matches, fuel canister, sunscreen, headlamp/flashlight with extra batteries, map, and compass should always be included when you pack for a camping trip. Other essential items include a water filter, iodine tablets, a refillable water bottle, extra water, extra food, first-aid supplies, knife, emergency shelter, and a repair kit and tools. You should also bring toilet paper, large black trash bags, and a bear canister.
Part of packing safely also involves packing proper clothing. The temperature can change drastically between day and night or even during a week stay. A day that’s hot in the afternoon can dip by 20 degrees at night. Be sure to bring layers of warm clothes (wool socks, insulated jacket, etc.) and a sleeping pad, which can insulate you from the ground. Also, pack for rainy weather by bringing quick-drying pants and underwear, spare socks, and a rain jacket. A hat and sunglasses are important for protection from the sun. If you’re planning on hiking, ensure you have proper footwear.
How to Camp and Hike Safely as a Group
Before you leave your home, give a copy of your itinerary to a neighbor, friend, or family member. This individual should follow up with you to ensure you get home as planned. When you head out, leave with enough time so that you arrive before nightfall, as setting up camp in the dark is a lot more complicated. You’ll also need time (and daylight) to explore your immediate surroundings and to build a campfire.
Never leave food unattended at the campsite, and always tidy up the site before heading out on an adventure. To avoid unwanted animal encounters, follow proper food storage and waste disposal protocols. Some campgrounds provide bear lockers, and others require you to come up with your own methods. When camping, be respectful of nature and weary of your eco-footprint. Leave with everything you came with, especially your trash.
Before heading out for a hiking trip, ensure you have the proper gear and knowledge. Be aware of the terrain, conditions, and local weather. Always tell someone about your plans. Stay together as a group for the entire hike, and pace the hike to the slowest person. Ensure each member is aware of what to do if someone becomes separated from the group. If the weather changes, someone becomes fatigued, or anything else that can affect your hike occurs, turn back.
If you participate in any water activities or if you’re camping near a body of water, be aware of drowning safety for children and pets. Never leave children or pets unattended, and always familiarize yourself with your surroundings so that you’re aware of any bodies of water. While playing in the water, children and pets should always wear a properly fitting life jacket.
How to Prevent Forest Fires
“Unlike many natural disasters, most wildfires are caused by people – and can be prevented by people, too,” says National Geographic. Before starting a campfire, check local ordinances to ensure it’s permissible to do so, and avoid burning a fire in windy conditions. If you create a campfire, never leave the fire unattended, and always keep a shovel, water, and fire retardant nearby.
Before leaving the campsite or going to sleep, completely extinguish the fire by dousing it with water and stirring the ashes until cold to the touch. Be certain to completely extinguish matches before disposing of them. Make sure lighting and heating devices are cool before refueling. Also, avoid spilling flammable liquids, and store fuel away from appliances.
Camping is a great way to get together with family and friends to enjoy the great outdoors. But before you head off for a fun trip, be sure that you’ve packed adequately to guarantee your safety and comfort. Also, ensure that you’re well versed in camping and fire safety before you leave. Following these tips helps your camping trip to be safe and worry-free.
Please note that Sere Enkang does not have a camping site, but we do have a forest and the same safety tips apply. These are also for our visitors who combine their trips with Mountain climbing and camping