If you’re going camping, then it’s crucial that you think about safety as well as just having a great time.
While it can be a lot of fun to set out into the wilderness with nothing but what’s on your back and to explore off the beaten track, this can also leave you very vulnerable and present a number of hazards and dangers – if not the weather, then the local wildlife may present a serious threat. If not the wildlife, then a nasty trip or fall!
This post will help to keep you as safe as possible then by going over some of the most common safety risks and showing you how to avoid them…
Before you set off to go camping, it’s very important that you research where you’re going. That means you need to know not only the routes that you intend to hike through but also where you’ll be allowed to set up your tent.
Think it doesn’t matter and you can sleep anywhere? It’s a nice idea but usually areas are made off-limits for a reason. If you ignore this advice then you do so at your own risk and you could very well end up dealing with less friendly wildlife, or getting run over by skiers.
Having a spare phone is always a very good idea to help keep you safe. This should ideally be a satellite phone and it should be one that you keep powered off and with a full charge at all times – only to be brought out in an emergency.
If you do that, then you can rest assured that you’ll never be left in the middle of nowhere with no way of communicating with the outside world.
It’s very important that you keep both bags of food and rubbish both hidden and sealed. Otherwise, you’ll find that it’s very easy for local wildlife – some of which might be a little bigger than you’d like to meet on a dark night – to start rummaging through.
Make sure to bring bags and to seal anything that you’re not eating tightly!
This should go without saying but you need to practice a lot of fire safety when starting and using fires for cooking and for warmth. For starters, you need to ensure that you don’t light fires underneath any branches or trees that might be flammable.
Likewise, you need to ensure that you don’t try to cook food on a disposable barbeque too near to your tent – if the fumes blow in then you can end up poisoning yourself with the gas!
There are numerous ways you can keep yourself safe from bugs but it’s important that you use at least some of these to make sure you’re not going to wake up with lots of marks and a potential disease contraction to go with it!
Mosquito nets are a good idea as a minimum and you may also want to take a hammock depending on where you’re staying.
Hammocks have the handy advantage of keeping you off of the ground, thereby keeping you away from a lot of the bugs and critters that could otherwise approach. Believe it or not, a hammock can in many ways actually be safer than a tent!
The logic that all too many of us will use is: ‘hmm, it’s getting dark… I better set up my tent for the night!’. This is actually completely the reverse of what it should be however – instead you should be setting up your tent before it starts getting dark.
This way, you aren’t going to find yourself struggling to set it up when you can’t see very easily. Light is generally just very important in fact, so having a back-up light source is also a good idea.
It’s always better to make your journey in lots of short fits and starts rather than trying to do the entire thing in one go. Don’t get carried away or you might find yourself walking too far and not knowing how you can get back!
Finally, make sure you have all the supplies, equipment and tools you could need to keep yourself healthy on a journey. That means having a first aid kit for example but other things can also be handy like masking tape which you can use to repair all kinds of things.
Expect the best but always prepare for the worst!