Camping Safety Tips Provided by CDC, KidsHealth, and REI

Posted on September 21, 2012

The summer heat has finally let up in many parts of the country, which makes this the perfect time for people to go camping.  Although such an activity is certainly rewarding to those involved, it’s not without its risks.  To help make sure that people aren’t putting themselves in danger when they head out into nature, the Centers for Disease Control, KidsHealth, and REI offer a series of tips to would-be campers.

The first thing that a person can do before they set off camping is prepare themselves for any potential incidents.  This starts with having such supplies as a first aid kit, maps, a compass, a flashlight, sunscreen, and anything else that might help out in the event of an emergency.  If you’re camping with a child, make sure to bring along extra clothing and warmer clothing for them, as well as a hat to protect them from the sun.

Preparation doesn’t end with the items you’re lugging along with you, though.  Before you even set out on your journey, you should look online, on the radio, or on television to make sure that inclement weather isn’t headed your way.  If it is, then consider abandoning the trip for the time being.  Other must-haves for all campers before they set out are vaccinations.  Make sure that you’re up-to-date on everything you might need, especially tetanus shots that can act like a blanket defense against a variety of conditions.

People also need to be aware of the types of wildlife that are abundant in the area you’ll be camping in.  Park rangers should be able to advise campers on the types of animals that might be found in a given vicinity, and to further ensure that you won’t be endangered, follow the proper food storage etiquette.  Any container with food should be waterproof, airtight, and kept in a cooler.  Emphasize to kids that they shouldn’t feed any animals in the area, and consult with a park ranger about further precautions you can take before you set out on your journey.

One other area where it’s vital to take the necessary safety precautions is in campfire preparation and care.  When you set out to build a campfire, don’t do so near places where the trees have branches that hang down.  Circle the fire with rocks or some other barrier, and never just leave the fire to burn out on its own.  Keep a shovel and/or water on-hand as well so that in the event of the fire becoming dangerous you won’t be caught off-guard.

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