By Jessica Kelly
Camping is an age-old adventure that humans all over the world continue to embark on come rain or shine. However, despite there being so many advantages to camping, it also offers some potential dangers that, if not well prepared for, could become life-threatening. From weather hazards to bugs, there are all sorts of things to be aware of, and this article is here to break it down for you.
Get educated about the elements
One of the biggest fears for campers is, without a doubt, lightning. This is largely due to the majority of camping taking place in forests, beneath and surrounded by trees that can easily be hit by lightning. The best way to stay safe is to spend some time learning about lightning safety before you leave for your camping trip.
A key fact about lighting is that if you hear the rumble of thunder, a storm is within 10 miles and campers should immediately seek a designated spot for shelter. Once you find your camping spot, familiarise yourself with the grounds and locate a safe spot to shelter if a storm does happen to brew. The safest bet is a building, however, if there isn’t one nearby, abandon your tent and find an open area with no trees close by.
Be aware of the wildlife
Depending on where you decide to camp, the chances are that you will be more immersed in nature than you usually are at home. This can often mean that wildlife such as bees, wasps, snakes and more can pose a potential threat to your safety. Familiarise yourself with how bee and wasp nests look so you can steer clear when you pitch up. Bees usually make nests in the ground, so it is important to have a thorough look at the ground around your tent. If you are allergic to bee or wasp stings, make sure you pack your EpiPen in a place that is easy to reach at all times and consider avoiding camping locations that are too remote.
Take precautions to avoid illness
Illness is one of the biggest worries when it comes to travelling. In fact, 35% of people worry about becoming too ill to travel at the last minute.
There are a number of precautions you can take to avoid coming down with an illness before or during your travels. The most obvious, and also the most often overlooked, is to wash your hands with soap to kill risky germs. It is also a great idea to pack a high-quality hand sanitiser with you while you camp, adding further peace of mind.
It is important that you source good quality drinking water at your campsite, and have bottled water on hand to use if there isn’t any.
Dehydration is an issue in everyday life; however, it is even more important when you are out camping. Get to know the signs of dehydration so you can spot it in yourself or in those around you. Once you begin to feel thirsty, your body is telling you it is low on water and will need more to function properly. Campers should also be aware of dark coloured urine, headaches, dizzy spells, eye aches and weariness, which are all signs of dehydration.
Camping trips can often involve a certain degree of strenuous activity, leading your body to need more water than usual. Avoid dehydration by drinking at least 8 ounces of fluid for every 15 minutes of activity.
Research crime statistics for your destination
Camping is an opportunity to go back to basics and live openly amongst nature. However, the open-air setting also proves to be an ideal opportunity for thieves to thrive. It is common for valuable items to go missing from campsites, which can be upsetting and can disrupt your trip.
The best every camper can do is to take the appropriate precautions to deter thieves. One thing you can do is be careful with what you decide to pack. Only pack expensive electrical goods if they are going to be absolutely essential for your camping experience. It is also a good idea to secure your belongings on the campsite with high-quality locks.
Prepare for the unexpected
36% of people worry about things going wrong on the first day of their holiday, and although all of the above tips will help you be as prepared as possible, there is always the chance that something unexpected could happen on your trip. The key to enjoying your camping trip isn’t just doing your very best to stay safe, it is also learning to expect the unexpected and embrace the uncertainty of a camping trip. Nature may pose a certain amount of natural threats to safety, but it is also beautiful, peaceful and fun. Find the perfect balance between making sure everyone is thinking about camping and safety and making sure everyone has a great time.