It’s Camping Season! As I Yell This from a Mountaintop!
Outdoors enthusiasts and weekend warriors are all getting jazzed up for another camping season. What’s not to love: nature, sleeping under the stars, campfires, swimming in rivers/lakes and good old-fashioned fun? Sure camping is fun but it can also be dangerous, so keep you and your loved ones safe with this handy camping safety guide.
Know your lightning facts
Lightning kills more people every year than bears so pay attention to lightning and thunder. One important rule that you should know: if you hear thunder, you are within 10 miles of a storm, so head for shelter.
All shelter s are not created equally, so stay out of your tent and tall trees, instead get into a building or your car. The rubber tires are perfect for grounding you incase of a strike. If you are away form a vehicle or building get to an open field, you may get wet but you’ll be safe.
Don’t play around with fire, it cannot only hurt you but can easily start a fire that gets out of hand. Make fires in designated areas only and follow all posted signs about fires. If there are no fire rings, make a safety ring out of rocks and clear all debris that could catch on fire. Some areas during certain times a year don’t allow fires because of forest fire risks, so don’t be the asshole that starts a forest fire.
Animals and Insects
You are going into nature, where animals and bugs live, so expect to deal with them. You may encounter bees, snakes, bears, and coyotes or worse, so it’s important to know what to do, just in case.
Bears will come to food, so if you are in an area with bears, keep your food safe either in a bear box or hung up in a tree. Bears have incredible senses of smell and can find even a small candy bar hidden in you tent, so never keep food where you sleep. If you see a bear, slowly get out of there, don’t run, they will catch your butt.
Bees – Wasps – Hornets – Ants
When choosing the perfect place for your campsite and tent, look around for nests and hives before you set up. Nobody wants to be woken up by a thousand ants in their tent or wasps attacking from above. If anyone in your group is allergic to any kind of stings or bites, they should have an Epipen handy, because help isn’t close in the wilderness. If someone is bitten or stung, keep an eye on the wound and look for signs of an allergic reaction, like sudden swelling or breathing issues.
Snakes are all over the place so it’s best to know what kind of snakes are native to the area you are camping. Watch out for Rattlers out west and Diamond Backs and Water Moccasins in the East and South. Snakes like to hide in dark holes and underneath rocks, so be careful where you reach and step.
These guys will look for scraps, garbage and small dogs, so keep an eye on your little puppies. They are usually scared of people and noises.
Big cats are all over the country from bobcats to mountain lions, they are out there. Rarely seen around people, these silent hunters see you ten times before you see them once. Just be aware that if you see one, act big and slowly walk away, never turning your back on them.
Moose kill more people than bears so be aware of these big old goofs.
Don’t get disoriented
Don’t get lost but if you do, stay calm dude. Always keep a map, a compass and a mirror or shiny object used for long distance visibility to a search party. If you do get lost, look for some simple signs to find your way. Look for your own footprints and back track. Look for moss on trees; it always grows on the North side of trees. Tell someone where you are going, before you go.
You will be exerting yourself more than usual so it’s important to drink plenty of water.
Heights can kill
Climbing things seems like a fun idea but heights kill in the wilderness. Be careful on rocks, trees and the dreaded rope swing. More people are hurt on these three simple activities than by animal attacks each year.
Don’t be dumb
Seriously, don’t do dumb stuff; you are way too far from a hospital. Don’t be stupid with an axe while chopping wood and don’t jump into bodies of water without knowing how deep it is.