Summer is the perfect time to pack a sleeping bag, pitch a tent, and thrust yourself into the great outdoors. But the great outdoors is often a lot more dangerous than the great indoors. Here are some tips to follow to ensure that you have a safe, happy, and healthy camping trip.
Wear bug repellent
Not only will you avoid the annoyance of slapping mosquitoes, but you will also avoid possible allergic reactions that may come with bug bites. Some insects (ticks, for example) can also cause various illnesses, such as Lyme disease. Spray yourself each morning and re-apply through the day.
Slather on the sunscreen
What is even more devastating than bugs? The hot summer sun. The Skin Cancer Foundation states that skin cancer affects one in every 5 Americans. Wear waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 (30 for children) and make sure you re-apply every two hours or so.
Stay with a buddy
It’s risky to go off on your own when you’re camping. Whether you’re exploring the trails or taking a dip in the lake, a small accident could turn into a big emergency if you have nobody to help you. Always stay within earshot of a friend.
Do not feed the animals
More generally, do not even approach the animals! Wildlife is called that because it is just that: wild. Animals can be unpredictable and dangerous. Make sure you also store your food in a safe and secured area. Never keep your food in your tent; animals will see it as an invitation.
Bring a first aid kit
Assemble a basic first aid kit with bandages, aloe for sunburns, antibacterial spray or antiseptic wipes, Aspirin, and any other items you might consider important. You do not want a small cut to turn into a full-blown infection, so be prepared and have some supplies ready.
Do not get fired
Be very careful when you build a campfire. Always surround your fire with rocks, never leave your fire unattended, and make sure you have a bucket of water or sand nearby in case you need to extinguish it. Lastly, ensure that your fire is fully extinguished when you have finished using it.