Americans love exploring the great outdoors by going on camping excursions. Data published in the 2014 American Camper Report by the Outdoor Foundation shows that 40.1 million people six years and older went on camping trips in 2013. While camping is a fairly safe activity, campers should be aware of inherent dangers such as wild animal attacks, altitude sickness, and flash floods caused by sudden storms. With that in mind, here are some camping safety tips to get you started:
To avoid getting lost in the countryside or wilderness, maintain location awareness at all times. You can do so by researching natural landmarks like rivers you may come across while camping outdoors prior to leaving home. Learn how to navigate with the aid of such natural formations. Rivers tend to flow south to east in the US. Furthermore, pack a mirror that you can use to attract the attention of other campers of search parties if lost in the wilderness.
To avoid attracting bears, pack foods that do not generate strong aroma while cooking or after opening. In addition, do not litter your campground because doing so will attract bears. It is also wise to stay away from berry bearing plants. To scare away a bear, make as much noise as you can. If you come across a snake, avoid it and you will be fine. When camping in the forest, lookout for bee and wasp nests that tend to hang on tree branches. Seek medical help if you develop symptoms such as dizziness or breathing difficulties after a bee/wasp sting.
If you experience symptoms such as nausea, headaches, unusual fatigue, or insomnia at high altitude (8,000 feet or higher), consider dropping to a lower altitude and giving your body time to acclimatize better.
Remember to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. The rule of thumb is to drink 15-20 ounces of water at least two hours before undertaking strenuous activities. Furthermore, drink 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes while hiking and 8-10 ounces of water before exercising.
Camping is popular in the US because it allows one to get close to nature. However, it exposes one to risks like wild animal attacks. To minimize camping risks, remain hydrated at all times, maintain awareness of your surroundings, and acclimatize well before climbing mountains 8,000 feet or higher. Follow us for more recreation, outdoor activities, sports, and more.