Camping with your family will create memories that last a lifetime. Using a tent allows you to enjoy the fresh air while protecting you from the elements.
Campers should follow a few safety rules so that your camping experience is fun.
Upon arrival at your campsite be sure to take time to survey the area. Looking for signs of large animals, make sure you’re not in a low lying area that could flash flood.
Here is a good checklist:
- Make sure you don’t set up your tent over an ant mound. Fire ants are extremely aggressive and can swarm fast.
- When the tent is up, make sure all zippers are zipped up. Snakes, bugs and small rodents can make their way into unsecured tents. Keep zippers zipped up at all times. Be sure you know what species of venomous creatures are native to the area you’re camping. First aid kits should include a contingency for venomous animal bites.
- Where large predatory animals are present such as bears, mountain lions or coyotes. Don’t keep food in the tent, store food away from your campsite. Hungry animals can be a nuisance but moreover very dangerous. Even snacks can be picked up as food scent.
- Check sleeping bags before you enter them. Just like you want a nice warm spot to sleep so do other creatures. Shake your sleeping bag, and unzip to make sure you’re alone. If you keep things secure until you use them you will be fine. Check backpacks before you put them on or reach in them.
- Camping in bear country. Make sure you have bear spray. Do nothing to provoke these animals they are not cute cuddly bears. Bears can reach speeds up to 35 MPH, don’t try and chase them off; they can overtake you running if they were so inclined. You’re in their domain, grant them a wide berth.
- Don’t sleep close to a campfire. Keep a safe distance between the campfire and your tent.
- Keep a knife in your tent to cut open the tent in an emergency.
- Do not use open flame lanterns or candles. This includes lanterns that get extremely hot and could possibly catch your tent on fire. Battery operated lights inside the tent only.
- Food is the number one attraction of unwanted visitors. Make sure you stow any food away from your camp area. Food in containers that are not airtight provides enough scent for animals to smell. Just because you have things stowed in a cooler, for example, animals can pick up the scent. Never keep food in your tent.
- Make sure you have a first aid kit for minor emergencies. Check dates on old kits; make sure the kit you carry is not from the 70’s.
- When traveling to a National or State Park, contact the park rangers’ office. Ask them about any concerns for animals, forest fire hazard status, and safe areas for camping in a tent. These folks are a wealth of information.
Have fun on your next camping trip and follow our simple safety steps. Remember to always be responsible with trash camping, dispose of trash in proper receptacles. For more ideas for camping with your family, read about these campsite activities for your children.