Below are some tips to help ensure your camping trip is safe should you venture out this summer:
- Cover all bases. Prepare for your camp outing by checking the weather report, learning about your surroundings at the campground, and informing family or friends of your whereabouts.
- Pack a supply kit which should include a compass, flashlight, a first-aid kit, batteries, blankets, medications, and extra food, water, and clothes.
- Practice good food handling and safety:
- Plan your meals before you head out.
- Pack food in tight, waterproof bags or containers, separating raw foods from cooked foods.
- Keep food in an insulated cooler.
- Wash your hands or use sanitizer when handling.
- Keep food stored tightly out of the reach of wild animals. Depending on how deep into the wild you are camping, it may be a good idea to tie your garbage and remaining food high around a tree branch where bears and other animals cannot reach.
- Protect against carbon monoxide poisoning. Never use fuel-burning devices such as gas heaters, stoves, or lanterns inside the tent or other enclosed shelters.
- Stay dry. Place a plastic ground cloth or tarp under your tent.
- Prevent temperature-related illness. During hot days, wear light-weight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothes, and try to rest in shaded areas.
- Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to take a sip. Drink plenty of fluids – preferably alcohol-free! We’d say water should work just fine…
- Use the buddy system when hiking, biking, or swimming.
- Apply insect repellent, and wear long sleeves and pants if you plan to walk through tall weeds and bushes.
- Check for ticks! It seems that every spring, experts warn us that ticks will be an even greater problem than usual in the Hudson Valley – A.K.A. the ground zero for ticks and tick-borne diseases.
- Avoid poisonous plants, like poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.
- Protect yourself from the sun by applying sunblock and wearing a widely brimmed hat. During midday hours, the sun is at its most powerful, and the UV rays can reach you when it’s cloudy and hazy too.
Most importantly, have fun! Camping is the perfect opportunity to develop stronger bonds, promote teamwork, and create wonderful memories.