Here are some things you might not think about before heading out on that camping trip this summer…..
- Get vaccinated. Vaccinations help to protect you from certain diseases and conditions while camping. Suggested vaccines include tetanus,pertussis(whooping cough),meningitis and maybe hepatitis A, depending on your destination. Make sure your pets are vaccinated too.
- Prepare to have safe food and water. Pack foods in tight, waterproof bags and containers. Keep food in an insulated cooler. Drain excess water and add ice as it melts. Separate raw and cooked foods and wash hands before and after preparing. Always cook food to appropriate temperatures.
- Get your exercise in safely. Camping is a great way to get exercise from setting up the tent to hiking, biking and swimming. Makes sure to bring sturdy shoes,life jackets and a good first aid kit. Make sure to carry an Epinephrine auto injector pen for anyone allergic to bee stings. NEVER hike or swim alone. Make a plan to let others know where you will be in case you don’t return on time.
- Avoid wild animals and protect your pets. Always clean up after a meal and remove trash from the campsite to avoid hungry animals searching for food. Keep food in storage containers and out of reach from animals. watch animals from a safe distance. A bear protecting her cubs can be very dangerous.
- Bug bites can ruin your day. Make sure to apply insect repellent containing DEET to exposed skin. Check for ticks daily and remove promptly. A tick “spoon” is helpful in removing ticks from you and your pets. Wear long sleeves and light colors to help help prevent ticks and spot them easier.
- Prevent from getting too cold or too hot. The temperature can drop significantly during the night when camping. Make sure to use sleeping bags rated for cold weather and dress appropriately. If camping in cooler months, wearing a knit hat to bed will help keep the heat from escaping. Use a plastic ground cloth under you to help keep you dry. When camping on hot days, make sure to drink plenty of fluids and wear light-weight and loose fitting clothing. Rest in shady areas and protect yourself from the sun.
- Avoid water related issues. Avoid swallowing the water you are swimming in. If you can, shower after swimming. NEVER swim alone, accidents happen to everyone. Make sure to wear a life jacket when boating.
Camping can provide life long memories. With a little preparation, it is likely they will all be good memories.