What you need to know about safety before going camping?

Before you go camping, there are a few things you should know about safety. This includes what general measures you can take to stay safe, what clothing to wear, how to build and maintain a safe campfire, how to camp alone safely, how to prepare for unfavorable weather conditions, and how to stay safe from wildlife.

How to stay safe while camping?

To stay safe on your camping trips, we recommend following the tips listed below.

  • Make a checklist of gear and supplies
  • Leave an itinerary with someone at home
  • Bring the right gear for the conditions
  • Choose your campsite carefully
  • Be wildlife aware
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast
  • Store food in suitable containers
  • Make sure your campsite has adequate illumination at night
  • Never leave your campfire unattended
  • Extinguish your campfire fully
  • Carry bear spray in bear country
  • Wear sun-protective clothing
  • Stay hydrated
  • Head home if conditions become hazardous

What are common camping accidents?

The most commonly sustained camping injuries are minor things like scrapes, sprains, and bug bites. Other fairly common injuries or health issues include sunburn, dehydration, sunstroke, heat stroke, and minor cuts.  

How to prevent common camping accidents?

As with all things in the great outdoors, being prepared is the best way to prevent accidents while camping. This means choosing the right camping spot, paying attention to the forecast, wearing the right clothing, packing plenty of first aid supplies, wearing sunscreen, respecting wildlife, and knowing how to use your gear.

What camping safety tips are there?

Our top camping safety tips are to bring the right gear for the conditions, choose your campsite carefully, keep an eye on the weather forecast, store food in suitable containers, make sure your campsite has adequate illumination at night, never leave your campfire unattended, extinguish your campfire fully, carry bear spray in bear country, wear sun-protective clothing, and stay hydrated.

What oversights do campers make about safety?

The main safety oversights made by campers are underestimating weather conditions, not packing the right clothing, not respecting wildlife, and not packing enough water.

What campsite safety rules should you know?

Below, we’ve listed a few campsite safety rules that every camper should know.

  • Never cook inside your tent
  • Make sure your campfire is a minimum of 12 feet away from your tent (20’ is better!)
  • Keep all food in storage lockers or airtight containers
  • Never take food inside your tent
  • Never leave your campfire unattended
  • Don’t camp under trees with loose or dead branches
  • Respect wildlife
  • Stay alert

What are safety precautions for camping out with children?

Below, we’ve listed our top safety tips for camping out with children.

  • Establish ground rules before setting off
  • Educate them about poisonous plants and insects
  • Give them a whistle to blow in case of an emergency
  • Make sure they are visible at all times
  • Never leave them unattended near a water source or campfire
  • Make sure they always wear shoes outside the tent
  • Establish boundaries
  • Make clear which tools/gear they can use and which they can’t
  • Make sure they are well hydrated
  • Warn them not to eat anything they find in the woods

What are safety measures for camping near water bodies?

If you’re camping near a water body, make sure you pitch your tent above the high tide mark or far enough away from the water’s edge that there’s no risk of the water reaching your tent in the event of flooding. Mosquitoes are also often rife near water bodies, so bring plenty of bug spray!

What camping safety gear can you pack?

Below, we’ve made a list of the most important safety gear you should take camping.

  • First aid kit
  • Bear spray
  • Bear canister
  • Headlamp and/or flashlights
  • Map and compass
  • Tick remover
  • Satellite messaging device
  • Emergency food supplies

Why is camping clothing choice important for safety?

The clothes you wear camping are your main defense against all weather-related injuries and accidents, from frostbite and hypothermia in cold conditions to sunstroke, sunburn, and hyperthermia in warm conditions.

What clothing to pack for camping safely?

When deciding what to wear camping, it’s essential to dress for the conditions. In warm conditions, pack breathable, light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants with a high (40-50) UPF rating, and a good sun hat. In cold weather, use the layering system and bring extra insulating layers, as well as gloves, thick socks, a beanie, and a neck gaiter. In all conditions, it’s a good idea to carry rain gear (waterproof pants, jacket, and footwear) just in case the weather turns.

What clothing protects against sun exposure?

When camping in hot weather, you want sun-protective clothing with a high UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating. In addition to light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants, we recommend bringing a sun hat, a bandana or buff, and sunglasses.

What clothing protects against cold exposure?

In cold conditions, make sure you use the layering system by wearing a high-wicking, breathable baselayer, an insulating midlayer, and an outer layer that protects against the elements. Top this all off with a beanie, neck gaiter, and gloves, wearing liner gloves under your outer gloves in case you have to take the outers off to perform tasks that require dexterity.

What to wear sleeping at camp?

When it’s time to hit the hay at camp, change out of your dirty clothing and into something clean and dry that will be worn for sleeping only. The best sleepwear for camping is long underwear and, if necessary, a pair of socks. 

How to build and maintain a safe campfire?

To start, make a campfire area (or ensure the designated campfire is) at least 20 ft from your tent. Next, gather tinder (dry moss or dead leaves), kindling, and logs. Place your tinder at the center of your fire pit and lean a few pieces of smaller kindling against it, or stack them on top of it in lattice formation, then light your fire. Add larger kindling and logs when the flame is big enough.

Once your fire’s underway, make sure it is never left unattended and don’t let it get too big. Before going to sleep, make sure the fire is properly extinguished by dousing it with water. Perform a heat test on the coals (hover the back of your hand just above them) and continue dousing them with water until you’re satisfied that there are no smoldering embers underneath.

How to safely start and extinguish a campfire?

To practice appropriate campfire safety, create a fire pit at least 20 ft from your tent. Next, gather tinder (dry moss or dead leaves), kindling (dry twigs), and logs. Place your tinder at the center of your fire pit and stack a few pieces of smaller kindling against it. Next, light your fire, using a long match or torch lighter, then add larger kindling and logs until your fire is the desired size.

To put out your campfire, douse the pit with water, stirring the coals with a stick to make sure the water reaches any at the base of the pit. Perform a head test by hovering your hand over the coals and add more water if needed.

How to teach children about campfire safety?

The best way to teach kids campfire safety is to let them observe and take part in the process of building, maintaining, and extinguishing a campfire, explaining why each safety measure is taken as you take it. It’s also a good idea to give them a job to do, such as clearing always brush that might ignite from a spark or keeping an eye out for sparks while the fire is burning.

Is it safe to have a campfire lit when you sleep?

No, campfires should never be left unattended or unwatched. Camping gear is, for the most part, highly flammable, so just one spark could set your campsite ablaze. And that’s not to mention the possibility of starting a wildfire!

What quantity of firewood do you need?

Wondering how much firewood you need when camping? The quantity of firewood you’ll need for your campfire depends on what size your fire will be and what type of wood you’re burning. For one hour of burning, you’ll need around a half bundle (3 to 5 logs), though this will increase if you’re using the softwoods as these burn much quicker than hardwoods. 

Is it safe to camp by yourself?

It is perfectly safe to solo camp as long as you are prepared to be entirely self-reliant and responsible for your own safety and well-being. 

Some of the added responsibilities of camping alone are planning, transporting gear, and carrying out campsite tasks on your own. For safety purposes, we recommend not advertising that you’ll be alone and informing someone at home who you trust of your plans.

What hazards are there to camping solo?

The main hazard when camping alone is becoming ill or getting injured – if this happens, you’ll have no one there to help you out and could be in real trouble if you don’t have a cell signal and can’t call for assistance. 

How to minimize solo camping hazards?

The best way to minimize the risk of camping alone is to camp in a relatively popular area where you’re likely to find help if needed. Otherwise, invest in a satellite messaging device – these are pricey tools, sure, but they could make the difference between making it home safely and not.

What are safety concerns for women camping alone?

Camping alone as a female camper is no more dangerous than doing anything else alone as a woman. There are, however, precautions you can take to make the experience safer, such as carrying pepper spray, not advertising that you’ll be alone, steering clear of any suspect characters you encounter, and carrying something (a phone or messaging GPS) to contact the outside world.

What precautions can solo female campers take?

Below, we’ve listed precautions women campers should take to stay safe.

  • Camp with a friend if possible
  • Leave an itinerary with a family member or friend
  • Never advertise (online or elsewhere) that you’re alone
  • Trust your instincts – if you come across any suspect characters, steer clear of them and head to safety if need be
  • Carry a cell phone or a GPS device with two-way messaging capabilities
  • Consider carrying pepper spray (if legal in your area)

What safety concerns arise camping in extreme weather?

The main risks of camping in extreme conditions are summarized below.

  • Cold weather. Hypothermia and frostbite. 
  • Hot conditions. Sunburn, sunstroke, hyperthermia, and dehydration.
  • Wet conditions. Flash floods, hypothermia, and high water levels if camping near rivers.
  • Thunderstorms. Lightning strikes.

What do you do when camping in a thunderstorm?

Lightning strikes the highest point in the terrain, so try to get down to lower ground to take shelter in a vehicle or building. When doing so, try to avoid open ground and isolated trees. When you make it to your vehicle, close the windows and avoid contact with any metal fixtures inside the vehicle.

If there’s a risk of thunderstorms, don’t camp near trees, on open ground, or on ridges or high ground. 

Is it safe to be inside a tent during a thunderstorm?

According to The National Weather Service, a tent will provide no protection from lightning strikes.

How to stay safe from wildlife while camping?

Below, we’ve listed some tips to help keep you safe from wildlife when camping.

  • Store food in airtight containers when traveling to your campsite
  • Use bear boxes, food storage lockers, or canisters at your campsite
  • Don’t take food inside your tent
  • Don’t feed wildlife
  • Keep pets leashed
  • Stay at a safe distance
  • Make noise while hiking
  • Carry bear spray
  • Never step where you can’t see
  • Learn what to do in the event of a bear encounter

How to protect your campsite from bears?

Below, we’ve made a short list of safety measures you can take to protect your campsite from bears.

  • Use food lockers for food and trash (or make a bear hang)
  • Keep scented items in airtight containers or the trunk of your vehicle.
  • Keep your campsite clean
  • Never take food inside your tent
  • Carry bear spray
  • Lock your vehicle
  • Ensure any food inside your vehicle is not visible
  • Clean dishes and cooking utensils immediately after using them
  • Keep pets leashed
  • Invest in a bear fence

Are you safe from bears inside your tent?

No, your tent will offer next to no protection in the event of a bear attack. If a bear attacks your tent, your only option is to fight back and use your bear deterrent spray.