Tips for enjoying camping safely

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Bonfires, burnt hot dogs, and beautiful, starry nights are just a few of the things that make for the ideal camping trip any time of the year. In fact, around 40 million people flock to one of our nation’s beautiful state and national parks annually. With all of the fun to be had on these trips, it is important to make safety a priority. Pack up these safety tips before you strap down your tent for a nature-filled adventure:

  • Health is the priority. The beauty of Mother Nature is infinite – and so are the hidden germs you can catch on a camping trip. Remember to get vaccinations that protect you from illnesses like Hepatitis A, Measles, Meningococcal Disease, Mumps and Tetanus.
  • Get started early. Preparation should not begin the day before your departure. Start a few months or weeks in advance to make sure that you have all of the essential and emergency items you need, including a first aid kit, life jacket(s), bug spray, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and toiletries. If you are a seasoned camper, make sure that your camping gear is not damaged or in need of replacing.
  • Pack right. Pack all food tightly in leak- and waterproof containers and store in an insulated cooler. Remember to keep raw meat packed separately, and do not place warm items in coolers so your ice won’t melt quickly.
  • Take home habits with you. Cook all food to the proper temperature to avoid food-related illness. Don’t use fuel-burning equipment, such as gas stoves or electric or gas grills, inside your tent to avoid a buildup of carbon dioxide.
  • Stay ahead of the temperatures. The evening can bring a drop in temperatures, even after a perfectly sunny day. Make sure to pack warm bedding and clothing, as well as a plastic cloth to put on the ground, to avoid hypothermia that can come with exposure to rain and wind. Remember to pack lots of water and sugar-free beverages to keep you hydrated during hot days.