7 Ways to Ensure Safety When Camping
There are a lot of reasons why Camping in Massachusetts is on the bucket list of outdoor lovers all across the country. From scenic river valleys and historic coastal towns to camping hotspots in The Berkshires, The North Shore, and the Pioneer Valley, Massachusetts has something for everyone.
And while everyone dreams of the clean air, starry nights spent swapping ghost stories over a campfire, reconnecting with nature, and getting some much needed time away from work, there are a few things to consider from a safety perspective before heading into the outdoors. After all, nearly 30,000 Americans injure themselves each year while camping, so it pays to keep these following 7 tips in mind.
7 Camping Safety Tips
Many campers would be surprised to know that a majority of the accidents and injuries that happen at campsites all across Massachusetts occur while driving to and from campgrounds. Given that road conditions and surfaces can vary greatly depending on where you’re going, driving cautiously is the name of the game.
Watch out for:
- Unpaved roads and uneven surfaces
- Snow, ice, or slushy surfaces
- Muddy roads or roads with loose gravel
Also, it pays to take your time. While the urge to rush and get to the campground quickly might seem like the right thing to do, in the end, it’s not worth ruining your holiday with an injury or an accident just to save a few minutes of time by driving carefully. Lastly, it’s best to take frequent breaks and avoid driving when fatigued.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
A key point to consider for both children and senior citizens, drinking water steadily for a few hours before any activities is the best way to prevent dehydration while camping. Also, since caffeinated and alcoholic beverages are diuretics and will increase your body’s demand for fluids, it’s a good idea to refrain from consuming them while camping, or if you absolutely must, rehydrate as soon as possible with lots of water.
Keep an Eye on the Weather
No one wants their camping holiday to be ruined by the weather. Whether snow, rain, or excessive heat, it’s always a good idea to check the weather forcast for your campground before actually heading out. However, if you must head out regardless of the weather, make sure to plan accordingly and have all the necessary equipment at hand.
Be Prepared For Medical Emergencies
Most campers take basic medical supplies with them, but it’s important to take what you need depending on what activities you plan to do. For example, if hiking is what you’re after, then medical supplies to deal with slips, cuts, scratches, and possible broken bones, might be a smart idea. Likewise for days spent in the sun, supplies to deal with dehydration, heatstroke, and insect bites is a good idea.
Don’t Ignore Campfire Safety
Campfires, if ignored, can easily become one of the most hazardous aspects of camping. Worse, it can quickly lead to even bigger disasters like wildfires and tremendous loss of human life and/or property.
Things to keep in mind for campfire safety include:
- No branches or leaves overhanging the fire pit
- A minimum safe distance of 15 feet between the campfire pit and any bush, tree or tent
- A readily available bucket of water
- An adult to supervise the fire at all times
Protect Yourself From Bugs
For those of us used to living in the city, dealing with the sheer number of insects like ticks, flies, and mosquitoes in the outdoors usually comes as a rude shock and requires a good amount of prior planning. From loose fitting clothing to a capable insect repellent, keeping the bugs away will go a long way in making your camping experience a lot more enjoyable.
Protect Yourself From the Sun
If you’ve never had one, a sunburn is something that’s best avoided at all costs. From the itchiness to the peeling skin and more, protecting your skin should be right up there on things to do if. Apply sunscreen regularly and make sure that the SPF factor suits the amount of time you’re planning on pending in the sun.
While camping has its perils, it still ranks highly on the list of the most enjoyable ways to spend time by yourself or with your family. With a little care, preparation, and caution, you’re guaranteed to enjoy yourself no matter where you decide to go camping in Massachusetts.