September 3, 2020 / educational / recommended
Labour Day is coming up and many are taking advantage of this long weekend to go camping with their friends or family. Whether you prefer the comfort of a family friendly campground or adventuring out into the wild outdoors, every level of camping expertise comes with different levels of safety precautions to consider. We’ve decided to share a few safety tips to have you coming back from your trip in tip-top shape! And in an additional effort to keep you at your healthiest with the coronavirus in mind, we’ve included some key Pandemic safety points as well.
Camping Safety Tips
#1 Make a List
The first step to a successful camping trip is to create a list of everything you’ll be needing to ensure that you don’t forget anything important. Preparation is key when venturing out into the wilderness! Don’t forget to bring your Pandemic safety gear such as masks, gloves, and plenty of soap and hand sanitizer.
#2 Prepare a First Aid Kit
Accidents do happen and chances are you will be far from medical attention if you need it. We recommend preparing a full first aid kit for any potential scrapes or bruises that may occur in the woods. Click here for the Canadian Red Cross First Aid Kit Contents.
#3 Wash your Food
If you’re planning on preparing your meals at your campsite, we recommend doing your groceries before leaving for your trip to ensure that you can properly wash your food beforehand, especially if you plan on purchasing unwrapped fruits and vegetables. We know this is common practice, but it is an important step that should not be overlooked during a Pandemic.
#4 Keep your Group Small & Stay Within your Circle
At Cardiogenix, we place a lot of emphasis on keeping all of your activities between those you live with or a select few individuals with the same coronavirus risk perception as you. Be mindful that sharing a tent with someone who has come into contact with COVID-19 puts you at a very high risk of infection even if they show no signs or symptoms. If you are going camping with those you live with and everyone has been respecting the COVID-19 safety regulations, there is a much lower risk of catching the virus from one another.
#5 Biting Bugs
There is no shortage of insects in the great outdoors! Apply bug and tick repellent regularly as not only do they leave you covered in itchy bites, but they are notorious for spreading disease. Avoid tall grassy areas and check your clothes and legs regularly for unwanted guests. We also recommend bringing an after-bite cream for soothing those itchy bites to reduce any chance of infection from contact with unclean hands. Check out our blog on ticks here for more preventative information!
#6 Protect your Skin
No matter the weather, the sun’s ultraviolet rays are harmful to your skin year-round. In addition to applying sunscreen regularly, we suggest packing some lightweight long-sleeve shirts, long pants, and an extra hat to keep your skin out of the sun. For more details on sun protection, visit our blog about all things sunscreen here!
#7 Mind the Temperature
Thunderstorms and temperature drops in the evening are to be expected. Pack appropriately for the unpredictable weather to avoid getting caught in the rain or cold with no warm clothing. You may be putting yourself in unnecessary harm’s way by being exposed to extreme weather without proper preparation. Also verify the climate that your sleeping bag is designed for as they are not all suitable for all temperatures.
#8 Fresh Food Goes First
Always store your food in a cooler with plenty of ice to keep everything fresh. It is best to eat your perishable goods such as meat and dairy products first to avoid getting sick from something that went bad after not being properly stored. Food poisoning is the last thing you want when enjoying the great outdoors.
#9 Keeping Hydrated
If your campsite does not provide drinkable water, consider bringing a few large jugs full. If you do not have your car with you on-site, plan to have at least 3L per person handy to drink throughout the day. This may seem like a lot but it is better to have too much water than not enough! It is also important to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion which include weakness, heavy sweating, dizziness, nausea, excessive thirst, muscle aches, slow heartbeat, clammy skin and fainting. Also avoid drinking from natural water sources such as lakes or streams unless you have a portable water filtering system with you as they are likely filled with bacteria that can make you very ill.
#10 Fire Safety
Fires are the best for cozying up to under the stars. Build your fire responsibly by keeping it well contained in a pit and far from flammable objects such as surrounding plants, trees and especially tents. Before building a fire, check your campsite’s website for their fire regulations as some areas are more prone to wildfires than others. Most importantly, never leave a fire unattended and make sure to extinguish it completely with water once you are done.
#11 Water Safety
Going for a dip on your camping trip? Remember that underwater currents can be much stronger than they appear and never overestimate your swimming abilities, especially when there are no lifeguards around. Check out our Water Safety blog here for more on preventing drowning and other water-related accidents!
#12 Watch for Wildlife
There is always the possibility that curious animals such as raccoons, skunks, and even bears stop by to investigate your campsite, especially if they smell something of interest such as food or garbage. Lock any potential smells inside of your car if it is parked nearby. If you are wild camping, it is best to tie your food up into a tree away from your campsite and to do the same with your garbage as it may smell just as tempting to forest critters. Never store food in your tent and make sure that all food is sealed in airtight containers after eating.
#13 Putting the Right Footwear First
Wearing flip flops in the woods is a recipe for injury. Sporting proper footwear such as sneakers or hiking shoes when venturing out onto the trails can save you (and your ankles!) from a bad slip or fall. You’d be surprised how much easier a hike is with some good grip! Longer socks will also help prevent blistering.
#14 Don’t get Lost
We often underestimate how disorienting the forest can be when we’re deep into a good hike. Keep to the trails and always have your phone on you as well as a compass or GPS to know where you are. In case you do get lost, keep a whistle handy to help others locate you and always tell someone where you are headed in the event that you do not return on time. Always bring enough water with you just in case.
#15 Have Fun!
Camping is a great way to slow down and take a step back from our busy city lives. Spending time out in nature can help us clear our minds of any daily stressors and reconnect with the little moments that make us happy all while creating memories that last a lifetime.