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Camping Advice for Beginners

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

First, if you have friends who are expert campers, ask if you can tag along on their next outing into the world of nature. Ask questions, watch what they do and how they do it, and learn the “do’s and don’ts” of camping. Learn about designated campgrounds, campfire safety, hiking routes to campsites, reading topographical maps, making your campsite bear-proof, and weather safety. Then, put yourself into the hands of an outfitter’s store or web site who specializes in camping equipment and safety. This is a great time to ask your camper friend to accompany you or browse the web with you. All camping gear is not created equal! You’ll want the best quality and safest gear you can afford that will be with you for many years of outdoor recreation and not fall apart or malfunction when you need it the most.

Depending upon your campsite location, you’ll need the following basic gear: a backboard that straps around your shoulders and stows all your camping gear, an all-weather waterproof tent(s) with a plastic floor-liner to keep you from sleeping on wet or cold ground, kerosene lanterns, flashlights, a “bear bag” that you’ll hang from a tree to keep your food supplies safe from hungry bears, raccoons and other night scavengers, fire-starting material, and light-weight cooking gear if you’re planning a camp out of more than two days. About water purifying tablets: never drink from natural rivers, lakes, streams, or ponds! Nature’s water contains bacteria that seriously upsets non-immune human gastrointestinal systems. Unless you want to share your camping trip with a nasty case of diarrhea, treat all water with a purification tablet before you drink it.

Don’t forget necessities like sleeping bags, toilet paper, soap, food prep materials, clothing that can be worn in layers in cold weather, comfortable hiking boots, a sturdy hat, sunscreen, and insect repellant. “Bear bells” can be attached to your backboard or walking stick; bears hear and smell you long before you see each other. Use bells or conversation with your companions, and bears will go out of their way to avoid you. Learn what to do if you should have a sudden, aggressive encounter with a charging bear. A steadfast rule in the camping world is to never have a visual “stare down” with a bear, wolf, or mountain lion; they take this as a challenge and could get you seriously hurt or killed.

How to Stay Safe While Going Camping

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

When you go camping, you want to have fun and relax from the normally busy world. Generally speaking camping is a safe experience, but some things can happen. It is best to be prepared for these situations so that you can camp safely. One of the most common injuries for most campers is getting glass in their feet. Unfortunately many use camp grounds as a place to go out and drink breaking their bottles all over the ground. Most places have lots of glass in the ground. Be sure to always wear shoes especially when it’s dark and be watchful.

Know some basic first aid. When someone cuts their foot on glass or has a stumble or fall, you will most likely be the first response to this problem since you are out in the woods. Know how to treat basic things and where exactly you can get help if help is needed. Someone, hopefully you, should know some basic first aid. Be aware of the wildlife in your area where you choose to go camp. Generally wildlife is not on a problem on most paid camp grounds but out in the woods they can be. For the most part if you practice bear safety by having bear bags or keeping food sealed in bags in a car this should keep hungry, curious animals from showing up. Food never belongs in a tent, ever, unless you want wild animals in your tent! You can put it in a bag and hang it from a tree is your car is not nearby.

Know fire safety. Always have more water on hand to put out the fire than needed because it could get out of control. This is a very costly and sometimes deadly mistake some make by letting their fires get out of control. People tend to play with fires when camping which is not a good thing. Have a way of contacting someone while out in the woods. Find out if your cell phone works where you will be. If not, know where a ranger or someone to contact will be just in case of emergency. This is very important because if something happens you need to know what to do immediately.