Oh! A Camping We Will Go!
Camping is a fun way to get family and friends together to enjoy the outdoors! In the past 3 years, 3.4 million Americans have started to recreationally camp. Camping is an enjoyable activity! There are many tips to ensure your safety during a fun-filled weekend or adventurous week-long trip. But…you need to always prepare for the unexpected! There are a lot of things to take into consideration when packing & taking the family out into the wilderness.
Be SAFE and Know the Surroundings
If this is a new experience or campsite make sure you research the area beforehand. Things to before going out:
- Setting, what is the environment like? (Desert, Woods, Forest)
- Time of Year - think about the season and weather.
- Duration of Trip.
- Surroundings (plants you may need to stay away from or animals).
Include SAFE Physical Activities
Camping is a great way to get physical activity. Do things such as walking, hiking, biking, or swimming to stay active during your camping trip. Be sure to bring protective gear, such as helmets, sturdy shoes, and life jackets. Avoid poisonous plants, like poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. Know your limits, and take steps to avoid injury during activities. Never hike or swim alone. Watch kids closely. Adults should get at least 2½ hours (150 minutes) a week and children should aim for at least one hour per day of physical activity.
Prepare SAFE Food & Water
Bring safe and healthy foods along on your camping trip. Eating contaminated food and drinking contaminated water can increase the risk of developing salmonella, E. coli, & C. parvum caused by germs or contamination. Try to follow these steps to keep your food and water safe:
- Pack foods in tight, waterproof bags or containers. Keep them in an insulated cooler.
- Wash hands and surfaces often. Use hand sanitizer if water is not available.
- Separate raw foods from cooked foods.
- Cook foods to proper temperatures (for instance, ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees). Remember to pack a meat thermometer!
- Chill foods promptly.
- Treat water properly before drinking. Click HERE to find out how!
Prepare to be SAFE in the Sun
Protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation is important all year, but especially when being physically active outside in the summer. UV rays from the sun can reach you on cloudy and hazy days, as well as bright and sunny days.
- Use a broad-spectrum (against UVA and UVB rays) sunscreen and lip screen with at least SPF 15.
- Seek shade, especially during midday hours, when the sun’s rays are strongest.
- Cover up with clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses.
How to be SAFE in the Water
Camping often includes playing in or around the water (like the lake, pool at the lodge, swimming hole). To help protect yourself and your fellow campers from illness, don’t swim if you have diarrhea, and don’t swallow the water you swim in! Also...
- Take a shower before and after swimming.
- Never swim alone, always have a buddy.
- If you plan to ride in a boat, canoe, or other water vehicle, be sure to wear a life jacket that fits properly! Click HERE to find the guide to properly fit a life jacket.