While camping in itself is a safe outdoor activity during the pandemic, it is advisable to follow proper health protocols to reduce the chances of infection. This means people should stay a safe distance away from people who are not a part of the household. Additionally, they should pack soap and hand sanitizer that can last for the whole trip.
But Covid-19 is the least of a person’s worries when camping in the woods. To ensure the whole experience is safe and fun for the whole family, people should avoid some dangers lurking just around the corner of the camp.
Camping is not complete without a good campfire. Everyone can gather around the campfire, telling stories while roasting hotdogs and marshmallows. But a small spark from the campfire can also cause a forest fire that can affect everyone in the area.
While many of the forest fires in recent memory were linked to drought and high temperatures, an errant spark from the campfire can also cause it. Due to this, it’s best to check with park staff if it’s safe to build a campfire before setting up camp. People should also build one in designated areas in the campground.
They should pitch their tent away from the fire. While the materials used on most tents are fire-resistant, they are not indestructible. Additionally, they should keep any flammable materials, such as dry paper, away from the fire. They can also use rocks to form a barrier around the fire.
Many national and state forests have wild animals roaming around. Due to this, campers need to ensure their food is store properly. They should eat in designated areas to prevent the odor of the food from attracting wild animals.
If people see a bear roaming in the area, they should stay safe from the animal. They should not approach it, especially if it’s a mother bear with cubs following her. They will attack if they feel their cubs are threatened.
Aside from bears, wild ducks are also found in some of these parks. Due to this, some people would go hunting when it’s hunting season. But hunters should make sure to check their rifles before going on the trip. They wouldn’t want their weapons to misfire when they are already lined up for a shot. While they can take the issue up with the gun store, these shops normally have insurance from a gun store insurance agency to cover the cost of potential lawsuits involving their products.
Another common problem that campers have to deal with is insects, including mosquitoes and ticks. These insects normally carry diseases that can take away the fun in camping. While they are not easy to avoid, campers can reduce the risk of getting bitten by these insects.
They can use insect repellant to ward these insects off. Before sleeping, they should check the bed to ensure no ticks are lying around. Additionally, if they see a tick burrowed in their skin, they can remove it using a pair of fine-tipped tweezers.
Extreme Weather Conditions
While checking the weather conditions before leaving home allows people to avoid bad weather, weather forecasts are not always accurate. So people can experience heavy downpour in the middle of the night while sleeping in their tents.
Due to this, campers should expect the unexpected when the weather is involved. This means setting up camp away from moving water and low-lying areas to avoid flash floods that might happen during a heavy downpour. They should also keep an extra set of clothing in a waterproof bag if they get caught in the middle of a downpour. They should remove the wet clothes and put on the dry ones when they find shelter.
If the area is prone to lightning storms, they should avoid staying close to lone trees. They can stay in a group of small trees that are surrounded by big ones. When it comes to extreme heat, they should make sure they are well-hydrated by drinking at least a liter of water every hour.
Wild Berries and Other Plants
People should also avoid eating wild berries unless they have thorough training in identifying them. While some are safe for consumption, others can cause severe illness. Thus, it is a good idea to leave berries and any other wild plants they encounter when they go camping.
Camping can be a good activity for people who want to have fun in the middle of the pandemic as long as they follow the park staff’s guidelines when using the campgrounds.