How To Avoid Injuries On Your Camping Trip

How To Prevent Camping Injuries

The leaves are beginning to turn and the days are starting to get cooler. It’s time to pull out the camping equipment and plan a weekend camping trip. While nobody expects accidents to happen, occasionally you will have to deal with some type of injury. Here are some simple ways to prevent camping injuriesfrom happening.

Family Hiking

Choose Proper Clothing

Proper clothing can go a long in preventing heat related injuries. It’s always best to layer clothes. A cotton tee shirt is a good first choice. Cover that with a long sleeved shirt or a sweatshirt. Have a water repellant windbreaker ready in case of showers.
Wear hiking shoes that fit. Last year’s shoes may not fit your children. Flip flops are not good shoes for walking or hiking, although they might be all right around the campsite. After all, your feet need a rest after a full day of hiking. Be sure to have plenty of moleskin ready if you start to form a blister.

If you have new shoes, wear them around for a few days to break them in. Good hiking socks will help to cushion your feet. A good tread on your shoes will keep you from slipping on wet surfaces or rocky trails. If you are watching for wildlife or birds, it’s easy to stumble on the uneven surface of the trail.

On The Trail

When setting off on a hike or any other strenuous activity, make sure you have plenty of water. Inadequate water intake can result in dehydration which can be debilitating. Heat cramps, exhaustion or stroke can result when your body releases more water than it is taking in. If one of your group becomes extremely thirsty and complains of headache or weakness, cool them off quickly. Move them into the shade and sponge them with water. Get them to drink as much water as they can.

Another way to protect yourself from dehydrating is to wear a hat. A hat will protect you from the heat or cold depending on the weather. If you have layered your clothes you can easily remove an outer layer to cool off. Don’t forget to take frequent breaks to drink water or to have a snack of granola.

Emphasize that berries along the trail are not for eating. There are many poisonous plants that will make you very sick if you eat them. Even though that mountain stream looks crystal clear, it may contain nasty bacteria. It’s okay to put your feet in, but don’t drink it. If you carry enough water, you won’t be tempted.

Teach your children what poisonous plants in your region look like. Nobody wants to deal with poison ivy itch when camping. Make sure that children understand that wildlife should be viewed from a distance. Here’s where a good pair of binoculars for birding comes in handy for observing all kinds of wildlife. If your children are climbing on rocks, teach them to be aware of snakes that might be sunning themselves on a rock ledge.

At The Campsite

Make sure each camper has their own flashlight. They will definitely need these at night when moving around the campsite. If you are
tent camping
, put tin foil on the guy wires on your tent to help you avoid walking into them. Another idea to keep you from tripping over the stakes for your tent is to paint them with bright, fluorescent colors.

Be sure your children know how to use knives properly. Boys, especially, like to shave sticks to a point. Many cuts come from improperly using knives. Of course, as everyone explores the outdoors, cuts and scrapes will happen. Just make sure you have some antibiotic ointment ready.

Have plenty of insect spray available. You will be glad you have it when you are hiking and gnats are swarming around your head. It will also protect you from mosquitos and other insects. A tightly zipped tent at night will prevent creepy-crawlies from disturbing your sleep.

Fire Safety

Fire safety is another area where you can prevent injuries. If you choose to cook on a propane grill, you will definitely lessen the chance of an accident while cooking. Leave the campfire for night time songs and stories. It’s a good idea to make some fire safety rules and enforce them.

• Only adults are allowed to make fires.
• Set a perimeter around the campfire area and keep everyone behind that line. Sparks can fly and burn tender flesh.
• Always put your fire out with water or dirt when it cannot be attended. That means when you are sleeping or away from the campsite.

Preventing camping injuries is mostly a matter of common sense. Think about the suggestions above and incorporate them into your overall planning. You and your family will have a great time and will be looking forward to your next camping trip.

Author bio: Stephanie has always loved being outdoors. On her website, Always Outdoors, she writes about outdoor activities as well as offering some outdoor product reviews.

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