Camping is a fun time for the whole family. It is a time to leave all of your troubles behind and reconnect with family and friends. Campfires, roasting marshmallows and sing-a-longs are the memories you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. That’s why it is essential to make your campsite a safe place for everyone.
The campsite you choose is your home away from home. It should be a clean, safe place that is devoid of any debris or low-hanging limbs. And, choosing a site that is flat and level makes it easier to set up camp and park your RV.
Once you’ve chosen the perfect campsite, there are a few safety precautions to keep in mind while setting up camp. The following tips can go a long way to ensure that you and your family have a memorable camping experience.
• Check for potential hazards. Be sure to check the site thoroughly for glass, sharp objects, branches, large ant beds, poison ivy, bees and hazardous terrain.
• Inspect the site. Look for a level site with enough room to spread out all your gear. Also, a site that has trees or shrubs on the side of prevailing winds will help block strong, unexpected gusts.
• Build fires in a safe area. Your open fires and fuel-burning appliances must be far enough away from the tent to prevent ignition from sparks, flames and heat. Never use a flame or any other heating device inside a tent. Use a flashlight or battery-powered light instead.
• Make sure your fires are always attended. Be sure you have an area for a fire that cannot spread laterally or vertically - a grill or stone surface is ideal. When putting the fire out, drown it with water, making sure all embers, coals and sticks are wet.
• Dispose of trash properly. Remember to recycle - use the proper recycling bins if available.
• Watch out for bugs. Avoid attracting stinging insects by wearing light-colored clothing and avoiding perfumes or colognes.
• Beware when encountering wildlife. To ward off bears, keep your campsite clean, and do not leave food, garbage, coolers, cooking equipment or utensils out in the open. Remember that bears are potentially dangerous and unpredictable - never feed or approach a bear. Use a flashlight at night - many animals feed at night and the use of a flashlight may warn them away.
• Beware of poisonous plants. Familiarize yourself with any dangerous plants that are common to the area. If you come into contact with a poisonous plant, immediately rinse the affected area with water and apply a soothing lotion, such as calamine, to the affected area.