Friday, April 3, 2015

Camping Safety

Camping safety encompasses a lot of territory.  It can mean being safe in the activities pursued, being safe in the environment, and preparing for unexpected situations.
 
1) Have a first aid kit to take on your trip. Include bandages, aspirin, spray painkillers, anti-itch, burn salve/spray, snake bite anti-venom, elastic bandages for sprains, additional medicines you normally take for any physical ailment (from sinus to constipation!).  Keep it up to date and restocked as needed.
 
2) When camping it is good to take a battery powered weather radio to provide warnings of severe storms.  Do not spare expense on this item. It can save your life.  Having a crank option is nice in case the batteries are damaged or become wet but some crank only radios are cheaply made. Be careful in selection.
 
3) Choose your campsite carefully.  Avoid being too close to bodies of water that show evidence of past high and rapid water rising (often seen by sediment and silt residue on exposed rocks or tree trunks or a line where grass or weeds appear too recent or beaten down severely in the past).  Avoid the fall zone from large trees that can be hit by lightening and swept over by rapid and fast moving water or winds.  Know the best outdoor weather protection methods for the area where you are camping,  Information is not only power it is a life saver.
 
4) Be able to secure all parts of your campsite and its most valuable  assets in a manner to make it difficult for anyone to steal but not endanger the campers.
 
5) Know fire safety, especially for campfires, as well as safety procedures for using heaters and electricity around the camp.
 
A good camping manual or disaster preparedness book can be helpful for making lists and reminding of things to do.  What to do When the SH*T hits the Fan by Dave Black, a survival expert, is helpful although some of the advice for tornadoes may be dated (pre-the recent mega storms in the Oklahoma City and Moore areas that illustrated graphically the amount of bad advice often given for survival and safety in storms. Check with the National Weather Service for updated information and advisory data.)
 
Some helpful links:
Camping Health and Safety Checklist at http://www.cdc.gov/family/camping/

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