PICKING THE RIGHT SPOT AND KEEPING UNWELCOME VISITORS AT BAY
Tent camping can provide great adventures for families, but there are some camping needs you should consider before you take off for your trip. Knowing safety basics help keep the trip fun and this starts with your early preparations. Whether you need help choosing a tent, picking a spot for setting it up, or handling your campfire, prepping ahead of time can make a big difference in how smoothly your trip goes.
CAREFULLY SELECT YOUR TENT AND SET-UP SPOT
When you are choosing a tent, consider the weather you expect to experience. For example, 3-season tents tend to be lightweight and appropriate for moderate temperatures throughout the fall, spring, and summer. They can hold up to some adverse weather, but if you are looking for something for strong winds, snow, and cold temperatures, go for a 4-season tent.
Once you arrive at your destination, look for marked tent spots at your campsite. Do some scouting around before setting everything up, as you will want to choose a level spot without any slopes. Avoid being right on a path, as both people and animals may use those late at night, and stay away from low-lying areas that may flood during the rain.
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for ant hills, tree roots or branches, and any sharp or hazardous objects. In addition, look for signs of bees, wasps, bears, or other unwelcome guests in the area. This is particularly important if you decide to bring your dog on your camping trip. A scuffle with a skunk, raccoon, or other animals could send your dog to the vet—or worse. It’s important to keep your dog inside during the night, as this will prevent your pet from getting into fights with scavengers looking for a bite to eat. And if you don’t have a good leash, invest in one before your trip to the great outdoors.
KEEP YOUR TENT CLEAN AND FOOD-FREE
Once your tent is set up and you’re ready to enjoy your camping adventure, it is time to implement some basic tent rules. Avoid having any open flames in the tent, whether that be a candle, lighter, or lantern with a flame. Work on keeping the tent clean so you can keep pests out and prevent mildew or other issues.
Keep food and other scented items out of your tent. Scented products attract animals and your food, toothpaste, soap, sunscreen, and other items should be kept away from where you are sleeping to protect you and your tent from rodents, bears, raccoons, and other critters. Many campsites have bear canisters available, or you can buy your own. You can also put everything in a food bag and hang it in a tree that is at least 100 feet from your tent. While there are certain things you’ll want to keep away from the campsite, don’t forget to put away items you don’t want critters (or humans) tinkering with at home into a storage shed.
DON’T PUT YOUR CAMPFIRE TOO CLOSE TO YOUR TENT
Be vigilant in picking a spot for your campfire that is a safe distance away from your tent. Build your fire downwind from your other things so you won’t have food smells near your tent that could attract animals. Don’t cook more food than you need and dispose of any food leftovers or waste away from your campsite.
Taking the time during your camping trip to follow some basic safety guidelines can have a big impact on how smoothly your trip goes. Pick the right tent when buying products for this camping season and then choose your tent set-up spot carefully. Make an effort to keep it clean and free from food and put some distance between your tent and both your campfire and overnight food storage. Anticipate potential issues before they arise to ensure that your family has a safe and fun excursion. Who knows, after some time spent in the great outdoors, you might consider looking into a tiny house on wheels so that you can bring the comforts of home with you on all your outdoor adventures.
By: Jamie Strand
Photo Credit: Pixaby