Safety while camping is always something you need to think about, whether you are a "newbie" to camping or are an experienced camper. Sometimes we can get heard up in our trip and forget the basic camping supplies and camping gear that we need to take with us to ensure a safe outdoor excursion.
The following is a basic list of camping supplies that you should remember to take on your trip:
- map of area – It is helpful to be familiar with the area you will be camping in and if you do any hiking you will want to be sure to have the map on you for reference.
- compass – Before leaving on your trip you should do a quick review of your compass to be sure you understand how to use it
- whistle – A whistle is a great signal for help if you get into trouble, this camping gear is also available in a whistle / light combination.
- bottled water and food – You can not survive without water! You need to make sure you have enough safe drinking water if you are going camping where there is not a safe water source in the immediate area. Streams that look very clear can still carry bacteria so it is always better to bring safe drinking water with you. Or you can pack a water purification bottle / kit so any natural water source can become safe drinking water.
- sleeping bag – Your sleeping bag is your bed away from home and you do not want to be made without it! There are many different kinds of sleeping bags so you will want to be sure you have the best bag that fits your needs.
- flashlight or lantern -When camping you need to have some kind of light source whether it is a flashlight or a lantern. Many of these camping light sources are available in solar powered and / or a hand crank so you can have light anytime, anywhere. If your light source is battery powered, you will want to take an extra set of batteries.
- waterproof tent – Yes it is possible to get to your camping destination only to realize that you forgot to pack the tent. You may laugh but it has happened to me and while sleeping under the stars sounds like such a cool thing to do, it is much more comfortable to view the stars from the screened top opening of your cozy tent. Tents are another item with a huge variety to choose from and it is best to get the one that best fits your camping needs.
- sunscreen and first-aid kit – A bad sunburn is a fast way to ruin a great camping trip so do not forget to pack your sunscreen. Your camping gear should always include a first-aid kit with gauze pads, adhesive bandages, tape, tweezers, and antiseptic. If anyone has special allergies be sure to bring any antidote needed.
- warm clothing, clean socks, and rain gear – While these are important items to remember, it is equally important to have a way to keep your clothes dry while camping.
You will want to plan on arriving at your camping location with enough daylight left to be able to check your site over and to set-up camp. Start by checking your site for the most level ground with enough area to set-up your complete camp. Then check the area for glass, sharp objects, branches hanging to low, rocks on the ground or anything that would interfere with your camping enjoyment. Keep in mind that if it rains, could your campsite become flooded and if so choose higher ground for your site. It is always a good idea to check your potential camping site for hazards such as poison ivy, bees or ants. Always make sure that you have a clear area to build your camp fire and that there is no way for it to spread vertically or laterally. Remember when your put the fire out that you use water and soil and be certain that the fire and all embers are out and everything is cool to the touch.
When you have finished camping, be respectful and return the site back to its original condition so that the next camper can enjoy the area as much as you did.