10 Tips for Staying Safe While Camping in the Wilderness
Camping in the wilderness is great, but one unforeseen disaster can ruin all the fun and turn your adventure into the worst nightmare.
So, before setting off for the great outdoors, it’s important to remember that safety is as equally important as the fun.
These tips will help you stay safe and ensure an enjoyable and memorable trip while camping in the wilderness:
1. Research Your Destination
Researching the area you intend to visit is vital as it allows you to understand the terrain to expect and know the right things to pack for your trip.
Are you going to camp in a forest, desert, or near a lake or ocean? Remember, different types of terrains require different gear to ensure ultimate comfort and safety when camping.
Understanding your camping destination will also prepare you mentally and help you learn the safety practices you need for the specific area. For example, if you’re camping in a bear country, you’ll need to learn how to avoid bears and protect yourself in case of an encounter with them.
Once you arrive at your destination, inspecting your campsite before pitching a tent or building a campfire is essential.
2. Double Check the Weather
When camping in the wilderness, many things can ruin your trip, but only a few match what a sudden downpour does.
Unexpected rains can limit your adventure and ruin your gear, leaving you exposed to harsh outdoor elements and unable to survive outdoors.
However, rain doesn’t have to bring your excursion to a halt. All you need to do is double-check the weather forecast to know what to expect while out there. It’s also prudent to consider several sources to ensure you get the correct prediction.
3. Camp with a Friend
Spending time alone in the wilderness is one of the best ways to relieve stress, restore your attention, and calm your mind. Even so, solo camping adventures can be risky, especially for beginners.
If you don’t have much camping experience, going with a friend, spouse, or other family is the best way to stay safe.
Camping with a friend reduces outdoor fear and anxiety and allows you to share survival ideas to enrich and spice up your adventure.
It also ensures you have everything you need for a great time outdoors, as you can share some camping items.
4. Learn the Safe Fire Practice
Campfire is one of the most incredible aspects of camping. It’s a great way to light up your campsite, cook delicious dinner, and stay warm at night.
However, campfires are extremely dangerous if you or other members of your camping crew lack the appropriate fire safety skills.
The fire safety practices include knowing the wind direction, keeping your tents and flammable items far from the fire, not leaving the fire unattended, and keeping some water nearby. It’s also important to completely extinguish your campfire after using it.
5. Have the Right Camping Gear
When camping in the wilderness, the type of gear you bring determines how safe and enjoyable your trip will be. If you don’t have the essentials, don’t expect to have a fun and memorable trip.
But what are these camping essentials?
To survive in the wild, you need a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, warm clothes, basic cooking equipment, food supplies, clean water, a portable charger, and personal hygiene items.
If you can hunt and gather food in the wild, you may not need to bring plenty of food supplies. But this shouldn’t be your only option, as you never know how long it will take to make a catch or find edible fruits.
A tent may not protect you from wild animals, but it keeps you safe from harsh weather elements and offers privacy when camping in the wilderness. But you can bring a tarp or hammock if you don’t have a tent.
Additionally, it’s crucial to test your gear at home before the actual trip to determine if everything works as it should and fix or replace any faulty items.
6. Protect Your Skin from Sun Damage
Sun safety should be a vital aspect of your adventure when camping on sunny days. Remember, spending just a few hours with your skin exposed to the harsh UV rays subjects you to sunburns.
While short-term sunburn effects like discomfort and skin redness may not be alarming, extended exposure to the sun’s UV rays increases the risk of skin cancer and premature wrinkling.
You may think that you only need to wear sunscreen cream when the sun is shining, but that’s not the case.
The best thing to do is to wear the protection cream even when it’s cloudy, as the UV rays can still hit your skin, causing sunburns.
Besides sunscreen, you should also wear protective clothing that covers most parts of your body, including the neck, ears, face, and arms.
7. Bring Enough Food and Store it Properly
When packing your food supplies, consider the days you plan to be out there. Pack light, non-perishable food to last long in the wild if you don’t have a cooler.
However, if you still want to bring perishable foods like steak, fish, and fresh fruit for preparing proper meals in the wild, you’ll need to keep them in an insulated cooler.
When preparing meals outdoors, it’s important to wash your hands properly and clean the cooking surface to prevent contamination.
Besides the food, you must bring more drinking water to stay hydrated throughout the adventure.
To pack more drinking water, try freezing bottles of clean water and use them instead of ice cubes to keep your food cool. This way, you’ll have bottles of clean water once all the ice melts.
8. Don’t Forget Your First Aid Kit
A first aid kit ensures your safety when camping in the wilderness. Since you cannot control everything outdoors, sustaining an injury in the wild is easy.
Your first aid kit should include a bandage, antiseptic wipes, safety pins, painkillers, cotton swabs, small scissors, eye drops, and anything else you might need in case of an accident.
Water purification tablets are also essential, as you’ll need to clean water fetched from a lake or stream before using it. Alternatively, you can boil your water for at least one minute.
9. Protect Yourself from Bugs
Another essential safety thing to do when camping in the wilderness is to protect yourself from bugs using insect repellent.
Mosquitos can be annoying, especially at night, but they are not the only insects you should be worried about.
Ticks are also a major problem, and you should inspect your body regularly and check even the areas you wouldn’t expect them to be hiding.
Wearing long clothes covering most parts of your body is a great way to protect yourself from insects, but you must also use a bug repellent that won’t dissolve in the water easily.
Lastly, properly dispose of your food waste and seal all your containers to prevent ant infestations in your campsite.
10. Respect the Wildlife
When you start interacting with the wildlife, chances are that you or the animals will be hurt in the end.
The rule of thumb is never to touch or feed wild animals because human food may cause digestive problems or even kill them.
Even if you see a young, helpless cub, don’t be tempted to touch or pet them because its protective mother might be around and will attack you when you least expect it.
It helps to respect that wild animals are used to their environment and can care for themselves without human intervention.
Another effective way to protect wildlife and prevent attacks when camping is to keep your food safe and away from your tent when sleeping.
For example, while camping in a bear country, you should store your food in bear-proof containers or hang your food on a tree.
Q: How Can You Stay Safe in the Wilderness?
A: To stay safe in the wilderness, you must have the right gear, check the weather updates, store your food properly, respect the wild animals, know your terrain well, and more, as explained in our list.
Along with these practices, having a plan for accessing help in an emergency is also a great way to stay safe in the wilderness. You can carry a personal locator beacon or tell a confidant where you plan to camp and how long you intend to be gone.
Q: Is Camping in the Wilderness Safe?
A: Yes. Camping in the wilderness is safe. However, this doesn’t mean you can be reckless.
Wilderness camping can come with many challenges and even be hazardous if you aren’t prepared properly for your adventure.
The best way to prepare for your wilderness camping trip is to research where you intend to go, pack the right gear and enough food and water, check the weather, and learn how to light a campfire safely.
Learning survival tricks, like hunting or identifying edible fruits in the wild, can also save your life and lead to a successful trip.
Camping in the wilderness is a great way for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy and get close to nature. However, it comes with many potential risks, given that you are away from civilization.
So, planning and preparing for your trip is vital to ensure you have everything you need while out there. Otherwise, it’s easy to find yourself in a life-threatening situation.
Hopefully, these tips will help you stay safe and ensure that you have a great time camping in the wilderness. Good luck!