The Pacific Northwest gives a variety of beautiful scenery and places to explore. And warm weather brings many people to seek adventure and enjoy the nature surrounding the world. One of these many adventures is camping but it can come with a safety risk. June is National Camping Month, and there is no better time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Staying safe is a very important thing to remember before venturing off into nature. Following simple guidelines ensure a fun, safe camping trip.
Remember these things when preparing for a camping trip:
Prepare safe food and water.
- Pack foods in tight, waterproof bags or containers. Keep them in an insulated cooler.
- Wash hands and surfaces often. Use hand sanitizer if water is not available.
- Separate raw foods from cooked foods.
- Cook foods to proper temperatures (for instance, ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees).
- Chill foods promptly.
Include safe physical activity.
- Be sure to wear protective gear such as helmets, sturdy shoes, and life jackets.
- Avoid poisonous plants, like poison oak and poison ivy.
- Know your limits, don’t tire yourself out.
- Don’t hike or swim alone.
Fight bug bites.
- Apply insect repellent containing DEET to any exposed skin.
- Check for ticks daily, and remove them promptly.
- Wear long sleeves, pants, and light-colored clothes to help prevent and spot ticks more easily.
Protect yourself from the sun.
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and lipscreen with at least SPF 15.
- Seek shade, especially during midday hours, when the sun’s rays are strongest.
- Cover up with clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses.
- Check weather report for the time of your trip.
- Learn about the security at your camp location.
- Tell family and friends your plans and where you will be.
- Bring along a supply kit that includes, a first-aid kit, compass, map, flashlight, blanket, batteries, food, water, clothing, and medications.
- When you return home, check for ticks, skin rashes or sunburn, dehydration, and other problems.