Planning a Safe Camping Trip
By Wayne Page
Camping is a traditional activity that people enjoy with their families, friends and social organizations. Camping trips can be an adventurous backpacking trek, fun family trip or relaxing church retreat. Whatever the occasion, camping is fun. However, it comes with inherent risks and dangers. Here are some tips for planning a safe camping trip, so everyone can have a good time.
Know Before You Go!
Prevention is the best medicine, and preventative safety measures are the best way to plan a safe time away from home. To “know before you go” means to be familiar with the territory you will be headed and the equipment you will be using. Obviously, the risks will vary from trip to trip, and different itineraries require different types of equipment. Every trip should have at least one person who is familiar with all of this and can prepare a camping checklist. It is also best to know everyone that will be on the trip. This is not possible in every situation. However, if a single leader will be responsible for the group, then he or she should think about each person. Howwill they respond in an emergency? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What can they do? What are they unable to do? These considerations will help the leader of a camping trip.
During preparation, every camper must decide what to take and what to leave. This decision can be especially difficult to make when packing for backcountry trips. One the one hand, any unnecessary supplies just take up room and add weight. On the other hand, certain supplies can be the difference between life and death, if help is not nearby. As a general rule of thumb, anytime you are in doubt, the item should be packed. It is better to be safe than sorry, as the adage says. Another rule to consider: If the booze can fit, then so can the medical kit.
Bragging is not absolutely necessary when planning a camping trip, but it makes telling others much more fun. Before taking off, at least two people should be given the itinerary and any contact information. If it is possible, they should be told when you will be checking in with them. Notifying at least two people is better than telling only one person, because it is easy to worry. Two people can help each other calm down and think rationally.
Fire and Water
On the way to the campsite, a leader should remind everyone of the dangers of fire and water. Often, these are both essential parts of a camping trip. People will gather around a campfire in the evening and go swimming or boating during the day. Every year, people are injured and die, because they are foolish around fire and water. No matter how familiar everyone is with these, a safety reminder never hurts.
By planning a safe camping trip, everyone can have a fun time away from home. Camping is supposed to be a relaxing time. If people are hurt, then the purpose of the trip is defeated. That is why planning a camping checklist for a safe trip is so important.
About the Author
Wayne Page writes for the CNA Training Center, which helps people in Massachusetts and other states become CNAs.
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