The perfect camping trip celebrates the best of nature with great hikes, gorgeous scenery and cozy campfires. But before you get carried away with visions of sleeping under the stars in the great outdoors, consider the potential disasters like bear sightings, fast-moving thunderstorms and poorly marked trailheads that could derail your camping excursion. To prepare for the unexpected, it’s essential to do some research beforehand. Whether packing for a family camping trip or a solo hiking adventure, consider these tips and tricks to stay safe on the trail.
Assemble an Emergency Kit
Over packing is a disaster in itself when camping, especially if you have a multi-day trip. But don’t leave behind the critical first aid kit in attempting to lighten your load. Even if you’re just car camping, bring along basic first aid gear necessary medications, a small knife, lighter, flashlight and extra batteries. For longer excursions, protect yourself from the elements with a reflective survival blanket, poncho and hand warmers, as well as a whistle and small mirror to signal for help.
Track the Weather
Before your trip check the National Weather Service site for any possible extreme weather warnings. Here are some lightning safety tips, such as not to pitch your tent under the tallest trees. And though it may go against your natural instincts, if you can’t find safe shelter, like a car or building, head deep into the woods instead of sticking around an open space with sparse trees. Crouch low to the ground, instead of lying or sitting down, to diminish the path lightning can follow if you do get struck.
Prepare for Animal Encounters
We all know the great outdoors is home to many of natures finest creatures, but are we fully prepared on what to do should we come across one? For example, a bear appears near the trail your are hiking on, what is the best course of action? According to studies when you come across a bear attempt to make yourself look big, make loud noises, and back away slowly. If this does not cause the bear to run away and it charges at you, look for a tree limb to climb into, or play dead and cover as much of your vital areas as possible. Talk to the local park ranger for information on bear sightings and areas to avoid.
Hopefully on your next camping trip some of the above information will come in handy. The key to an enjoyable camping trip is being prepared and knowing how to keep yourself safe in the great outdoors. If you are someone who enjoys camping in a pop up trailer, fifth wheel camper, or RV make sure you have adequate insurance coverage. If you are unsure of your current coverages, or have questions on types of coverage offered, contact your local My Member Insurance Agent at 989-791-5400 for a free quote!