On April 2, 2017, a 31-year-old man attacked two adults camping in the Siegaue Nature Preserve in Germany while sleeping in their tent and raped the woman.
On July 22, 222, an attacker killed 3 people from the Schmidt family at the Maquoketa Caves State Campground in Iowa while vacationing, killing three people.
I don’t want to scare you with this news. However, it shows that danger lurks everywhere, hence the need to practice camping safety. That is why in this article, I provide you with 7 ways to stay safe while camping.
If you are interested in off-the-grid living and wonder whether off-the-grid living is dangerous, I wrote a whole article where I share what you should know.
1- Prior Planning
Planning is vital for camping safety, whether you plan to camp alone or as a group. Don’t let the idea of having fun and running from the city carry you, and you forget to plan.
If you fail to plan, your emergency can worsen and even become fatal.
How do you plan?
Write down the 4Ws- Who, what, when, and where
Once you write the 4Ws, please send them to four responsible friends who can follow up.
Let’s discuss these Ws.
- Who: Know who is going camping with you and their phone numbers. Your contacts need to know your friends and how to reach them in an emergency.
- What: You need to know what activities you’ll engage in when camping. Don’t leave this to chance; hoping ideas will pop up when you arrive. We have an exciting article on popular outdoor activities you should try on your next camping trip. Check it out for inspiration.
- When: Indicate when you plan to leave for camping when you arrive at the site, and when you expect to return. This makes tracking the timeline easier for your contact persons if they suspect all isn’t well.
- Where: Provide specific information on where you expect to build your camp. Send the coordinates to your contact persons to let them know where to start looking in case of anything.
2- Ensure Campsite Security
Your security while camping is the most important thing in the adventure. Without proper security, the experience may be less pleasurable or rocked with anxiety.
I know you don’t want that; neither do I.
So how do you improve your camp security? Here are some practical things you can do:
Know How And Where To Park Your Vehicle
Suppose you have an RV or a campervan park it in a way that is to leave in case of danger. The head of the van should look to the highway or main road, not the camp.
In the event of danger, you have no time to make a turn. You want to make getting into the car easy and driving off.
Ensure People Can’t See You Easily
You want to avoid camping near a highway where everyone can know you’re there. Bad-intentioned individuals can take that opportunity to study your camp and attack.
So, choose a concealed place with an easy escape route.
Come With Camping Dogs
Trained security dogs are your friends and excellent camping additions if you have them. They can spot danger, alert and protect you.
Carry a Firearm
While this is a personal choice, you can carry a firearm if you have a licensed one. That way, you can defend yourself against bad people or animals who want to attack your loved ones.
Carry Communication Equipment
Many campers overlook the value of good communication equipment. Having a fully charged cellphone is okay, but what if there are no cellphone signals?
You could carry emergency cell phones like Enbridge to send signals of your location. It doesn’t need an internet connection or signal to work.
Install a Motion Sensor Alarm
You can also install a motion sensor alarm that lights and make a sound should an animal or a person come near your camp. This way, you can wake up and prepare, especially camping in an isolated place.
3- Choose The Appropriate Campsite And Shelter
Campsite choice also determines how safe your family will be throughout the adventure. Your age, medical needs, and physical limitations also determine the type of campsite and shelter you choose.
For instance, older adults with difficulty surviving in the cold would do well with RV camping.
So plan what gears your group needs depending on your site choice. If you stay in a cabin, you’ll enjoy full or bunk beds. On the other hand, sleeping in a tent means you’ll carry a sleeping bag or a mattress.
You can also do the following to ensure you choose a safe campsite:
Choose Campsites Away From The Cities And Inner Cities
Most people who come to city campsites often want to party. They are interested in something other than the calm and quiet of camping.
And most criminals can easily access campsites near cities or inner cities. So, I prefer camps outside the cities. Bad-intentioned people will rarely make the long trip to outcast campsites.
Look For Clean Campsites
Before settling for a campsite, look around. If the environment isn’t clean, you need to exercise caution.
Uncollected clothes or human wear could signify an insecure place.
Generally, it is safe to camp with other campers because dangerous animals, thieves, and other evil-minded individuals don’t love these places. A camp with many campers could be an excellent place to stay in.
But if you prefer a quiet environment with a few people, check with your neighbors to see if they’re hospitable.
Listen To Your Sixth Sense
The sixth sense is your intuition. This inner feeling can tell you if a place is good or not. So, if something feels off about a camping site, listen to your intuition and look for another site.
Often when people are attacked while trailing or camping, they regret not listening to their intuition.
4- Have Proper Equipment
Camping safety also involves having the right equipment. A sturdy tent, warm clothing, and a sleeping bag will protect you from the elements, such as rain, wind, and cold temperatures.
You may also need insect repellent, a first aid kit, and bear spray to protect you against wildlife.
Do you have a map, compass, and GPS device? And do you know how to use them to navigate the wilderness if you’re lost?
What about the car repair toolbox? You’ll need equipment such as
- Socket wrench set
- Jack and Jack stand.
- Brake bleeding kit
- Torque wrench.
However, having these tools is not enough. You need to know how to use them. In this regard, you can take lessons from professionals or watch YouTube videos on how to use each tool. This knowledge can be helpful when you experience a car breakdown in the middle of nowhere.
5- Practice Mental Modeling
In the military, mental modeling is the practice of thinking about possible emergencies and situations that could happen. You take a problem with the highest probability of occurring and devise ways to tackle it.
For instance, if your camping involves hiking, accidents are probable situations. So how do you prepare? Have your medical tool ready.
Practicing mental modeling can help you be situation-aware. It means paying attention to uncomfortable situations to move to safety. It also lets you prepare the right gears to overturn or contain emergencies.
6- Protect Your Skin From The Sun And Hydrate
The UV rays can be a menace to the skin, and the heat can dehydrate you during treks and climbs. So, how do you protect yourself and stay safe? Seek shades, wear a hat, put on sunglasses, and apply sunscreen on your skin.
Of course, you need to carry clean drinking water to keep you hydrated. You need all the energy in the jungle to help you enjoy the activities. If you plan to camp for a long, stay near a water source to allow you to replenish your resources quickly.
7- Be Safe at The Campfire
Campfire at night is the hallmark of camping, right? We all love campfire stories and meals. However, you want to observe safety measures linked to campfires.
For instance, campfires should be at least 15 feet from the tent wall, shrubs, and trees. Keep flammable materials away and ensure the fire is relatively small and in one place.
You don’t want to start a wildfire that endangers other campers and wildlife. Most campsites don’t allow campfires during dry seasons to reduce the risk of wildfires. Ensure you attend the campfire at all times. Have a water bucket nearby to help you put out the fire before you sleep at night.
Camping with family and friends or even alone is an incredible experience. However, do all you can to stay safe while camping. Plan before you head to the campsite. Know who is with you, what activities you’ll play, when you’ll leave, and where you’ll camp.
Camp security is vital whether you’re on a camping RV or in an open space. Ensure you have the proper protective gear and equipment, park your vehicle strategically, and survey your environment for safety.
What Is The Best Way To Prepare For Camping?
Here is how you prepare for camping:
- Plan in advance
- Focus on camp security
- Plan for bad weather
- Have the right gear and know how to use them
- Have a first-aid kit
What Is It Essential to Plan Before Going on Camping?
Planning helps you know whom you are going with, what you’ll do, where you’ll camp, and when you’ll leave. You’ll also protect yourself from wildlife, weather, and people risks.
What Can You Do When Camping?
Here are some activities you can do camping:
- Rock hunting
- Bird watching
- Cave exploring.
- Painting and drawing
- Photographing nature
What Is The Golden Rule Of Camping?
The golden rule of camping is always to leave your campsite better than you found it. This means leaving no trace of your visit, such as picking up all your trash, properly disposing of any waste, and not damaging any natural resources or wildlife.
It also includes respecting your fellow campers and the environment. Keeping noise levels down, following established rules and regulations, and leaving the area as pristine as possible for others to enjoy.
What to read next:
- Can You Live Off the Grid in California? (Find out now!)
- Where Can You Live Off-Grid in Colorado? The 5 Best Places.
- Is It Illegal To Live In A House Without Utilities In Florida?
What Are 3 Things You Need to Take With You When Camping?
When camping, it’s important to bring a few essential items to ensure a safe and comfortable trip. Here are three things that you should always carry with you:
- Tent: A sturdy and reliable tent is essential for shelter from the elements and protection from insects and wildlife.
- Sleeping bag and pad: They help keep you warm and comfortable at night.
- Water and water filtration system: Access to clean water is crucial for staying hydrated and healthy during your camping trip. If there is no access to clean water, you should bring a water filtration system or purification tablets to ensure you can drink water safely.