Safety Tips for Camping In the Woods
Camping in the woods is an enjoyable way to escape the stressors of the modern world and reconnect with nature. Embarking on a journey into the wild, however, can pose more than a couple safety threats. To avoid getting yourself into a dangerous situation, follow these helpful safety tips for camping in the woods.
Bring a Buddy or Two
Even if you are a highly experienced outdoorsman, camping with a buddy is always safer than camping alone. When out in the woods, you never know what can happen—from encountering a dangerous wild animal to simply tripping and hurting your ankle. In any case, you’ll want someone there to go find help or assist you in hobbling home in the case of an emergency. Ideally, you should bring more than one person along for optimal safety.
Let Someone Know Where You Are
One of the most important safety tips for camping in the woods is to let someone know where you are—especially if you choose to forgo our last tip and camp alone. So many instances of people getting lost and stranded in the woods for days could have been avoided if they had simply told someone where they were going.
If you do end up in a situation where you are unable to get home, having someone back home who knows your general location can expedite the search and rescue process—ultimately meaning the difference between life and death. When telling someone where you are, make sure to also tell them when you plan to return from your trip so that they can check-in with you. If you don’t reply by the agreed upon time, they’ll know that you need help.
Adhere To Proper Fire Safety Protocol
If you plan on starting a campfire, it’s essential to learn and implement proper fire safety practices. In addition to placing your own life at risk, failing to practice fire safety protocols could result in an extremely destructive wildfire. In fact, poorly attended campfires are one of the leading causes of forest fires in the country. As such, it’s crucial to adhere to the following fire safety guidelines:
- Never leave your campfire unattended—not even for just a few seconds.
- Always keep a fire extinguisher or large pot of water nearby in case the fire gets out of control.
- Don’t leave the fire until it has been completely extinguished. If the fire is still smoking and the coals are too hot to touch, the fire has not been fully extinguished.
- Avoid starting a fire on particularly dry or windy days.
Familiarize Yourself With Your Surroundings
When camping in the woods, there aren’t any street signs to tell you where you are and where you need to go. If you’re lucky, there might be a few stray trail markers and strangely shaped rocks along the way to help guide you on your journey. To avoid getting lost, it’s extremely important to familiarize yourself with your surroundings. In the case that your GPS system loses signal—which it probably will—or your map becomes damaged or lost, having a general understanding of the area you’re camping in will prevent you from losing your way.