Follow these safety camping tips and make the best out of your camping:
Make camp before dark. Traveling after darkness has resulted in many accidents from falls, so travel during daylight whenever possible.
Check for potential hazards. Be sure to check thoroughly for glass, sharp objects, branches, large ant beds, poison ivy, bees and hazardous terrain.
Avoid areas of natural hazards. Check the contour of the land and for potential trouble due to rain.
Inspect the site. Look for a level site with enough room to spread your gear.
Build fires in a safe area. Your open fires and fuel burning appliances must be far enough away from the tent to prevent ignition from sparking flames and heat.
Make sure your fires are always attended. Be sure you have an area for a fire that cannot spread laterally or vertically – a grill or stone surface is ideal.
Beware when encountering wildlife. Use a flashlight at night – many animals feed at night and the use of a flashlight may warn them away. To ward off bears, keep your campsite clean and do not leave food, garbage, coolers, cooking equipment or utensils out in the open.
Watch out for bugs. Avoid attracting stinging insects by wearing light colored clothing and avoiding perfume and cologne.
Beware of poisonous plants. Familiarize yourself with any dangerous plants that are common to the area where you are camping.
Think before you drink. No matter how clean or pure stream water looks, it’s likely to contain water-borne parasites and microorganisms that can cause discomfort or serious illness.
These camping tips, along with related safety information, can be found on the USDA Forest Service Web site www.fs.fed.us
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