Camping Safety Is Your Prime Consideration
By Graham Fitton
Being away from home on a camping trip means you're making do without a lot of things, such as electricity and sometimes comfort. One thing you should never be without is the awareness that accidents do happen and the first aid skills to know how to deal with injuries. What's more, campers should always go out of their way to reduce every possible threat that could spell disaster and be conscious of potential hazards within their very campsite.
A simple camping safety practice is to walk around the area to look for any broken glass, protruding sticks and slippery spots. Accidents such as being stabbed by a branch during a fall can be prevented by a little forward planning. During your stay, always try to keep safety in the forefront by making sure you're handling your equipment carefully and clearly marking ropes that can be a trip hazard with coloured fly tape. An excellent way to ensure safety at your campsite is squaring things away once you have finished using them. A cluttered camping area is a potential hazardous space for accidents.
If you're planning on building campfires for warmth, enjoyment or cooking, be smart, wary and safe. Find out if there are any restrictions for the time of year or dryness in the region - many areas don't permit fires when there has been a recent dry spell and the spread of fires is a concern. Avoid building fires on a windy day, as the breeze can transport smouldering ashes and start them burning elsewhere. If you know it's safe to build a fire and it's not a windy day, do make sure you have a proper fire pit dug out and ringed with stones. Containing and controlling your flame is extremely important. A bucket of water is very handy to extinguish fires can easily get out of control very quickly - and make sure to put out your fire properly before going to bed. Letting a fire die down unsupervised is asking for trouble.
Knowledge of first aid and how to cope with sprained ankles, gashes and head trauma is a must for a camping trip, especially if you're roughing it in the wild with no help nearby. There are plenty of organizations that offer first aid instruction and in most cases, learning the basics doesn't take more than a weekend. Quick action and calm know-how can mean the difference between an accident that takes a turn for the worse and one that saves someone's life. Not only will your new skills come in handy should someone get hurt during your vacation, but being able to deal with injuries is something that will remain with you forever.
Your camping trip should be one that's full of good times and smiles, not one that turns into a fiasco because you weren't being careful or qualified to handle the situation. Getting the skills you need and applying preventative measures to reduce hazards and risks is the best thing you can do to make sure your camping trip is safe and one that is completely enjoyable.
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