Enjoying the great outdoors with friends and family is always a blast. Camping will be a very fun time, as long as you don't forget about a few safety rules.
Here is a quick cheat sheet of what to pack for your big trip:
- Compass and a map of the campsite.
- Sleeping bag, pillow, and blankets.
- A cell phone or a walkie-talkie.
- First-aid kit and a whistle.
- Glasses and sunscreen.
- Tent (preferably waterproof).
- Warm and dry clothing (include extra pairs of everything).
Another important item to bring along is a grownup! The woods can sometimes be a confusing, scary place and an adult should always be around. It is important not to ever go into the woods by yourself.
Planning for Your Trip
A few things to keep in mind before you leave for your trip include the weather on your trip, the land around the campsite, the time of year, the bugs and insects around your campsite, and any wild animals or poisonous vegetation nearby. On the trip, if you are feeling bothered by insects, it is a good idea to ask an adult to build a small campfire away from any water that may be close by. There will be fewer bugs farther away from water and the smaller fire will attract fewer buggy visitors. It is important to check for ticks at the end of your camping day and quickly and safely remove them from your skin.
The center of every camping experience is a good camp fire. Camp fire should always be built by grownups and should never be left unattended. Always remember to put out this fire at the end of the night right before bedtime with water or dirt.
Eating in the Wild
Never eat or drink anything that you find in the wilderness. Even if certain berries on a tree look delicious, or if a river has clear, sparkling water, remember that these things might not be safe to eat or drink. The best idea is to bring along your own bottled water and food. Remember to pack some healthy snacks along, such as fruit and vegetables, to give you the energy you need to stay alert and enjoy your time in the woods.
A very important rule to follow is to never try to pet or feed a wild animal. If you see a cute bear or raccoon hanging around the campsite make sure to stay away! No matter how friendly this creature may seem, you can never predict how a wild animal will react. It is a good idea to put your discarded food, such as banana peels and apple cores, into a plastic bag and it on a tree limb far away from the campsite to attract hungry animals elsewhere.
Don't Get Lost
Getting lost in the woods is scary. Always stay close to the group and never go off and explore on your own. If you do get separated from the group, blow your whistle or use your cell phone to immediately contact fellow group members. If group members are unable to respond, it is best to find a safe place out of the weather and stay put until an adult finds you.
Following these straight forward safety rules will lead you back home with nothing but great memories.
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