Camping Safety is Important in Wisconsin and Anywhere You Choose to Go Camping.
No doubt about it, camping in Wisconsin can be fun. But, if you don’t pay attention to safety, your fun camping adventure can turn into a camping trip disaster, and might possibly be your last camp out.
So, what are some of the most important camping safety tips you and your family should know?
1. Plan Ahead. Do your research. It is important to plan your camping trip well in advance. Always expect the unexpected. Consider the worst possible cases that you may have to face and think of ways how you can deal with the problem. If hiking, leave copies of your route with your family members. Use a two-way radio to communicate with your companions. Carry along with you a topographical map of Wisconsin so that you don’t easily get lost. A whistle and compass may also come handy.
2. Make sure the Wisconsin campground you’ve chosen is a safe one. Make sure there are no current fire dangers/conditions. Are there any health alerts in the area, such as dangerous bacteria count in the water, or outbreak of any rodent-carrying viruses?
3. Check out the weather. Always be prepared to face weather change while you are camping and traveling in Wisconsin. Make sure that you are carrying the necessary camping gear like waterproof backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, and other supplies. Carry a waterproof jacket and pants with you. Carry layer clothes so that you can remove or add a layer according to the weather condition.
4. Pack the Emergency First-Aid Kit. Be prepared for cuts, bee stings and allergic reactions. Bring antihistamines, antiseptic, bug sprays and insect repellents, pain relievers, bandages, sunscreen and if possible, a snake-bite kit. Beware of insect bites and stings. Always use a DEET-based insect repellent and check for bites behind your ears, under the arm, and in the groin area. (Know how to remove embedded ticks or use a removal device)
A camping emergency kit should also include the following items: Whistle, flashlight, compass, a small Swiss Army knife, razor blades, tweezers, magnifying glass, sterilized water packets for cleaning wounds, emergency blanket, thermometer, cold pack, and a mirror. A mirror can be used to signal for help if you can’t get cell phone reception.
5. Arrive at your Wisconsin Campsite Early. Arriving early, with ample daylight, allows you to examine the entire campsite and set up while there’s still light. Be on the lookout for sharp objects, broken glass, huge ant beds, branches, poison ivy, hazardous terrain and bees.
6. Build your Tent on a Safe Spot. Make sure your tent is flame-resistant and keep it at a safe distance from the campfire. Try to pitch your tent on elevated land so it doesn’t flood in case of rain, avoiding any steep inclines or rocky areas. In order to keep the bugs out, make sure you close your tent immediately upon entering and leaving.
7. Go Over Safety Issues with Family Members. Make sure family members are aware of poisonous plants in the area. Be sure the children understand that they should never drink from any stream or river, regardless of how clean it may look. (If you can afford it, pack an emergency water filter just in case you need to filter your water) Finally, issue each member of your family a whistle for emergency use.
8. Be Fire Safe. Make sure there are no current fire restrictions before building any fire, and don’t build a fire if there are strong winds. When you do build a fire, keep it in the fire ring, and make sure there are no flammable items near the fire. Do not use heating devices or candles inside your tent.
Never leave your campfire unattended, and keep the area clear of leaves and twigs. Before going to bed, make sure the campfire is properly put out with water.
9. Be Aware of Wild Animals. Be sure to familiarize yourself and your family with safety concerning wild animals. Wild animals have acute senses of smell. Make sure you keep your campsite clean and free of food or garbage which might attract them.
It is best to store all food, garbage and strong-smelling items (such as soap or toothpaste) in animal-resistant containers or your vehicle. Keep your sleeping bag and tent completely free of food and food odors, and set up your cooking and eating area at least 100 yards from your tent. Do not go to sleep in the same clothing you cooked in, as even the cooking smells can attract a variety of Wisconsin wildlife.
10. Watch your children! If you’re camping with young children know where they are at all times, especially if you are near lakes, pond, rivers or streams. It doesn’t take long for a child to drown. Try to teach your children camping safety appropriate to their age without instilling fear about the camping trip.
While it may seem like attention to safety takes the fun out of camping, in reality it helps ensure that your camping vacation is a fun time for the whole family. And, isn’t having fun the point of camping?