Rochester, Minnesota


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Millie Suk
Millie Suk
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Summer Safety – Part 2: Camping

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Camping means different things to different people. For some, it means spending a quiet night in the wilderness, away from civilization. For others, it means hitting up the local campgrounds, firing up a grill, and getting the whole gang together. But no matter what camping means to you, here a few suggestions to keep in mind:

Check the campsite. Look for broken glass or other dangerous debris. Check around the site for poison ivy, bee hives, or other possible dangers. Look for level ground and avoid areas that could flood when setting up your tent. Try to arrive in daylight to make this process easier and to simplify make set-up.

Practice fire safety. Light fires in designated fire pits, or, if none are available, create a ring with rocks. Clear the area of debris. Don’t build near a tent or other flammable items. Never leave the fire unattended and always have a bucket of water and a shovel nearby in case it gets out of control. Be sure to completely extinguish the fire when you are finished (i.e., cool to the touch).

Wear bug spray. Avoid wearing scented products (i.e. hairspray, perfume, etc.). Wear light-colored clothing and check frequently for bugs. Check yourself, your family, and your pets often for ticks. Bring anti-itch cream.

Prepare food safely. Separate raw foods from cooked foods. Bring hand sanitizer if water is not available. Cook foods to proper temperatures (e.g. ground beef should be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit). Never use gas stoves, heaters, lanterns or charcoal grills inside a tent or camper – not only does this create a risk of fire, but it may also lead to carbon-monoxide poisoning.

Store food properly. If you are camping in area with bears, be sure to properly secure your food in a bear-proof container and hang your CLEAN cooking items (and food if you don’t have a proper container) at least 200 yards from your tent.

Do not place your tent under a tree. If there is no alternative, then be sure to select a tree that is not dead and does not have any dead or loose limbs.

Travel safely in your R.V. Use proper roads to avoid getting stuck. Check your vehicle for any damage or maintenance issues before heading out for a trip, while on the trip, and before heading home. Always wear a seatbelt when possible.

For more tips, check out my previous post on hiking safety. As always, feel free to comment and add some of your basic camping safety advice! Enjoy the great outdoors safely this summer!

Think about it.