Guest post by Meggie Nahatakyan
If you are thinking of camping with your family, and you are doing it for the first time, your first concern should be safety for all. Yes, camping can strengthen the family bond. It can also provide your children with pleasant memories which they will want to remember as they grow up, give an opportunity to develop a strategy for your child with special needs, or simply enjoy your time with your family. You need the following 5 tips to ensure your family’s safety while you are out there in the wilds.
Prepare For Emergencies
You are going into someplace that you really do not know. Therefore, teach every member of the family to be prepared for any emergency. One of the things that you need to have is a map of the place you are going to. If possible, get the numbers of any emergency crew that is servicing the area in case you have to call for their help.
Bring along a first aid kit with bandages, medicine, disinfectant and other sundry things that you might need in case someone gets hurt. Give a whistle and flashlight to every family member. They will need them in case they are lost or when they need to go out at night. Teach everybody how to deal with emergencies and how to assess dangerous situations.
Be Careful With Fire
One of the fun activities in camping is cooking your food in the old fashion way, which is by fire using sticks or branches of wood available in the area. Starting a fire pit carries some risks. The flame in the pit might get out of control and might develop into full-blown fire. In this regard, make sure that you always have, close at hand, a pail of water to extinguish the fire if it gets uncontrollable.
A safer way to cook your food while you are out camping is by using an electric stove that is hooked on an alternative power supply, such as a solar panel.
Follow Safety Rules When Swimming
One of the best rules in swimming is: don’t swim alone. Your children must follow this rule strictly, even if they are already proficient in swimming. If possible, use flotation devices to ensure that their heads are above water all the time. Never swim in waters that are not cleared by the local authorities. And don’t dive if you are not sure about the depth of the water. Always follow the feet-first entry rule when swimming in rivers. And never drink alcohol when swimming, kayaking or boating.
Apply Sun Protection on Your Skin
You will be out there in the sun most of the day. Therefore, you need to have some sun protection. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are known to cause skin cancer. Excessive exposure to UV rays could trigger the mechanism for this dreaded disease. These rays can still affect your skin even during cloudy days.
A broad-spectrum sunscreen with about SPF 15 grade will help. However, you are advised not to go out during the hottest hours of the day, even if you are wearing sunscreen. If you have to, cover yourself with a hat and suitable clothing.
Protect Yourself from Wild Animals, Bugs and Insects
Don’t expose yourself unnecessarily to wild animals such as wolves, coyotes, snakes and the like. Avoid them if you accidentally come across them in your walks in the wild. It is best if you carry a wooden stick or a steel rod that you can use to ward them off, in case they appear to approach you.
You will also need to carry an insect repellent every time you go out into the wilderness. There are some repellents that you can safely apply to your skin. When bugs and insects smell the scent, they will avoid you. You can also wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to protect yourself from their bites.
Camping is really a fun activity for the family. You should try it at least once in your lifetime. If you don’t leave out safety while you are having fun, you will really get the most out of the experience.