For many, camping trips are full of adventure. There is nothing like escaping everyday life and heading to the outdoors. Whether you enjoy hunting, biking, hiking or fishing, camping provides you with a variety of outdoor activities.
What you may not realize is camping also calls for great hazard. It’s important to know what the dangers are and how to potentially avoid them. Sometimes they are out of your control, but if you know proper safety techniques or key things to look out for, you could potentially avoid facing danger.
Read the list below to learn some of the many dangers of camping and how to avoid them.
If you camp or hike in grassy or wooded places you could be at risk for contracting Lyme disease. Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected blacklegged tick. “in the United States, an estimated 300,000 infections occur each year (CDC).” Symptoms include, headache, fatigue, skin rash and fever. According to the CDC, if Lyme disease is left untreated it can spread to the joints, the heart and the nervous system. Make sure you use insect repellent and perform daily tick checks. If you find a tick remove it immediately. They like to hide around the ears, inside the belly button and under the arms.
Your camping trip can come to a quick end if you come in contact with poison ivy. Poison Ivy is one of the most common plant allergies in the United States. They appear in clusters of three with two leaves growing opposite on the stem and the third at the top (cookforest.com). Be careful hiking, poison ivy grows along paths and also beware of trees because poison ivy tends to grow up them. If you come into contact with poison ivy blisters, redness, rashes and swelling may appear. Oh and… try not to scratch. It can cause an infection.
Camping in the cold? Beware of the danger of hypothermia. Make sure your tent is rain resistant and you know how to build a fire. When the cold weather settles in there is not much else you can do. Your body begins working harder to regulate heat and before you know it your facing a sensation of chilliness, your skin starts to go numb, your muscles become weak and you start losing coordination.
Unfortunately nothing can guarantee your safety when it comes to encountering bears while camping. According to Backpacker, “in the 2000s, there have been 27 fatal incidences so far in North America, resulting in 29 deaths. 15 were in Canada, three were in Alaska, two were in Tennessee, and single fatal attacks happened in New York, New Mexico, California, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Utah and Montana. 17 of those attacks were perpetrated by black bears, and 10 by grizzlies.” However, there are a few ways to prevent the likelihood of an attack. Never leave food out and make sure you store your food in a vehicle or bear-proof locker. Use bear-proof garbage cans or a dumpster for your garbage and make sure you keep your camp clean and odor free (Alaska Department of Natural Resources).