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By Casey De Farria
Casey De Farria
29 Mar, 2021

Essential safety advice for your camping adventure

There’s nothing like getting back to nature – especially when you have an extra long weekend to do it in. The last thing you want to worry about when creating camping memories and enjoying what our beautiful country has to offer, is an injury or emergency situation.

Here are some tips we have compiled, to help you keep yourself and your family safe during your trip in the wild.

Set up safely

Choose a location for your setup, that is away from potential dangers. Try to avoid setting up;

  • close to rivers, streams, and lakes.
  • around ant nests
  • under large trees that could potentially drop branches
  • in spots where water may pool, in the event of rain

Pack Plenty

Make sure you bring enough water for drinking and washing if you are headed to a location where it won’t be readily available (and some even if you are, just in case!).

Make sure you have enough food and that it is stored correctly (cold foods kept cold, airtight containers used, etc).

Fire safety, always

There are a few important things to be aware of if you have a campfire;

  • Know the rules surrounding campfires, for where you are camping – including whether they are allowed at all.
  • Always use designated fireplaces. Fires should only be lit in cleared areas, both above and around the fire. Keep the fire at least 3 metres away from your tent and make sure your camping equipment, especially flammable items such as aerosols, gas bottles, and fuel cans, are stored well away.
  • Visit the CFS website to check fire danger ratings, adhere to any Total Fire Bans (TFB’s), and if it is dry and windy, don’t light a fire.
  • Never leave a fire unattended – always put it out with water when you are leaving the campsite or going to bed. Never use sand or soil to extinguish a fire as they retain heat for long after the flames are gone, and can cause severe burns when unknowingly walked on or touched.
  • Supervise children at all times when there is a campfire. Teach them to assume everything around a fire is hot and to always keep a safe distance.
  • Keep the fire to a small and manageable size, make sure the area around it is clear and free of any trip hazards, and never use flammable liquids to start a fire – they can get out of control very quickly.

Thanks, Mr. Weatherman!

Make sure you check weather forecasts and pack accordingly. Keep in mind the day and night temperatures can vary a lot. If it will get cold, make sure you have warm clothes and blankets – layers work best. For daytime, ensure you pack hats, sunscreen, and enclosed shoes for walks. Monitor the weather if you are worried about any changes in conditions, and always pack anything you may need for if it gets wet, like spare clothes, tarps, and shelter.

First Aid is your friend

It is essential that you travel with First Aid equipment for all possible scenarios. When camping there is a range of scenarios that can occur, that require medical attention – it is especially important to keep in mind that you may be in a location that is far away from medical assistance, or harder to get to.

Check out our recent blog which runs through everything to include in your family first aid kit. Keep in mind there may be additional items that you will want to take with you on top of these essentials, such as bug repellent.

Be prepared, and tech-savvy

Do your research! Consider;

  • Where the closest hospital is and how to get there
  • An evacuation plan (especially if you are camping in fire danger season)
  • Where you can make a call from if reception is limited (check your network’s coverage map)
  • Who you can tell your plans to – include location and travel time frame
  • What park maps you might need. Check the local government’s national parks website for maps, or the Avenza Maps app.
  • Download and get familiar with Emergency Apps. We recommend Emergency Plus and Bites and Stings.

Wildlife – it’s wild!

There is a reason Australian wildlife has quite the rep, worldwide!

Mosquitoes, ticks and other insects can bite and cause irritation and, in rare cases, carry diseases. You can help prevent this by;

  • Using appropriate insect repellent
  • Wearing long sleeved tops and pants when possible
  • Using fly screens and keeping tents closed
  • Never leaving food or open water/drink containers around the campsite as these can attract all sorts of wildlife!

Snakes are a concern for many, especially in warmer months. To avoid snakebites;

  • Leave snakes alone
  • Stick to trails when walking
  • Make nose on walks
  • Wear long pants and closed in shoes
  • Keep tents and sleeping bags closed – it’s also a good idea to be mindful of places where snakes (and spiders) can be, like inside of tubs, tents, and blankets.

Let’s Drive

Always drive to the conditions in camping areas.

  • Observe speed limits
  • Drive appropriately for weather conditions and road conditions
  • Keep an eye out for wildlife

Always know what to do in an emergency! Check out our online eLearning Course – learn the skills of First Aid and CPR, before you start packing for your trip!

Reference: Good Living – The Government of SA Department for Environment and Water‘Camping Safely’ Blog

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