Camping is an excellent way to get in touch with the wild outdoors. Unfortunately, without the proper safety precautions, it can also be quite dangerous- especially at night. Though, it doesn’t have to be. By taking into account the following tips, you can be sure that your overnight stay is a safe one.
Know Lightening Safety
If you get caught in a lightning storm, it is best to seek refuge immediately. While you may think that your tent will be protection enough, this is not true. Most tents use aluminum poles that make them lightweight- but also a risk when it comes to being caught in a lightning storm. Instead, crawl out of your sleeping bag and into your vehicle. The rubber in your tires will ground the electricity in the event that you get hit by a lightning strike.
Put Away Food
Food has a tendency to attract wildlife- everything from bugs to raccoons to bears. Bears can be especially scary! To help keep these critters away from your site, you should be sure to properly store your food where the aroma will not escape. You can also look around your site to weigh your risks. If there is a significant amount of wear on low-hanging branches and bark, it can indicate that bears have already been there rubbing against the wood. You should also steer clear of berry patches- which are a tasty snack for these and other critters.
Camp in Designated Areas
Another way to make sure that you stay safe is to camp in designated areas. When you go off of the beaten path, you may be more susceptible to end up in dangerous areas. This can include valleys susceptible to flash flooding, locations near animal homes, or areas that are unsafe for other geographical reasons.
Keep Flashlights or Lanterns (and Extra Batteries) on Hand
The last thing you want to do if you have to use the restroom in the middle night or want to investigate a loud noise is venture out in the darkness. You can avoid this by keeping flashlights and/or lanterns on hand. Remember that camping can be unpredictable, so be sure that you have backups on hand. You should also keep a couple fresh changes of batteries, which you can store in an Adventure Lion waterproof bag.
Do Not Leave Your Fire Burning at Night
Regardless of the temperature, you should never leave your fire burning at night. When the last person is ready to go to bed, have a bucket of water or sand handy to completely put out the embers. Otherwise, it could spark up in the middle of the night and potentially cause injury to any animals or people that may be out in the area.
Make Sure Your Tent is Fire Safe
It can be very tempting to bring a heater or lantern into your tent on chilly nights. However, this is very dangerous. Never bring anything that may cause your tent to catch fire. Even though most tents are made of a flame retardant material, they still can catch fire if enough heat is applied.
Be Respectful of Wildlife
The final thing you should remember to stay safe at night is to be respectful of wildlife. This means that you should not aggravate animals, regardless of how tame they seem. You should also take care to look around for any visible signs that you may be intruding on an animal’s territory before it gets dark- including snake holes, territory that has been marked, or animal droppings.
Remember that camping can be a great way to get in touch with nature- as long as you do it the right way! Following these safety tips at night can help ensure that your next overnight venture into nature is safe.
Lautaro Martinez is a freelance writer and outdoorsman who enjoys sharing his tips and insight into camping. If you would like to learn more about Lautaro, check out his Google+ profile.